After more than half a year at radio, Granger Smith‘s ‘Backroad Song’ finally made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
Smith originally released the song in July 2015 on his independent label Pioneer Music, debuting at No. 58. He then signed with Broken Bow Records imprint Wheelhouse Records in August 2015 and set the radio promotion machine in motion. After 32 weeks on the chart, it reached the top.
Smith told Billboard, “It’s a surreal feeling after working so passionately for so long. It’s something I’ll forever be proud of, as both a writer and a singer. I’ll never forget my first No. 1.”
“Backroad Song” was technically the first single by Wheelhouse Records, making it the first inaugural single from a label to go No. 1 since Maddie & Tae‘s “Girl In A Country Song.” Smith is also the first artist since Michael Ray to get a No. 1 on his first try at the Country Airplay chart.
Few artists who get their start in the Texas Country world successfully make the climb to top the charts. Pat Green was chided by many of the bitter Texas faithful for his attempt with “Wave On Wave” in 2003, which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Jack Ingram hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2005 with “Wherever You Are” — the first No. 1 single for Big Machine Records, which he was a part of at the time.
Smith has long been able to fuse his Texas country roots with his Nashville aspirations, both as a writer and an artist. It’s no surprise that he attracted the attention of Broken Bow Records after nearly a decade of releasing music independently and garnering one of the biggest followings in Texas and beyond — thanks in part to his alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr.
Smith is preparing to release his first record on Wheelhouse Records, Remington, on March 4. And yes, there will be an Earl Dibbles appearance.