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Paul Overstreet: The Songwriter Sings His Success Story

Posted in MusicWorld on April 20, 2005 by

For Paul Overstreet, heading to the beach not only feeds his soul, it sometimes feeds his family. The well-respected singer/songwriter recently returned to the top of the country charts with "Some Beach," which was in residence for four weeks. The success of the song was sweetened for both Overstreet and the artist who recorded it, Blake Shelton, through their mutual admiration society. Blake has repeatedly credited Overstreet as one of his main influences growing up, citing Overstreet's Heroes as the album that virtually changed his life and piqued his interest in becoming an artist. Overstreet is flattered that 15 years later, he is having an effect on the younger generation of artists coming through Music City.

"You never know what motivates people out there," admits Paul, "and if something I did back then got him excited about music, then man, that's cool! I couldn't be more thrilled to be working now with him and his producer, Bobby Braddock."

Overstreet has a second cut on Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, and is excited to be at top of the charts againa. He and his co-writer, Rory Lee Feek, came upon the idea for "Some Beach" when they heard that Kenny Chesney was recording an island-themed album and hoped to land a song on the collection (Chesney had already scored with Overstreet's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"). Instead, "Some Beach" found "the right home" with Shelton, and sparked something in Overstreet creatively that he hadn't tapped into before.

"I've been going to the Caymans a lot," he explains. "I really relax down there and love to scuba dive. And I've written so many island type songs now, that I'm going to do an island-themed album soon."

Paul also has material ready for a traditional country record, much like those he recorded in the early 1990s, and songs for a wacky, funny album as well. The second one might surprise people who don't know Paul well and think he is a serious, pious artist without a sense of humor. "Perception is a lot of what goes on in our business, and the perception of me from my records is that I was real stoic and not too jovial — but I've always been into pranks and jokes."

At the island-themed "Some Beach" bash, the five-time BMI Country Songwriter of the Year also received a Million-Air certificate for "Deeper Than the Holler," recorded by Randy Travis, and a 4 Million-Air honor for "When You Say Nothing At All," a career song for both Keith Whitley and Alison Krauss. The feats are particularly gratifying for a songwriter who is 20 years into his career and can still see his songs holding up and receiving recognition. "I love those certificates, because that lets you know that your song is still out there working, and that radio's playing it, even though it's been awhile."