Upstate New York Native Strikes Songwriting Gold with Luke Combs
Luke Combs' Meteoric Rise
Luke Combs is one of the most successful country artists of the last decade and the guy just oozes talent - he's a giant in the industry whose meteoric rise over the last 7 years is nearly unrivaled.
Since 2016, Combs has released four studio albums, four extended plays, and over eighteen singles. Of them, sixteen have gone to number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
His songs are relatable and catchy, and he's the kind of live performer you save your money to see, paying nearly any amount. He's that good, but he can't do it alone.
"Where the Wild Things Are"
Luke Combs’ latest single is called “Where The Wild Things Are” and we've been playing it here at GNA for months. Aside from being an absolute smash, the song has a bit of backstory.
For starters, according to country music insiders, the song floated around Nashville's inner circle for a few years and was almost recorded by the great Eric Church, but he eventually turned it down.
The other sidebar about "Where the Wild Things Are", was that it was co-written by Dave Turnbull, and a Nashville songwriter named Randy Schlappi, known professionally as Randy Montana.
Albany-Native is a Country Hitmaking Machine
Randy Montana, born in Albany in 1985 is the son of singer-songwriter Billy Montana, a country singer in his own right who has written many top hits for artists Garth Brooks, Jo Dee Messina, and Sara Evans.
When Randy was a teenager, he left Albany for Nashville to pursue a music career in the industry his father introduced him to when he was a little boy. In 2010, he was signed to Mercury Records and had a couple of mid-level hits before concentrating mostly on writing.
He wrote some songs for Montgomery Gentry and Justin Moore, but his life took on a whole new path when he met Luke Combs in 2016.
Montana to Combs for the Win
"I met Luke right when he moved to town. He was a little familiar with me because I had recently put out an EP," Montana told Songwriteruniverse.com.
Montana explains that over time their relationship blossomed, and then one day Combs tells him, “I got two titles that I want to write—one is called “Hell or High Water” and one is called “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
He told Songwriteruniverse.com that they wrote “Hell or High Water” first, explaining that It was a "deeper song, more artistic." Then we said, “Well alright, let’s write the beer song now."
The rest, as they say, is history. But this is history in the making because following the success of "Beer", the two linked up to write "Better Together," which became Combs' tenth straight #1 hit on country radio and was one of the biggest songs of 2021.
But Combs isn't the only country star Montana has teamed up with.
With a couple of #1 songwriting credits to his name, he had the chance to co-write “I Hope You’re Happy Now” for Carly Pearce and Lee Brice followed by Parker McCollum's "Pretty Heart."
What makes a song a hit?
Is it the catchy hook, instant familiarity, relatable lyrics, or is something completely different?
I'm not sure anyone has the answer to that, but one thing is for certain, a great song is like a drug. It does something to our pleasure sensors that we can't quite explain, or deny.
Randy Montana is on the kind of songwriting hot streak that can last a long time, and it's pretty wild to think that not too long time ago, that streak started right here in the Capital Region.
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