John Michael Montgomery
"I never have and never will cut songs I don't believe in. I know I can always sing those songs - whether I do it for 20,000 or my family. Those songs can't be taken away from me, so I try to choose songs that will last." Said just like a true artist and it's just what we'd expect from a long-time member of the Wrangler family like John Michael Montgomery.
John Michael Montgomery has certainly earned his reputation as the honky tonk hit maker.
With a musical career that spans nine studio albums and three greatest hits packages, John Michael’s contribution to the country music format includes hits such as “I Swear,” “Be My Baby Tonight,” “I Can Love You Like That,” “Sold (the Grundy County Auction Incident)” and “Life’s A Dance,” among many others. He’s earned 15 number one singles, sold over 16 million albums, enjoyed cross-over success in the pop and R&B market, and received numerous industry and fan-voted awards, including CMA Awards, ACM Awards and American Music Awards.
John was born in Danville, Kentucky to parents who imparted a lifelong love of music. The family band played on weekends where John and his brother Eddie (of Montgomery Gentry) soaked up everything they could. John performed for awhile in a band called Early Tymz with Eddie and their friend Troy Gentry. Nashville talent scouts began hearing about and then seeing John Michael perform and by the early '90s he had a record deal. After a string of hits, he received the CMA Horizon award and was named the ACM's Top New Vocalist, setting off a long series of awards that included the CMA's Single and Song of the Year, Billboard's Top Country Artist, and a Grammy nomination. Heavy touring meant he kept the close touch with fans he had begun in the clubs back home. "You get to know your fans and what they like more and more through the years," he says, "and you kind of gravitate towards one another."
John also keeps the connection to his fans by bringing life to songs that stir emotions. In his new album, “Time Flies”, every song reminds him of an era in his life. From power ballads like “Forever” and “If You Ever Went Away” and humorous songs like “With My Shirt on” and “Mad Cowboy Disease”, he strengthens his position as one of the most versatile and compelling vocalists on the country scene.
The emotional centerpiece for John Michael's new album "Time Flies" is "All In A Day," the song that contains the lyric that gave the album its name. "That song talks about how time flies," he says, "and I got to thinking that it seems like yesterday that 'Life's A Dance' was out and people were asking me, 'Where would you like to be in 10 or 15 years?' 'Still here!' was my answer and, thankfully, I am still here. Longevity was more important to me than anything else, and to still be able to do something I love so much is wonderful. Still, it's gone by so quickly that I thought, 'I'm going to build an album around that.' That's where the shape of this album comes from."
Asked what he thinks gave him the edge in a career that calls millions but gives stardom to just a few, he pauses, then thinks back to the legacy of his parents. "I reckon it was good genes and good blood," he says with a smile. Few who know the depth and breadth of his own growing legacy would disagree.