Last week, country singer-songwriter Ray Fulcher joined The Marty Smith Podcast and talked about Eric Church’s overwhelming influence on his music career. It’s not an overstatement in the least to say that Church is responsible for Fulcher getting into the industry. So when The Chief himself featured on a song co-written by Fulcher, it was like a dream come true for Fulcher.
Back when Ray Fulcher was still in college at the University of Georgia, he attended an Eric Church concert in Athens. He left the show that night feeling inspired and knowing that’s what he wanted to do with his life. Not long after, he started playing guitar and writing songs, which would take him to Nashville.
Fulcher eventually linked up with country star Luke Combs before his debut album came out. The pair started writing songs together in the mid-2010s. At first, country music radio wouldn’t play Luke Combs’ music, but that all changed a few years later in 2017. Three out of their four co-written songs on Combs’ debut album This One’s for You would reach No. 1 on the country charts. Their No. 1 songs included “When It Rains It Pours,” “Hurricane,” “One Number Away,” and “I Got Away with You.” This One’s for You would also climb to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and stay there for 50 weeks.
The album put Combs on the map as he took the country music industry by storm. Plus, Fulcher gained credibility as a songwriter, earning a publishing deal along the way. The success of This One’s for You was a springboard for both of the musicians’ careers, and it opened up doors they never could’ve imagined. For example, when Combs was working on his second album, he was able to call on some huge names to feature on the new record. In fact, “Does To Me” would feature none other than Eric Church himself.
Ray Fulcher Opens Up About Eric Church On ‘The Marty Smith Podcast’
In 2016, before Luke Combs’ debut album released, the pair co-wrote the track “Does to Me.” The song didn’t make his first album the following year, but it made his second album. When writing the song, the pair even said to each other, “You know who would sound awesome on this? Eric Church.” However, it was a pipe dream at the time. Combs was more than a year away from becoming one of country music’s biggest stars.
As Luke Combs hit it big in 2017, it afforded him new opportunities. In fact, he got to actually meet Church at one of his shows in Louisville. The two country stars hung out and talked music, and Combs played “Does To Me” for The Chief. A month later, Church agreed to sing on the track for his new album. Combs knew how much it would mean to Fulcher since Church made a huge impact on both their careers. Luke called Ray to share the amazing news, but Fulcher amusingly thought his friend was messing with him.
“He called me and goes, ‘Are you sittin’ down?'” Ray Fulcher said on The Marty Smith Podcast. “I go, ‘Yea.’ He goes, ‘You remember that ‘Does To Me’ song that we always said Eric would sound good on?’ I said, ‘Yea.’ He goes,’Well Eric’s gonna sing on it.’ I go, ‘Dude, now you can mess with me about a lot of stuff now. But don’t be lyin’ to me about this. I know you’re bull crapping me, tell me what you’re really calling me about.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, no, I’m serious.’ I. go, ‘Man, are you serious?!’ He goes, ‘Yea, I’m serious!'”
“And then I’m screamin’ and runnin’ around the house,” Fulcher continued. “Then I get silent because I’m so overwhelmed, I’m tearing up and all this. So that happens and it’s just so overwhelming.”
Ray Fulcher talks about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their entire conversation below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.