Over the last couple of days I’ve tried to articulate feelings to family, friends, and well wishers, and I’ve found it difficult to do. Sunday night was the culmination of a dream, and the result of a single minded pursuit of it. So now as the smoke begins to clear, that is exactly how it feels. Like a dream.
I know there are many who share this dream, so I thought it would be appropriate for me to share some of my story with you. There are a couple of reasons I’d like to do this – one is to thank the people that I didn’t have time to properly thank during my 45 second (NOT enough time!) acceptance speech – the second is to encourage those who are chasing the same dream. It’s a long road, and hopefully reading this will both inspire you to continue to get better at your craft, and fuel the pursuit of your dream.
My dream began to take shape in 2004 when I started writing songs with a great Canadian songwriter, Thomas Wade. Working with Thomas was both inspiring and illuminating, and I discovered very quickly what real songwriting was – and wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t ready.
For those that don’t know my back story yet, I was an adopted kid. It was around this time that I was able to spend the first ‘meaningful’ time with my biological father and the rest of my incredible family. In them, I uncovered the final pieces of who I am, and found the strength to really pursue my dream! Thank you Dad – I miss you everyday.
We began to make trips back and forth to Nashville – hoping to make friends and find our way. We got very lucky very early. Nashville welcomed us with open arms, and the education began. My wife and kids gave up time with me, and did so with love, so that I could pursue my dream…a debt I doubt I can ever adequately repay. Tammy, Braiden, Kylie and Grace Kelly – your belief in me and understanding is more than I have ever deserved – I love you!!
Along the way I met a lot of songwriters and industry folk, both Canadian and otherwise. Few had the impact on me that Larry Wayne Clark and his partner Maggie Ross did. I doubt I would’ve been so lucky if not for your guidance. Thank you Maggie for your wisdom, Larry we all miss you.
After a few years of traveling back and forth to Nashville, building my catalog, and honing my skills, fate stepped in. What may be the most important day in this story was one that shouldn’t have happened at all. I had a writing appointment cancel on me, and found myself with a lost day. I had met a writer the day before named Michael Pyle. We had a great day writing, and hit it off. He suggested rather than wasting a day I come out to Muscle Shoals and write with him and a friend. This lead to co-writes with Mike and Walt Aldridge and a creative partnership better than any I could have ever dreamed of. Thank you both for all you have done!!
From that point on I felt confident we had something!! On Ramp records agreed and took a chance – thank you Louis, Randy, Scotty and Bob. Without a good team none of this is possible.
To that point, Jeff and Dayna, and the whole crew at Willing Entertainment – thanks for believing even when I didn’t!
I also need to thank the man who directed all of my music videos to this point – Troy Niemans – you’re a great dude, and I appreciate your vision. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into your visual representations of my songs.
To all of the fairs and festivals that booked a Bobby Wills show this year, thank you! We had a blast playing for your communities, and visiting places we’d never dreamed of visiting. Nick Meinema at The Agency Group – thank you for believing in what we do.
Special thanks to Dean Brody for taking us on your tour this year!! We learned what putting on a show is about watching you, and you put us in front of audiences that we never would have had the opportunity to play for! To Dean, the band, and the whole crew, thank you for taking a chance on us!
Finally, thank you to the fans of country music in Canada. Thank you for embracing our brand of country music, and making us feel so welcome in your communities when we’ve visited you over the past year. You guys mean the world to me!
Thank you – Canadian Country Radio, CMT, and the Canadian Country Music Association. Thanks to the Bloughs, Nadons, Waurynchuks, Burants, the whole crazy family tree, The LOADIES, The HOG REPORT, the writers, and the musicians – your support and encouragement have truly been remarkable.
The “overnight success” was over a decade in the making, and Sunday night marked the beginning of a new chapter for us. I am very excited to be bringing new music to you very soon!!
Whatever dream you’re dreaming, I encourage you to dream it big. Surround yourself with good and talented people, and work hard because Somebody Will.
Bobby (…a dreamer.)