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Born in Atlanta, Texas on January 27, 1968, Tracy Lawrence had been an ironworker and phone salesmen before he made the decision to try and start a music career. Lawrence was basically born with a passion for music, and wrote his first song at only four years old.
By the time he was 16, Lawrence was playing in his first band, but it would be years later before he finally left home to go to Nashville in pursuit of a career in country music. Over the course of time, Lawrence worked his way up the ladder, participating in talent shows in order to make a living.
Eventually, Lawrence’s hard work paid off when he started working with music publisher Wanda Collier, and released his debut album Sticks and Stones in 1991. After all those years, Sticks and Stones was the break that Lawrence needed, and it ended up peaking at the tenth spot on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.
In total, Lawrence has released nine studio albums and has countless number one singles to his name. He remains active in the industry, and continues to perform shows around the country. His voice is one of a kind, and there truly is no one else out there in country music that sounds like him.
Lawrence and his voice have had a great influence on the industry, inspiring many of today’s popular country stars. Artists such as Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan often pay tribute to Lawrence at their concerts, playing some of his many hit songs.
In celebration of Lawrence’s 48th birthday, we’ve gathered together some of his most popular singles, and our personal favorites.
Lawrence wasn’t the only artist to release “Paint Me A Birmingham” as a single in 2003. In fact, both him and fellow country singer Ken Mellons recorded a version of the song, and released them within weeks of one another.
It turns out that Lawrence’s version of the song was more successful, peaking a the fourth spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and breaking into the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the song, the narrator comes across a man on the beach painting ocean scenes. The narrator asks the man if he can paint him “a Birmingham,” to portray the place he thought he was going to live with his now ex-lover.
The song is definitely one of Lawrence’s more emotional hits, which is perhaps what makes it one of his best as well.
One of Lawrence’s earlier singles, “Texas Tornado” was released in 1995 off of his album I See It Now. The song was released as the third single off of the album, and eventually became Lawrence’s sixth number one hit.
“Texas Tornado” debuted at the 64th position on the charts and later made the climb to claim the top spot. In addition to being a hit in the U.S., the song also peaked at the number one spot on the Canada Country Tracks chart.
In the song, the narrator describes a lover of his as a “Texas tornado,” with lyrics such as “I’m like a tumbleweed in a Wild West Texas wind/You’re blowin’ me away again.”
During the music video for the song, Lawrence plays the part of a lovestruck Texas farmhand who falls for his employer. The video was featured in a sequence along with some of Lawrence’s other music videos, showing him “time traveling” between each song.
Even early in his career, Lawrence already knew how to make a hit, which he proves in “Texas Tornado.”
Written by country music songwriter and record producer Bobby Braddock, “Time Marches On” was the second single from Lawrence’s 1996 album of the same name. It was his fifteenth single to make its way onto the charts, and his longest-running number one, holding the top spot for a total of three weeks.
“Time Marches On” was also recognized with award nominations, first in 1996, when it was nominated for Single of the Year at the CMA Awards. The following year, the song was nominated for Song of the Year at both the CMA and ACM Awards.
The song’s lyrics tell the story of a married couple who watch time pass by as their two children grow into teenagers and then adults. As the couple notes, the only thing that ever stays the same in life is the fact that “everything changes.”
By the end of the song the children themselves are dealing with the issues associated with old age, while the mother has gone senile and the father has passed away. Although the lyrics alone make it seem like “Time Marches On” is a sad song, it actually has an upbeat tempo and feeling.
It seems the reason behind the success of “Time Marches On” is that it honestly approaches the topic of time and old age. Combined with Lawrence’s perfect delivery, it’s really no wonder that “Time Marches On” is one of Lawrence’s greatest songs.
From the beginning of his career, Lawrence laid the framework to not only change his life, but country music itself. With his unique voice and unquestionable talent, he has taken the country community by storm with his many hit songs.
Many of today’s country artists have drawn inspiration from Lawrence, and we can’t blame them, because the work he’s accomplished in his 25 years as a performer is nothing short of inspiring.
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