Austin

Album: Blake Shelton (2001)
Charted: 18

Songfacts®:

  • This romantic country ballad was a milestone release for Blake Shelton. Not only was it his debut single, but it was also his first #1 hit on the Country chart and first entry on the Hot 100 (#18). In the song, the heartbroken narrator doesn't want to believe his relationship is over, even though his girlfriend has changed her number and moved to Austin, Texas. He leaves an outgoing message on his answering machine in case she ever calls: "If this is Austin, I still love you."
  • The album was produced by country veteran Bobby Braddock, who wrote his fair share of hit breakup tunes ("He Stopped Loving Her Today," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"). He wasn't immediately sold on "Austin," though, which was written by David Kent and Kirsti Manna. And neither was Blake. "About a third of the way through the song, I was thinking, 'This is pretty corny,'" Braddock recalled in his 2015 memoir, A Life on Nashville's Music Row. "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."
  • This was originally titled "If This Is Austin," but Braddock thought "Austin" sounded more like a hit title.
  • Blake wanted "All Over Me," a song he co-wrote, to be the lead single and it was slated to be until Braddock returned with undeniable evidence that "Austin" was the winner. He had played the song for a handful of female friends, who all cried upon hearing it.
  • This was originally pitched to Clay Walker, who turned it down.
  • This topped the Country chart for five consecutive weeks, making it the most successful country artist debut since Billy Ray Cyrus did the same with "Achy Breaky Heart" in 1992.

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