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Tracy Byrd Was Goin’ Fishin’ When He First Heard Himself on the Radio

Tracy Byrd
Mark Lyons, Getty Images

Tracy Byrd has recorded some of the best foot-stompin’ songs ever to hit the radio airwaves: “Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo,” “Watermelon Crawl” and “I’m From the Country” are all honky-tonk favorites sung by Byrd. In 1993, Byrd scored his first No. 1 hit with “Holdin’ Heaven,” but before that, he released “That’s the Thing About a Memory” as his first single; below, Byrd recalls hearing it on the radio for the very first time.

My first record was a song called “That’s the Thing About a Memory.” I had yet to have a hit, so I wasn’t on the road yet, and I loved to fish. It was about 4:30 in the morning, and I was headed to Sam Rayburn Reservoir — which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from my house — and they played it on the Jasper, Texas, radio station.

That was the first time I’d ever heard it, and I wasn’t even expecting it. It was a great feeling! I’d been basically working in clubs and working on my career for about seven years to that point to get there, so it was kind of a sweet moment to finally hear the fruits of all your labor over the airways. I just kind of got a big grin on my face and said, “Yeah!”

This story was originally written by Pat Gallagher, and revised by Angela Stefano.

NEXT: Ray Benson Started Thinking Big When He First Heard Asleep at the Wheel on the Radio

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