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Phil Vassar Remembers His First Time

Fred Hayes, WireImage

Phil Vassar has had a prolific career in country music, both as a songwriter and artist. Phil’s songs have been recorded by some of Nashville’s biggest stars (Tim McGraw, ‘My Next 30 Years’; Collin Raye, ‘Little Red Rodeo’; Jo Dee Messina, ‘Bye Bye; Diamond Rio, ‘I’m Already Gone’; and Alan Jackson, ‘Right on the Money,’ just to name a few). Phil has also had his share of country hits as an artist including ‘Carlene,’ ‘Just Another Day in Paradise (which became his first No. 1 hit as a singer), and ‘Love Is a Beautiful Thing.’

Phil spoke to The Boot from his home in Nashville to chat about where he was when he heard his first song on the radio — both as a songwriter and an artist.

“I was in Nashville on my way to the studio to do a demo session for a song,” explains Phil of hearing the first song he penned for another artist on the airwaves. “I was going down the street, and I heard this song come on the radio and I went, ‘Wait a minute! I know this! Oh, it’s my song!’ It’s was a group called Blackhawk, and they cut one of my songs, ‘Postmarked Birmingham.’ It was cool. I stopped the car and relished in the moment. It was very surreal.”

“The first time I ever heard myself on the radio as an artist, I was doing a show in my hometown in Lynchburg [Va.], and it was a morning radio visit. It was still dark — probably 5:30 in the morning — and the radio alarm came on, and it was my song. So I thought I was dreaming. That was weird, but that was the first time I ever heard myself. The song was ‘Carlene.’ I woke up and just sat on the side of the bed going, ‘This is bizarre isn’t it?’ You never know how to prepare yourself for something like that until it actually happens. It was exciting! I smiled all day, and you smile even more as they go up the charts. [laughs]“

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