Jamey Johnson Shares Advice From Willie Nelson About Chasing Radio Success

Jamey Johnson Shares Advice From Willie Nelson About Chasing Radio Success | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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Jamey Johnson had his first top 10 country hit in 2008 with “In Color”

Jamey Johnson has one of the most recognizable voices in country music, with a rugged authenticity that pays homage to his traditional country roots. Johnson started releasing music in the early 2000s but saw his first major success with his “In Color” from his album The Lonesome Song.

The poignant ballad paints the picture of an elderly man showing his grandson snapshots of his life in black and white but reminding him, “You should have seen it in color…”

The song became Jamey Johnson’s first top 10 country hit but peaked in the no. 9 spot.

Jamey Johnson says he was pressured to change “In Color” to appease country radio

As “In Color” was climbing the charts, Johnson said that country radio wanted him to redo the song to make it a better fit for what they wanted to play. He recalled:

“We had sent this song to country radio. They told me they wanted another mix, and I didn’t want to remix the song. I put it right where I liked it and I intended to leave it there.”

After refusing to change the song, Johnson received a text message from a member of his team that read, “Just wanted to be the first one to let you know your new song died at country radio today.”

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Jamey Johnson reached out to Willie Nelson for advice

While wrestling with the struggle between remaining authentic and pursuing radio success, Jamey Johnson reached out to country music legend, Willie Nelson.

Willie’s first reaction? “Hell, mine die a long time before they get to country radio.

Jamey shared the advice from his friend that stuck with him for years. Willie said:

“Man, them people that have that kind of mentality where they just want to break the bad news to you, you can’t listen to that. Most of them won’t be doing what they’re doing in 10 years. They’ll be selling used cars or insurance or something else, they won’t even be in the business. But you still gotta get on your bus and get to the next town because you got another show to do. So you listen to that same spirit that led you to this point and you don’t ever stray from it.”

“In Color” went on to win Song of the Year at both the ACM Awards and the CMA Awards in 2009.

Watch the music video for Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” below! 

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