Story Behind the Song: Clint Black, ‘Nobody’s Home’
Clint Black began writing his iconic early hit "Nobody's Home" in a semi-conscious state while battling a fever. Later on, he almost lost the song to a publisher who offered him the exact same amount of money for it that he needed in order to keep his car from getting repossessed.
Fortunately for Black -- and of all the fans who love the song -- he ultimately kept it. Read on to learn more about the serendipitous story behind "Nobody's Home," told in the singer's own words.
I had the flu. I had a real high fever -- I was looking at, like, a 103-degree fever, and I was really just sleeping it off. I was sharing a house with a couple of friends at the time, and they were day-jobbers, so I'm there by myself all day, just sleeping and sweating out this fever. I would just get out of bed to get some water or use the bathroom or whatever, and that was about all I could manage. It was really, really bad.
On my way, back and forth to bed, I would stop and write these lines down. When the fever finally broke and I was able to stay out of bed for more than a couple of minutes, I sat down at the desk and looked at what I'd written, and it was really the entire song. So I basically came out of this fever to find this song I had written, over a two-day, three-day period. I don't remember how long after, but I picked up a guitar and started putting music to it, and really, there wasn't anything to change. I had, somehow, in that process, written verses and the chorus, and it was a song.
I knew a publisher from Houston that had had some success in Nashville, and I knew a record promoter from the rock biz. I took the song to the publisher -- somehow I'd just run into him first -- and he wanted to buy the song for $250. Which was the exact amount of money I needed to keep my car from being repossessed. And it was killing me, because I kept feeling like that was a song that could get me into the business, you know?
So I went to the record promoter and said, "Here's my situation, this guy's offering me this, but I've gotta hang onto the song." So the record promoter goes, "Hang on to the song. I'm gonna loan you $250 to keep your car, and don't do anything with this song." So I told the publisher I was passing.
Cut to several months later: I'm in Nashville, and I'm meeting with James Stroud to talk about him producing my album, and playing him some of those demos. When I get to "Nobody's Home," he asks his assistant, "Hey, go get me that tape out of my drawer." And he comes back, and he's got that tape of "Nobody's Home"! It turned out that that publisher had gone ahead and started pitching that song to producers in Nashville, and James had it. We all had a good laugh about that, but obviously, it's one of the four songs that really got me in the door, and got me my record deal.
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