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Album: NeonReleased: 2011Charted:
This honky-tonk ode to good times and music in bars is the title track from Chris Young's third album. It was released as the third single from the set on March 26, 2012.
Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Trevor Rosen wrote the song. "Josh, Shane and I were writing in my living room one day," Rosen recalled to Taste of Country
of the day they penned the tune. "Shane was going through some titles and song ideas he had, like he often does when we get ready to write. We paused when he said 'Neon' and we talked about what that title might be about for a couple minutes. Then he kept going with some more titles. At one point, Josh and I said, 'You know … there's something to that 'Neon' idea,' and we started singing all these different rhymes for the word 'neon,' which ended up being the main structure of the chorus."
The song's narrator sings of playing some Johnny Lee on a jukebox. Texan born Johnny Lee is a Country singer who is best known for his hit "Lookin' For Love
," which reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1980. Rosen told Taste of Country: "I don't remember who came up with it, but when we got the rhyme 'with a little Johnny Lee on,' we knew we were all in and off to the races."
The lyrics mention just about every color under the rainbow - plus neon. Rosen recalled to Taste of Country: "I remember starting to chunk on the verse melody, and the line, 'The sky in Cheyenne, Wyoming is just about as blue as it gets,' kind of fell right out. We immediately jumped on board and started painting scenes about other colors, too."
When the songwriting trio had completed the song, they immediately thought of sending it to George Strait. However, Osborne's publishing company pitched it to Chris Young instead, who put it on hold after hearing the demo. "Chris did such an amazing job on the song," said Rosen to Taste of Country. "We look back now and are so thankful he got to hear it before George or anybody else, because we can't imagine the song being in better hands! It's funny how one little word idea that Shane casually jotted down on his phone could lead to what it has."
The song's music video was directed by Ryan Hamblin and filmed at Melrose Billiards in Nashville.