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Matt's Songwriter Spotlight - Marcus Hummon

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In the early 1990s a young songwriter came to the attention of song finders (A&R executives) at Nashville record labels. That writer was Marcus Hummon. One of his first cuts, "Only Love," by Wynonna Judd, was also his first No. 1 hit. Other cuts soon followed, including the Top 40 hit "Every Little Word" by Hal Ketchum from his CD of the same name and one of the greatest baseball songs ever written, Alabama's Top 10 hit "The Cheap Seats." Soon after that Doug Stone recorded "Honky Tonk Mona Lisa," a song that brought Marcus to the attention of Columbia Records. They soon signed him and in early 1996 he released his debut album All In Good Time.

While the album failed to generate a hit for Marcus (his only charted hit was "God's Country, USA"), it did serve as a well-made demo album as no less than 3 other songs ("Honky Tonk Mona Lisa" was on the record too) have been recorded since 1996. The first one recorded was "The Next Step" from (now hit songwriter) Jim Collins. It failed to make much of an impact but the next song recorded from the album did. Tim McGraw cut "One Of These Days," an introspective ballad about finding inner peace, and turned it into a multi-week, award nominated, No. 1 smash hit. In 1998, Asylum Records newcomer Melodie Crittenden had her only hit (Top 40) with "God Bless The Broken Road" (which was also recorded by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band previously). Sons Of The Desert went on to record the song (but didn't release it) It took nearly 8 years before Rascal Flatts made the song (as "Bless The Broken Road") a multi-format smash hit. It earned Marcus and his co writers (one of whom is the Dirt Band's Jeff Hanna) a 2005 Grammy for Best Country Song. Crittenden has since, re-recorded and released the song with her new Christian/pop band Selah.

During the years between that album and now Marcus has written many songs and hits for other artists. Notable songs are "Cowboy Take Me Away" and "Ready To Run," written with the Dixie Chicks, "Born To Fly," No Place That Far" and "Rockin' Horse" written with Sara Evans, "Love Is The Right Place" written with Bryan White. "A Girl In Love" written with Robin English, "Big Tops" written with Steve Wariner and cuts by artists like John Berry, Suzy Bogguss, Julie Roberts, Patty Loveless, Emerson Drive, Rascal Flatts, Andrea Zonn, Tanya Tucker, SHeDAISY, Chely Wright, Kathy Mattea and the Kinleys to name just a few of the many artists.

Not content to be solely a songwriter, Marcus Hummon has recorded and released 3 solo albums on his own Velvet Armadillo Records label and one duets album, as the Raphaels, with the late Stuart Adamson (the front man of the pop/rock band "Big Country"). Also during this time, Marcus has written many plays which he's also created 'Cast Albums' for. In addition to the music, Marcus is also a published poet and a painter.

While many of Marcus' songs continue to get recorded and released, he's never been as prolific as songwriters like Jeffrey Steele or John Rich have recently have been. Still, with his catalog of songs like "Bless The Broken Road," I have no doubts that 20 years down the road his songs will still be played on country radio, something that can't be said with many of the modern country hits.

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