James Otto Remembers His First Time
James Otto has had some major highs the last two years as a singer and songwriter. In 2008, his No. 1 song ‘Just Got Started Lovin’ You,’ was the most played single at country radio and was also Billboard’s No. 1 country song of the year. As co-writer, with Lee Thomas Miller, of Jamey Johnson‘s ‘In Color,’ James won both the 2009 ACM and CMA Awards for Song of the Year.
It took a few years to get there, so where was James when he heard his first single on the radio?
“We were making a tour of Florida,” James tells The Boot. “We were getting exposed to the way radio does business. It was something that was completely new to me. I was driving away from a radio station — I had just done a radio visit, and we were heading to another station. They said, ‘Here’s a young man who was just in our radio station and played a song that we really loved, and we’re going to play it for y’all.’ We rolled down the windows and cranked it up as loud as it would go and celebrated.
“The song was my first single called ‘The Ball.’ That was a long time ago. It was 2002.
“It’s one of those things you work your whole life for. So when you get a chance to hear your song go out over the radio waves, it’s a pretty exhilarating moment. I called all the people that were important to me — my mom and my family. I said, ‘I’m listening to it on the radio, check it out!’ My family eventually heard it on the radio. It wasn’t a really big hit but I always loved the song.”