Shane McAnally is honored for his songwriting and reflects on his life and career during this 2016 interview and performance, held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the songwriter-focused Poets and Prophets series.
The program opens with McAnally performing the Miranda Lambert hit "Mama's Broken Heart," which, he explains, was inspired by his own mother. He reminisces about growing up with a love for music—especially Barbara Mandrell's—in Mineral Wells, Texas, and his early musical steps, including appearing on the syndicated TV show "Star Search" at age sixteen (a memory that’s bolstered with a video clip).
McAnally shares career successes and setbacks, from securing a publishing deal six months after moving to Nashville to how his debut album, released in the late 1990s, "landed with a thud." The latter experience inspired a moved to Los Angeles to continue his career, but in 2009, McAnally was lured back to Nashville for a writing session with Erin Enderlin, with whom he co-wrote "Last Call." The song was recorded by McAnally’s “favorite country voice,” Lee Ann Womack, and that turning point made McAnally decide to stay in Nashville.
Around performances of some of his hits, McAnally offers personal back stories and details. He plays his first #1, "Somewhere with You," recorded by Kenny Chesney; the Kacey Musgraves cut "Follow Your Arrow," which McAnally says shocked him by winning CMA Song of the Year. Musgraves joins co-writer Josh Osborne to perform "Merry Go 'Round."
McAnally also addresses his work with Sam Hunt, whom he considers a "storyteller" in the same vein as Musgraves, and reveals his favorite song—a cut that was inspired by his husband.
The program ends with McAnally and Osborne performing Chesney hit "American Kids," and "Fuzzy."
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