BILLY CURRINGTON FEATURE -The Associated Press
Persistence pays for musician Billy Currington
By JOHN GEROME, AP Entertainment Writer John Gerome, Ap Entertainment Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Billy Currington isn't crazy, but he is persistent.
Currington, whose No. 1 hit "People are Crazy" delivered him two Country Music Association Awards nominations this week, heard a demo tape of the song by chance, fell in love with it and started bugging a friend at Mercury Nashville about it.
"I called him up and said 'Tell me about this song,'" Currington recalled. "He said 'That song has already been recorded and 10 people are waiting in line who want to record it, so don't even worry about it.'"
But Currington did worry about it. Three or four weeks later, when it came time to go into the studio, he couldn't get the simple tune with the engaging story off his mind and decided to give it one last shot.
"I called him up again and asked for the status, and he let me know that the person who recorded it wasn't going to put it on their album. The publishing company said if I wanted to record it, go ahead."
Currington doesn't know — or isn't telling — who recorded the song first, but he says the list of singers he was told were interested included Alan Jackson, George Strait and Kenny Chesney.
Written by Bobby Braddock and Troy Jones, "People are Crazy" is about a young man who meets an older gentleman at a bar and gleans some wisdom from him about life ("God is great, beer is good and people are crazy").
Time passes, and one day the young guy sees the man's obituary in the newspaper and discovers that he was a millionaire who "left his fortune to some guy he barely knew."
The song draws to a close with Currington singing, "I drop by today just to say thanks and pray, and I left a six pack right there on his grave."
"The title alone was enough for me," says Currington. "But it was also the story itself and how lighthearted it was and how at the end it had a twist that would be hard not to make anybody smile. Who wouldn't want to meet a guy like that one night and end up with his fortune?"
The song could end up Currington's fortune. It's his fourth No. 1 hit and the fastest-rising single of his career.
On Wednesday, Currington was nominated for single of the year and video of the year for "People Are Crazy." The songwriters got a nod for song of the year.
Currington's other big hits include "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right," "Good Directions" and "Don't."
"It's a slow process and it gets better every year," the 35-year-old Rincon, Ga., native says of his growing popularity. "I like it that way because I'm a fan of anything that goes slow. I'm as laid back as anyone you'll ever meet."