On This Day: Billy Currington Makes Opry Debut in 2003

by Katie Maloney

Eighteen years ago, country music star Billy Currington took the stage for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry.

Just days before he performed at the Opry in 2003, Billy Currington released his debut single, “Walk a Little Straighter,” to country radio. Four days later, Billy performed the song in front of audiences and countless country music legends at the Grand Ole Opry. His emotion-filled performance landed “Walk a Little Straighter” a top ten spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song peaked in the number eight spot.

Billy Currington wrote “Walk A Little Straighter” with songwriters Carson Chamberlain and Casey Beathard. The song tells the story of a young boy and how his father’s alcoholism is affecting his life. During the song, Billy sings, “Walk a little straighter, daddy. You’re swaying side to side. Your footsteps make me dizzy and no matter how I try. I keep tripping and stumbling. If you’d look down here you’d see. Walk a little straighter, daddy. You’re leading me.”

Billy Currington’s “Walk A Little Straighter”

How Did Billy Currington Get His Start?

Just like so many other country music greats, Billy Currington got his start by singing in church. During an interview in 2013, Billy talked about joining a band at the church he was attending.

“I met this preacher when I was 17. I heard about this church and just went there. They had a rocking little band,” said Billy.

The preacher invited him to sing the next week and Billy and the entire congregation were impressed. In fact, a few of them were so impressed that they invited Billy to sing for their band. Because he was underage, they had to sneak him into clubs to perform.

“It just started happening so fast,” said Billy. “The next thing you know I’m playing in a band and the preacher is taking me to Nashville.”

After visiting Nashville was his band and the preacher, Billy knew the city was where he wanted to be. So, when he was 18, he moved to the city of county music to pursue a career. During the day, he poured concrete and worked as a personal trainer at a gym, and at night, he played music at bars. He quickly started writing songs and singing on demos.

“I was meeting all these songwriters. That led me into singing everybody’s songs,” said Billy. “I was doing 10 demos a day. Before you know it, I started getting deal offers from record labels.”

Now, with six studio albums, 18 singles and 11 number one hit songs, Billy said that he was grateful for his success.

“It’s like you work so many years to get it and you finally got it,” said Billy. “I feel so blessed.”