Twenty years ago, Blake Shelton released the hit song, “Austin.” Watch a young Blake (long hair and all) perform his first number one song.
Since Blake Shelton’s debut in 2001, he’s racked up 28 number one songs, 17 of which released consecutively. Additionally, his 11th number one hit, “Doin’ What She Likes” broke the record for most consecutive number-one singles in the Country Airplay chart’s 24-year history. In conclusion, Blake Shelton has found lots of success over the last 20 years in country music.
But it all started back in 2001 with his debut single, “Austin.” The song is about a woman who lives in Austin who leaves her partner. But, after a year, she regrets her decision to leave and decides to call him. When she gets his answering machine, she hears him list all the reasons he can’t answer the phone. at the very end of the answering machine message she hears him say, “…and P.S. if this is Austin, I still love you.”
During the song, Shelton sings, “If you’re calling about the car I sold it. If this is Tuesday night I’m bowling. And if you’ve got something to sell your wasting your time, I’m not buying. If it’s anybody else wait for the tone you know what to do. And P.S. if this is Austin I still love you.”
Now that’s love. Certainly, fans felt the same way because “Austin” soared to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song topped the Country chart for five consecutive weeks. This made “Austin” the most successful country artist debut since Billy Ray Cyrus released “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992.
Blake Shelton Thought ‘Austin’ Was Corny When He First Heard the Song
Shelton wasn’t totally sold on “Austin” when he first heard it. Neither was his producer, Bobby Braddock. Braddock talked about his initial thoughts about the song in his 2015 memoir, A Life on Nashville’s Music Row.
“About a third of the way through the song, I was thinking, ‘This is pretty corny,'” said Braddock. “About two-thirds of the way through. I thought, ‘This is kinda like one of those Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan love stories.’ By the end of the song. I had a lump in my throat. Blake, not the real sensitive guy, found it a little mushy for his taste. But I asked him to listen again, and he warmed up to it a bit.”
Blake Shelton originally wanted the song he co-wrote, “All Over Me,” to be the lead single. And that song was going to be the lead until Braddock returned with undeniable evidence that “Austin” was the winning single. Braddock played the song for a group of female friends and they all cried while listening to it.