HomeEntertainmentMusicTracy Lawrence’s ‘Paint Me A Birmingham’: Story Behind the Classic Country Tune

Tracy Lawrence’s ‘Paint Me A Birmingham’: Story Behind the Classic Country Tune

by Jennifer Shea
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Country singer Tracy Lawrence made “Paint Me A Birmingham” famous. His take on the song hit No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 2004. But there’s an interesting story behind this classic country tune.

Real Painter Behind ‘Paint Me a Birmingham’

The song was written by Buck Moore and Gary Duffy. It tells the tale of a lovelorn narrator who comes across an artist on a beach, and asks the artist to paint the plans he’d made with his lost sweetheart.

According to Country Daily, Duffy later revealed that the song is based on events from his life. When he was a teenager, a close friend from his youth died in a car accident. He went for a stroll on a nearby beach to think about things. While there, he stumbled across an artist painting lake scenes.

Duffy had a picture of himself with the friend who had died. So he took it out of his wallet and asked the artist to paint him with her. In the picture, the two friends were seated on the porch of Duffy’s old Birmingham-style family home. His family had always joked that the two of them would get married someday.

Lawrence’s Take on the Song Won Out

Two artists each released their own versions of the song within the same week. Besides Lawrence, Ken Mellons also recorded his take on the song. It made it to No. 54 on the charts, according to Wide Open Country.

Over the years, Lawrence has reached the Top 5 on Billboard’s country music charts 20 times with 20 hit singles. Those include “Paint Me a Birmingham,” “Texas Tornado” and “As Any Fool Can See.”

He won Billboard’s Top New Male Vocalist award in 1992 and the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Artist and Top New Male Vocalist awards in 1993.

Watch Lawrence perform “Paint Me a Birmingham” here: