County music artist/songwriter, Clint Black, appeared on Local 7 Lifestyles to discuss new album.
It is one of the most storied careers in modern music. Clint Black surged to superstardom as part of the fabled Class of '89, hitting stride even faster than fellow members Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and Travis Tritt, reaching #1 with five consecutive singles from his triple-platinum debut, Killin' Time. He followed that with the triple-platinum Put Yourself in My Shoes, and then a string of platinum and gold albums throughout the '90s. Perhaps most impressively, Clint wrote or co-wrote every one of his more than three dozen chart hits, including "A Better Man," "Where Are You Now," "When My Ship Comes In," "A Good Run of Bad Luck," "Summer's Comin'," "Like the Rain" and "Nothin' But the Taillights," part of a catalog that produced 22 #1 singles and made him one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the modern era.
Along the way, Clint has sold over 20 million records, earned more than a dozen gold and platinum awards in the U.S. and Canada, landed nearly two dozen major awards and nominations, including more than a dozen GRAMMY nominations, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The latest milestone in a career filled with milestones is When I Said I Do, a CD collection of hits, favorites and new tracks that provide a rare glimpse into the past, present and future of this legendary singer. When I Said I Do finds Clint teaming up with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, joining other superstars including Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Rogers and Randy Travis in providing new collections through the music arm of the popular restaurant chain.
For the title track, the 1999 chart-topper "When I Said I Do," Clint is joined by his wife of 22 years, singer/actress Lisa Hartman Black. One of his most-loved and most successful songs, the original was named the Academy of Country Music's Vocal Event of the Year. There are two other duets--Lisa joins him for a new version of the 2001 hit, "Easy For Me To Say," and he teams up with Carolyn Dawn Johnson on "Our Kind of Love." There are also major hits like "Something That We Do," "Like the Rain" and "Half the Man," and classic tracks like "One Emotion," "My Imagination," "That Something In My Life," "You Made Me Feel” and "You Know It All."
"These are re-recordings of some fan favorites and some of mine," says Clint. "There are songs I was really happy with, and for those I wanted to make it impossible for you to tell the difference from the original recording--and I think we've succeeded. Then there are those where I thought, 'If I had the chance to do it all over again with this song, what would I do differently?'"
The three new tracks show Clint taking his legacy yet another step forward. "Samantha" finds a father expressing his boundless love for his daughter, and was penned by Clint for an upcoming large-scale touring show with vocal, equestrian and dance components. "Only A Woman" shows Clint at his romantic best, celebrating the good that a partner can bring out in a man, and "She Won't Let Go" is a wonderfully heartfelt look at a little girl's love for her daddy--in this case, a soldier being sent into combat. This song was inspired by a photograph of a little girl holding her daddy’s hand as he stands in formation at attention before being shipped out to Iraq.
When I Said I Do is the chance for fans to marvel again at the depth and breadth of Clint's involvement in every aspect of his music. He says, "As proud as I am of every aspect of my career, and I've been involved in everything from production to directing videos, the thing I'm proudest of is the songwriting." That side is well represented here, as he wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album. What's more, he produced every track except for “She Won't Let Go,” which he co-produced with the song's co-writer, Frank Rogers.
"If I'm going to keep doing this," he says, "I have to continue to grow as an artist, and I think this shows I'm still reaching, still looking to improve on everything I do. With almost 25 years as a recording artist, I feel like I can do everything better now than I could at any other time. I was a performer when I started recording, because I had ten years in the clubs behind me, but I wasn't developed. Now I have all those years of learning from great producers like James Stroud and all the studio professionals I've worked with through the years, as well as a full body of work to draw from. It all comes together on a project like this."
Clint's love of music began early. He grew up in Houston, the youngest of four boys, and began playing harmonica at age 13. He wrote his first song after picking up a guitar at age 15 and soon joined his older brothers in a band as bass player. Eventually, he branched out on his own as a soloist, gaining experience on stage. He met guitarist/songwriter Hayden Nicholas, and the two began a songwriting partnership that was soon flourishing. Clint signed with RCA Records in 1989 and that incredible career took off.
At the end of 1989, "A Better Man" and "Killin' Time" were #1 and #2 on the year-end country singles chart, a feat that hadn't been accomplished since Hank Williams released, “Kaw-liga” and “Your Cheating Heart”, 35 years earlier. He joined the Grand Ole Opry® in 1991, and married singer/actress Lisa Hartman in October of that year, establishing bedrock foundations for the personal and professional successes that have followed ever since. Clint was one of the decade's most successful touring acts, and was one of the few artists to use his road band in the studio. He wrote with Merle Haggard and collaborated with a host of entertainers, ranging from Waylon Jennings to Eric Idle.
After turning down a number of acting roles, he says, "I got a call where they said, 'Do you want to do a movie with James Garner, Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster and every western TV star you saw growing up?' I did, and I came away from that experience wanting to do more." That movie, Maverick, led to others on TV and the big screen as he added TV and movie actor to his resume.
He has written and directed many of his music videos, and written treatments for and directed TV commercials. More recently he has taken part in musical, charitable and philanthropic reality TV series. Of these non-musical outlets, he says, "I love to challenge myself and expand my creative canvas, and so it’s always about whether an opportunity would challenge me creatively."
In addition to other business ventures and charitable efforts, Clint is a passionate advocate for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF), serving as honorary chair for its "Research to Reality: Funding Progress" campaign, which helps to accelerate treatment and research to find a cure for the developmental disorder. To date their efforts have raised more than 4 million dollars for the charity.
As When I Said I Do proves so well, though, Clint's base is music, and after six years without a new album, he demonstrates once again the talent and passion that have made him one of country music's true modern legends.