Hear how an encounter with a woman on a recent flight helped Mo Pitney lead to a standing ovation during his Opry debut.
During a recent flight, country newcomer Mo Pitney found himself sitting next to an attractive woman and decided to strike up a conversation with her. He had no idea that the conversation would later influence one of the most important decisions he’s made in his career so far.
“I asked her what she was doing and if she was leaving home or headed home and what she did for a living,” Pitney said during an interview with WYRK, “and then I asked her what kind of music she listened to, and she said, ‘Anything but country.’ Strike one for me.”
Pitney revealed that he was a country singer and convinced her to listen to one song to see if he could change her opinion on country music.
“I picked [“Clean Up on Aisle Five,”] the country-est song on the record, and I guess I tried to freak her out,” he said. “I played it for her, and she took one headphone off, and she says, ‘I’m warning you, if I don’t like this, I’m probably going to shut it off,’ and I was like, ‘Alright, you’re the kind of audience I like to play for. I like to have a little bit of challenge!’”
To Pitney’s surprise, the woman listened to the entire song, then responded in a way he wasn’t expecting. The woman told him, “I don’t know what kind of country music that is, but I love it, and you made me believe every word and feel something.” She then listened to the rest of his album for the remainder of the flight and left the plane as a “country music convert”.
Pitney didn’t forget the encounter or the effect “Clean Up on Aisle Five” had on the woman. It lead him to choose it as one of the songs he played during his Opry debut a few weeks later, even though many other advised him to choose something more upbeat.
“I just barely introduced myself and played this song,” Pitney says, “and the song got a standing ovation, and it made the first night at the Opry a really sweet memory that I’ll never forget.” You can see the full video of “Clean Up on Aisle Five” at the Opry on YouTube.
Pitney will return to the Grand Ole Opry during CMA Fest week on June 11 and will continue to tour across the United States through the end of the summer.