Hardcore country traditionalist, Daryle Singletary, has built a career based on musical integrity.
“When I moved to Nashville in 1990, I left Georgia telling my Daddy, ‘I want to make my living in country music,’” Daryle recalls. “I didn’t tell him I wanted to be played on the radio every day or be on the video channel every day. I said, ‘I want to make a living playing for the people who enjoy my kind of music.’ Fortunately and thankfully, I have been able to do that since 1995.
“We’ve been very fortunate to stay on the road, year in, year out. I continue to work and continue to build a fan base. There are still people out there who want to hear traditional country music. I’ve been fortunate to be able to always keep it real and not have to compromise. I can’t ask for nothin’ better, I don’t guess.”
Daryle Singletary earned his notoriety for country authenticity with such unforgettable hits as “I Let Her Lie,” “Too Much Fun,” “Amen Kind of Love” and “The Note.” His new album Rockin’ In The Country further polishes his reputation for finding brilliantly written country songs and singing them to perfection. “Love You With The Lights On,” the collection’s first single, is as romantic a love ballad as he has ever sung. “That’s Why God Made Me” is a classic country story song. The unusual lyric of “Going Through Hell” makes it an album standout.
On past albums, some of the greatest talents in his industry have lined up to sing with Daryle, including George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, John Anderson and Rhonda Vincent. Rhonda returns to sing harmonies on Rockin’ In The Country, alongside her award-winning brother Darrin Vincent of the bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent. On the album’s title tune, Grand Ole Opry superstar Charlie Daniels is Daryle’s celebrity collaborator.
Although Daryle recorded “How Can I Believe in You” for the album several years ago, the recent death of its writer and originator, Vern Gosdin, makes it an especially poignant inclusion. In addition to the single, Daryle’s revival of “Take Me Home Country Roads” and the cute novelty “They Know How to Grow ‘Em,” are also newly recorded.
“We originally wrapped this record up in 2004,” Daryle explains. “And I think Koch Records closed in ’05. Now they have a new, comeback country label with E1 Music. We went to them and asked if we could re-do some of it and record some new things, and they agreed. It’s been an awesome thing. I thought these songs were going to be lost forever, and they’re some of the strongest I’ve ever recorded.
“I remember I was writing with Billy Lawson one day, and nothing was happening. We went to lunch, and I said, ‘Let’s go back and just listen to some of the oldest things you have.’ So he started playing me songs. He played me, ‘Real Estate Hands.’ He played me, ‘She Sure Looks Good in Black,’ and he played me, ‘If I Ever Get Her Back.’ He played me some great, wonderful, country songs.”
Those three are among the finest moments on Rockin’ In The Country. They also rank as three of the finest vocal performances of Daryle Singletary’s career.
Rounding out the collection are two lovely romantic tunes, “Background Noise” and “She’s a Woman,” the latter of which Daryle and Billy Lawson co-wrote. Both boast outstanding productions by Greg Cole and Chuck Rhodes.
The producers have grown up alongside the singer. They know his musical taste, his personality and his character.
Daryle is from rural Georgia. His father is a postal worker and his mother is a hair dresser. They sang gospel music on weekends. By the time he reached his teens, Daryle was a rabid country music fan, enthralled by the sounds of Keith Whitley, George Strait and one of his all-time favorites, Randy Travis.
He moved to Nashville in the fall of 1990 and made the rounds of Music City’s nightclub talent contests, picking up $100 here and there. Producers Greg and Chuck began playing in his band at a club called The Broken Spoke. Daryle recorded a pair of singles for the independent label Evergreen Records in 1992, but neither was a success. In the meantime, he was badgering his idol with letters. After members of the Randy Travis band heard Daryle at The Broken Spoke, they urged the star to listen, too.
With Randy as his co-producer, Daryle Singletary issued his debut album on Giant Records in 1995. It included the career-launching singles “I’m Living Up to Her Low Expectations,” “I Let Her Lie,” “Too Much Fun” and “Workin’ It Out.” Traditional honky-tonk fans shouted “Hallelujah!” in response. Daryle’s second album, issued in late 1996, featured “Amen Kind of Love,” “The Used to Be’s” and “Even the Wind.” His third, which appeared in 1998, included “The Note,” “That’s Where You’re Wrong” and “My Baby’s Lovin.’”
Daryle Singletary began his first relationship with Koch Records with the 2000 CD Now and Again. This was also where Greg Cole made his debut as Daryle’s record producer. Daryle and Greg, now joined by Chuck Rhodes, followed that album with the statement-of purpose collection That’s Why I Sing This Way in 2002. That album featured stellar collaborations with Paycheck, Jones, Yoakam and Haggard. The original version of Rockin’ In The Country was to have followed, but the company got out of the country music business in 2005.
The singer moved to Shanachie Records for his 2007 CD Straight From the Heart. In addition to having guest appearances by Skaggs, Anderson and Vincent, the album featured Daryle’s versions of such country classics as “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Some Broken Hearts Never Mend,” “Lovin’ on Back Streets” and “Fifteen Years Ago.”
Now, at last, comes the long-delayed release of Rockin’ In The Country on the new E1 Music imprint. This is Daryle Singletary’s stone-country masterwork. Ever since he performed its selections on a national radio program five years ago, fans have been requesting such songs as “She Sure Looks Good in Black” and “Real Estate Sale” at his concerts.
The voice you hear saying, “Y’all come back now,” at the finale of “They Know How to Grow ‘Em,” belongs to Daryle’s Georgia-born wife, Holly. They married in 2003 and moved back to their home state in 2008.
“It was definitely a tough decision to make,” Daryle says. “I’d been in Nashville for so long, and all my friends are there. I still miss Nashville, so we try to come and visit once a month. I always said I’d never move back home. But my priorities have changed considerably since I was a kid who moved to Nashville. My wife and I want to start a family, and what better place to raise kids than around their grandparents? That’s what kind of made up our minds.”
The Singletarys raise horses and crops on their small farm. Holly works as a nurse. Daryle says, “Without my wife Holly, I don’t know where I would be at this point in my life”. When he’s not on the road singing, Daryle Singletary is an avid hunter, competitive roper and outdoorsman.
“I am also, still, a huge country-music fan,” he adds. “I have such a passion for it. I still go to see Merle Haggard and George Jones concerts. I still get chill bumps hearing Randy Travis sing.
“The cool thing about working with Greg and Chuck in the studio is that they kind of grew up with me and my career. They know me as an artist. They know me as a person.
“I know who I am. I know what I like. When I hear the song that I’m supposed to record, I know it. There are still great country songs out there. You just have to ask for them and say, ‘Look, when I say country, I mean country.”
“And lucky for me, there are fans who still appreciate that. My fan base is not teeny boppers, which doesn’t bother me a bit. They’re people who like it real, and that’s what I give them.
“Like I say, I’ve been very fortunate. I just wanted to make a living doing something I love to do. I’m by no means a millionaire, but I make a living singing what I love, honest country music.”
Daryle Singletary is available for corporate events, private shows, fundraisers, and more.