The Best Country Songs You’ve Never Heard – A Lesson in Marketing

Not every song can reach the top of the charts.

Jukebox for a Nickel

image credit: Down Town Pictures

I’m a fan of country music. I’ve written a few posts about the relationship among hunting, business, and country music before.

What Do Hunting, Country Music, and Your Hunting Blog have in Common?

10 Inspiring Country Music Videos for Hunting Businesses

10 Country Song Lyrics to Inspire Your Hunting Business

Staying Power – Why Some Businesses (Like Classic Country Songs) Have It and Some Don’t

Some of my favorite country music songs are ones that don’t make it as huge hits thus leaving them for passionate fans to find through their own discoveries.

This brings up an interesting point about business, marketing and PR.

Why do some songs make it big while other songs of equal quality are left to peak in the mid levels of the charts?

Here are a few of the best country songs you’ve never heard…

Honky Tonkin’ Fool

Doug Supernaw

Chart Peak – #50

Doug is one of my favorite voices in country music. He hasn’t been around the charts for over a decade now, but I still enjoy listening to his music.

His debut release, Honky Tonkin’ Fool, didn’t make a big splash on the charts, but it’s a good country story song. It has a feel good tale of an old time guy who loves a Wurlitzer jukebox at his local tavern.

There can be many reasons a good song doesn’t make it big and it’s hard to guess why this one didn’t gain steam. If I had to guess I’d say that the marketing team might have given up on this song in excitement for Doug’s other songs on his debut album (#4 Reno and #1 I Don’t Call Him Daddy).

Doug Supernaw Info

Power Windows

John Berry

Chart Peak – #43

Power Windows – John Berry

John Berry’s career began when he started releasing music on his own with some success. Eventually, he was signed to a major label where he found success on the charts with his unique brand of country music. His last appearance in the Country Singles Top 50 was his 1999 single Power Windows.

This song has a great message about the relationship of work and life and happiness. It came at the end Berry’s major label run and being it was the second release from an album whose first single failed to make waves, it’s no surprise the label gave up on it and allowed Berry to move onto other pursuits.

John Berry Info

Welcome to the Club

Tim McGraw

Chart Peak – #47

Welcome To The Club – Tim McGraw

Welcome to the Club on You Tube (Embedding Disabled)

I’m not sure how this song wasn’t a hit especially since McGraw is sporting one of the best mustaches in the business in the video. 🙂

This was McGraw’s first single from Curb Records. The album and its singles weren’t successful. Later Tim took more control of his recordings on his second album and went on to have huge success.

Although this first single is often forgotten, I’ve always liked the song. Unfortunately it’s just one of those great songs to disappear into the past without enough people getting to have a listen.

Tim McGraw Info

Blue Blooded Woman

Alan Jackson

Chart Peak – #45

Blue Blooded Woman on You Tube

One of the biggest artists in country music history is Alan Jackson. His first album was a smash hit with four top five hit singles including his first #1 I’d Love You All Over Again.

But the album’s first single is often forgotten because it didn’t chart as high as subsequent singles.

Blue Blooded Woman is an up tempo tune about a good ‘ol boy and his gal from the city.

This song technically makes Alan part of the “Class of ’89” in country music even though he really broke onto the scene in ’90.

I’m a big AJ fan and I even love this song despite it being less successful commercially.

And you can’t beat that Zach Morris cell phone in the video. 🙂

Alan Jackson Info

A Few Short Years

Ty Herndon

Chart Peak – #55

A Few Short Years – Ty Herndon

Ty Herndon found success shortly after arriving to Nashville. He was signed to a deal while working at a production show. He went to Nashville and recorded his first song with Doug Johnson What Mattered Most.

The song shot straight to #1.

Herndon had more success with subsequent albums and singles.

By 2002, his career was starting on a down side with the release of his Greatest Hits collection. The single from the collection was A Few Short Years. The song is up tempo and catchy. It’s a story of two young lovers living poor, but loving every minute. They decide to strike out on their own and make a go of their dreams.

I love songs like this and this particular song is great. I’m sure the song was destined for the mid levels fo the charts because Ty’s record company was giving up on him.

Recently Ty has been back making music again, which is great to see.

Ty Herndon’s Info

The Lesson

It takes quite a bit of effort to get a great song to head to the top of the country charts. The artist, the label’s marketing team, fans, radio disc jockeys, and more have to truly believe in a song strong enough to put in the effort it takes to take a song to number one.

Here is a story from The New York Times about scouting talent. Country star Jack Ingram shares his first experience with the work it takes to get a song to number one.

“We picked a week where we wanted to get it to No. 1,” Mr. Ingram recalled. “I was on tour all that week. I’d get into my hotel at 2 a.m. Then at 4 a.m. I’d get up and go to the local radio station. We’d do an interview there and call any radio station in the country that would have me on. I’d do that for six hours and then drive to the next show.”

So besides having a quality song (great content), it takes extremely hard work to market a song and get it heard.

The same is true for your hunting business and Website. The marketing and buzz creation behind your products is just as important as having something great that people need.

The importance of marketing made Seth Godin ask the question “What comes first, the product or the marketing?”

So it’s important to remember the effort it takes to market your hunting business on the Web. Spend just as much time working on a marketing plan as you spend on the product or service.

Don’t let your business flounder in the mid levels of the charts. Put in the effort and work it takes to make it reach number one in the hearts of hunters on the Web.

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “The Best Country Songs You’ve Never Heard – A Lesson in Marketing”

  1. Well done – my musical tastes veer more towards alternative and classic country – but I can see and appreciate the points made just the same!

    It seems we all hear about the stories of the guy/gal that just shot onto the scene and had amazing success right off without having to really work too hard to get it. That’s probably the story of .5% of success stories – most success stories begin and end with a ton of sweat toil and sleepless nights! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. @Tom – That’s a great point I hadn’t even realized. Alan and Tim sure weren’t big hits right out of the box with their first singles.

    As you and Cory mention in your video (Blogging The Outdoors), it takes some effort to put out various types of content to find something that connects with your target audience.

    Thanks for expanding.

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