From “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Alibis,” “Time Marches On,” “Find out Who Your Friends Are,” “If The World Had A Front Porch,” “Texas Tornado,” and so many more, the guy was a staple of ’90s country music.
One of my personal favorites from the man is “If The World Had a Front Porch,” mainly because it’s a feel good song about the good ol’ days, and how if people would just co-exist and talk things out, the world would be a much better place.
It’s a great song about getting along with your neighbor, with a chorus that’s catchy as all get out, and despite being a #1 song, I’ve always wondered why the song isn’t generally top of mind when you start thinking about some of Lawrence’s greatest hits.
Lawrence recently sat down for the first episode of his new TL’s Road House podcast, and had Jelly Roll on as a guest.
During the podcast, the two started talking about how they differ from other country artists, and how ’90s country changed the traditional sound of country music, and that brought on an intriguing statement from the ’90s country icon himself:
“‘If The World Had a Front Porch,’ big record of mine, number one record. So there’s a line in it that says, ‘granddaddy taught me how to cuss, and how to pray,’ I had radio stations that wouldn’t play that song because it said the word ‘cuss.'”
No, he didn’t cuss… he said the word “cuss.” And folks had a problem with it…
Jelly Roll responded:
“You know what’s crazy? That’s what made me relate to the record.”
Lawrence then said he decided to cut “Time Marches On” because it said “smokes a lot of dope” in the lyrics, and he wanted to see how the public would respond to that one.
I understand that the ’90s were more mild times than today’s world, but sheesh, because he said “cuss?”
It’s wild how far country music radio, and radio in general has changed since back then.
We’ve had the pleasure of having Tracy Lawrence on our podcast and he’s a great chat, so hosting his own podcast is going to be great.
Titled TL’s Road House, the new show is recorded from his bus and in addition to Jelly Roll on the first episode, will feature Jason Aldean, Lainey Wilson, Michael Ray, Tracy Byrd, Alexandra Kay and more.
And Jelly Roll’s story is VERY compelling, well worth the full listen.
Here’s the full episode :
Tracy Lawrence Recalls Running Up Thousands Of Dollars On His Label’s Bar Tab
And he recently posted a video to social media telling the story of just how much he threw back after he got his first #1 single with 1991’s “Sticks and Stones” from his debut album.
According to Tracy, he was in New York City (his first time there) doing a showcase for regional radio folks at Radio City Music Hall when his song hit the top of the charts.
They went out to the bar to celebrate, and racked up thousands of dollars on the bar tab that they billed to the label. But then they realized that the label had left the company credit card, so they decided to keep the party going at the adjoining restaurant:
“At the very end we had the waiters and waitresses standing holding trays of oysters all around the table as we were eating oysters. I ordered 18 bottles of Dom Perignon. I gave Dom Perignon away to all the waitstaff as tips.
We spent several THOUSAND dollars that night and I remember when the label got the bill next day they were absolutely furious with me.”
That sounds like a hell of a night. And taking care of the waiters and waitresses with bottles of Dom? That’s a pretty baller move.
But does Tracy regret racking up thousands of dollars on his label’s tab, especially considering he was still a relatively new artist with his first #1 in his career?
“It was one of the most gratifying nights of my life.
“Paint Me A Birmingham” is one of my all-time favorite country songs, released in 2003 (later than most people think) by the great Tracy Lawrence. And although it never went to number one (also a surprise to most people), it’s arguably the biggest song of his career.
“Birmingham is a style of lake house… it’s got the porch going all the way around, man. If you’ve listened to it since then, it makes more sense. That was one of the magical things about that song because it can have multiple meanings.
Obviously, the people living in Alabama though it was about Birmingham and the people that are architecturally knowledgeable know that it’s about a style of house.
But it was really about longing to be back with that person that you missed being with, and you know you messed up, and that time and place is gone forever… you just want that back.”
Sorry to the folks from Alabama whose world just came crashing down after that, but “Paint Me A Birmingham” is NOT about the city in Alabama, in fact, it’s about a house. Architecture in country music… who would’ve thought?
I could’ve gone my entire life without knowing that… and would’ve never even thought to ask.
Written by Buck Moore and Gary Duffy, the 2003 Tracy Lawrence hit…