Danny Gokey – New Single – My Best Days Are Ahead of Me

Brian Mansfield from Idol Chatter has confirmed what I reported this morning, that Danny Gokey’s label, RCA Nashville has decided to go with the uptempo “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” rather than the ballad, “It’s Only”.

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The song was written by Marv Green (Lonestar’s Amazed, Reba McEntire’s Consider Me Gone) and Kent Blazy (Garth Brooks’ (Ain’t Goin’ Down) ‘Til the Sun Comes Up, Chris Young’s Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).

The single will go to country radio soon. A digital single will be available Dec. 22.

Danny posted the official version of the song to his MySpace. Listen to it right here:

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Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

90 Comments

  1. I really like both songs that have come out so far as tracks for Danny’s new album. Easy choice to love, either way.

  2. I think Its Only is beautiful and really shows off his vocal ability. I love both equally, but think Best Days is more commercial.

    Seems like Non-danny and non-country fans like the song more , so I think it probably does have wider appeal.

    Its a very singable song that would be fun to dance to.

    I think there will be a lot of versatility on his album.

    I’m glad Danny is no Buckey Covington and is just himself-wonderful Danny Gokey. He’s definitely staying true to himself artistically so far.

  3. He’s no Bucky Covington. That is all.

    That’s because Bucky is true country through and through. He wasn’t talked into doing it because there weren’t any other options.

    Ahem: “Danny Gokey’s country music roll out, taaaaake 2!”

  4. I like the song. I think a different singer could probably do the song better justice, but it’s a darn good song.

    Danny just never sounds like he’s singing with ease, it always sounds like it’s taking a great deal of effort. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the lack of breath control, maybe it’s the tonal quality of his voice, although Taylor Hicks has a similar tonal quality and I don’t get the same sense from him.

  5. He’s no Bucky Covington. That is all.

    And thank goodness for that! Lol, I love Bucky. He’s a nice guy, and he and I had a very nice little chat back during Season 5. But Danny is a WAY better singer than Bucky Covington.

    I do love the scratch in Bucky’s voice, though. But I still have to laugh when I recall his AI concert performances. They were VERY awkward. Danny has much better stage presence, and vocal range and power. There’s no comparison.

  6. I think Best Days will probably be the better first single. As I said in another post, It’s Only, because of the religeous references ran the risk of pigeonholing Danny as a CCM artist. This song will have a broader appeal. Personally, I think both sound country, though.

    There is a difference between old school country and the newer brand. Danny could never be old school country, and that’s fine with me, as I don’t like the vast majority of that anyway.

  7. I prefer old school and Bucky. If this is supposed to be country, it should be better. Not some breathy adult contemp song trying to market itself as country. That rubs me the wrong way.

    Must agree with Niall.

    Good luck to Danny with that. Not sure it will fly.

  8. “There is a difference between old school country and the newer brand. Danny could never be old school country, and that’s fine with me, as I don’t like the vast majority of that anyway.”

    Exactly. ITA and so do many “new” country fans currently. Country is pretty obviously aiming to broaden their fan base; look at the validation of Taylor Swift (whether you agree or not). Danny’s two songs are a heck of a lot more country than lots of her stuff, as well as some other crossover out there.

    And Danny is just plain easy on the ears; as Matt Bjorke, Roughstock blogger put it; Danny’s “It’s Only” has proven there is a place in country for the vocalist.

  9. Why is the songwriting on his songs so awful? This one doesn’t even have the benefit of being funny.

  10. There are songs playing on country radio right now that sound much less country than this song.

    At any rate, pj, you are right, it may not “fly”, as you say. But that goes for all of these idols and their albums in the genres they are in. We shall see.

    But honestly, I don’t like anything Bucky has done since Idol. He was actually the first person that I voted for ever on AI (I gave him one vote…thought that was something at the time…lol), so I do enjoy his voice and personality. He sang a couple of nice songs early on on Idol, and I love his scratchy voice, but I don’t like the music he’s put out since.

    It’s all a matter of personal preference anyway.

  11. Country is pretty obviously aiming to broaden their fan base; look at the validation of Taylor Swift (whether you agree or not). Danny’s two songs are a heck of a lot more country than lots of her stuff, as well as some other crossover out there.

    I think so too. I’m sure the country “purists” don’t like the newer type of country songs, but country music is evolving/changing in the sense that it is more inclusive.

    I’m not saying Danny will make it in country music, but he has a better chance now than he would have 10 years ago. I like the songs he has on his album thus far, and I hope country music will give him a chance. We’ll see.

  12. I know country artists cross over… but shouldn’t they be country BEFORE they cross over?

    I also know there are some non-country songs on country radio. Taylor Swift anyone?

    If the goal is to cross-over, then why be in a genre in the first place? Why have different styles of music? Perhaps it should all be the same lame stuff?

  13. And of course, I know the answer to my own question. Danny isn’t interested in country music. He just wants a record contract. So boo on him. I find that insulting to the country music community. Obviously, opinions on that will vary.

    And yes, I was open to his music. But I’m not impressed.

    To those who like it… congrats. We all don’t have the same tastes. That’s a beautiful thing! :-)

  14. I prefer It’s Only cause it does showcase his vocals and I like songs with message. It’s Only has more staying power.

    Best Days seems a little too generic for my tastes and I keep thinking it is like another song(John Mellencamp or Brian Adams?) Can’t put my finger on it just yet.

    I would hope Danny wants a record contract. Genre is out the window – Kidd Rock at the CMA’s? I’m really looking forward to hearing Danny’s rich vocals – can’t wait to see what his other songs wll be like too.I

  15. I suppose it is the breath control issue that others have mentioned that bothers me in this song. Danny is practically gasping for breath all the way through it.

  16. I need to go on my computer, not hubby’s and download this song. Danny has a great voice and is awesome.

  17. I agree with whoever said that this song would be more commercial – the first one seemed a little too “churchy” to me. He has a good voice, and it’s a good song – I don’t like country music but this wasn’t bad, I think it could be popular.

  18. I am a rabid Adam, But, I am not a troll !!!!!
    My Best Days Are Ahead Of ME, is a really good upbeat song and I certainly
    agree with his production co., that, this is a appropriate change for his single.
    I am relieved for him because he narrowed his audience, too much,. !! with It’s Only, which I am convinced would not have stood well on it’s own.
    IO is the kind of song that should be included on a debut for mainstream
    only as a bonus track, or even better, as middle song on a second album.
    Danny has stated that he does not want to outwardly preach. I think that is smart!!
    I grew up in a radical Evangelical church and went right through university’s
    run by them. I became a non believer. Suffice to say I would never have
    bought his album. If he has a good likable album and accumulates fans
    by having more broad appleal, He will influence and inspire more people by
    continuing to live a kind, non jugemental joyful life , continuing to do good
    works. Somewhere in some old book, I paraphrase,…By their works ye shall
    know them.?
    So I would like to wish Danny “”the best and that he should be successful.
    I think crossover country is a great fit for him because it is not pure country, but it is sort of, and with attitude ,and even better music!!!

  19. I am a rabid Adam, But, I am not a troll !!!!!
    My Best Days Are Ahead Of ME, is a really good upbeat song and I certainly agree with his production co., that, this is a appropriate change for his single.
    I am relieved for him because he narrowed his audience, too much,. !! with It’s Only, which I am convinced would not have stood well on it’s own.
    IO is the kind of song that should be included on a debut for mainstream, only, as a bonus track, or even better, as middle song on a second album.
    Danny has stated that he does not want to outwardly preach. I think that is smart!!
    I grew up in a radical Evangelical church and went right through university’s run by them. I became a non believer. Suffice to say I would never have bought his album. If he has a good likable album and accumulates fans by having more broad appleal, He will influence and inspire more people by continuing to live a kind, non jugemental, joyful life , continuing to do good
    works. Somewhere in some old book, I paraphrase,…By their works ye shall
    know them.?
    So I would like to wish Danny “”the best and that he should be successful.
    I think crossover country is a great fit for him because it is not pure country, but it is sort of, and with attitude ,and even better music!!!

  20. Made me chuckle to see somehow Bucky has made his way into the discussion. I’m a big Bucky fan (in Season 5 his was the only other album besides Daughtry that I bought, and that’s a big deal for me because I’m a rock fan, not a country fan).

    But really, Bucky’s brand of country was completely different, more of a raspy good time southern rock, with a little Blaze of Glory-era Bon Jovi and 18 til I Die era Bryan Adams mixed in, as well as some old time country style.

    Danny sounds on this song closer to Rascal Flatts; lots of vocal harmonies, much cleaner tone than Bucky. I really like this song, so far of all the singles of all the Season 8 alums this one is the best I’ve heard so far. It was the right move to make this his lead off single as I think it will have wider appeal than ‘It’s Only’.

    So I guess I’m saying, glad there’s a Bucky Covington out there (the new Nickelback remake he’s got for a single, ‘Gotta Be Somebody’, is fantastic), but I’m also glad there’s a Danny Gokey too. I’m sure that country purists will snub both of them, but I don’t really particularly care. I like them both. :)

  21. Yes, melodically this is catchy, but it’s missing a very important facet of country music and that’s lyrical detail. In country, it’s all about the details, the setting of the scene. Generic lyrics don’t cut it. For those that are taking Taylor Swift to task, listen to one of her albums. Either there’s clever wordplay or an interesting idea (“Love Story”) or lots of lyrical details (“Fifteen,” “You Belong With Me”). This song is generic through and through and it doesn’t help that Danny’s vocal is thin…

  22. the song is better than “it’s only” but that isn’t saying much at all.

    Danny’s vocals are fine but he is in NO WAY a country artist. Country artists need to sing from the heart. You can’t force it on a person. Just like with rock! If u ain’t got the swagger u ain’t a rocker.

    That’s the whole problem with Gokey. He has no idea who he is!!

    Go straight to Christian music Danny. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars

    Nuff said

  23. it’s a pleasant song, but it sounds like just about every other song on CMT. since those songs are doing reasonably well, then this should too.

    but it’s missing a very important facet of country music and that’s lyrical detail

    ITA. as for danny himself, he’s missing the ultimate weapon of male country music stars – the rich tone. even “carpetbagger” darius rocker (oops, i meant rucker) has an arresting tone. danny’s vocal tone is just too thin, not commanding enough to make you listen.

    if not CCM, danny should consider pop r&b. in that genre, vocal technique is more important than pure tonality, and he could handle the dexterity with ease. i believe some call it “blue-eyed soul”.

  24. I like it better than the ballad. I like Danny’s voice a lot although am not a country fan at all. I don’t have a problem at all with him changing to country because he got a contract. Should he have turned it down? He did some country songs on the show so it’s not like it’s a stretch for him. It’s probably a better fit than pop because he can put religion in part of the time without a problem.

    I think there is room for not too country in country. Look at Keith Urban and there’s Darius Rucker who just got into it after doing pop for so long and is doing quite well . I love Bucky but I’m not going to buy his albums. There’s a possibility with Danny although will have to see what’s in it. I will probably buy this single though.

  25. Yuck. I couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds.

    I keep trying to give Danny a second, third and fourth chance, but I never like anything he sings, and this song is dreck. He really needs to find his own sound and stop trying to plug his voice, which is pretty cool, into a paint-by-numbers, generic “hit.”

  26. I wonder if Danny envisioned his ‘country’ songs to sounds so…. well country?

  27. Danny sounds on this song closer to Rascal Flatts; lots of vocal harmonies, much cleaner tone than Bucky. I really like this song, so far of all the singles of all the Season 8 alums this one is the best I’ve heard so far. It was the right move to make this his lead off single as I think it will have wider appeal than ‘It’s Only’.

    So I guess I’m saying, glad there’s a Bucky Covington out there (the new Nickelback remake he’s got for a single, ‘Gotta Be Somebody’, is fantastic), but I’m also glad there’s a Danny Gokey too. I’m sure that country purists will snub both of them, but I don’t really particularly care. I like them both.

    Nicely said. Bucky is Bucky, and Danny is Danny. I see room for both in country music.

    That’s the whole problem with Gokey. He has no idea who he is!!

    Go straight to Christian music Danny. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars

    Nuff said

    Danny has already said that he did not want to appeal to only one group; that is why he has not chosen to go Christian. He may eventually, but he was encouraged by one of the biggest names in country music, Randy Travis, to go country. Being someone myself who has had to kind of find out who I am, I am patient enough to give Danny that time to find out. I think, too, that he fits the R & B a bit better; but as his fan, I am not going to doom him from the start. I would say, pass go over and over and keep collecting! You’ll get where you belong, and I will be one of many to cheer you on.:-)

  28. I would hope Danny wants a record contract

    LOL, I would hope so too.

    I like this song, I think that Danny sounds good in it. I really like his tone, and the raspy quality to it and I love the power behind his voice. I could see Danny doing decently.

    I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else Danny puts out.

    As for Bucky, I think that he seems like a sweet guy, he was my dad’s favorite contestant from Season 5. I am glad that he has had some success in country music. But I definitely prefer Danny and his voice over Bucky’s.

  29. I like Danny very much, but unfortunately I don’t think that there is anything special about this song. He also seems to be very breathy and not in a good way. I really hope Danny is successful, but I just don’t see country working for him. I agree that the lyrics are pretty weak. He is a great singer and has more potential than this.

  30. ITA. as for danny himself, he’s missing the ultimate weapon of male country music stars ‘“ …

    looking good in tight jeans and a cowboy hat? :-)
    BTW, being a casual country fan, I like this song. I can see why “purists” would disagree.

  31. If this is supposed to be country, it should be better. Not some breathy adult contemp song trying to market itself as country. That rubs me the wrong way.

    Me, too. But I get the feeling that that’s kind of the trend in country — a lot of it coming to sound much more either very poppy or very AC, with the actual country flavor much less than it used to be …. Don’t know if that’s really true or just the way it looks to a very occasional contemporary-country listener (who listens to a old-fashioned country a lot). Any big country fans here who know for sure what country music is driving at these days?

  32. It’s not bad, but other than the instruments, it doesn’t really sound country to me. It’s not the song, it’s the delivery. I kept expecting the hook, ‘My best days are ahead of me’ to be be belted and have drive and energy. It just didn’t.

    I hope Danny does well with it. I’m still feeling that he should have gone the inspirational music route.

  33. if not CCM, danny should consider pop r&b. in that genre, vocal technique is more important than pure tonality, and he could handle the dexterity with ease. i believe some call it ‘blue-eyed soul’ 

    I think that’s why he’s doing country. Blue-eyed soul is extremely hard to sell these days. Extremely extremely hard. As in — you’re not going to get signed if that’s what you sing, no matter how good you are.

  34. It’s all a matter of personal preference anyway

    It is. And I think that it doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t like Danny, his music or his sound, or thinks that he’s not country enough, think he doesn’t belong in country, etc…

    All it matters is that he has enough people to support him and his music, to give him at least some success and create a comfortable life for himself. The same goes for any other idol or person who is trying to make it in the music business. And I think that Danny can have that.

    I am ready for these songs to go on sale. I really do hope that his label releases both songs for sale, “My Best Days” as the single and “It’s Only” as a track off the album. I think that both songs could do decently.

  35. I agree that the lyrics are pretty weak. He is a great singer and has more potential than this.

    That’s what I think, and it’s the main thing that’s surprising to me. I thought that Nashville country songwriters were some of the best songwriters around these days. I thought that Mark Bright knew all those songwriters. Carrie has really had the benefit of those folks. So where are they here? To me, this sounds pretty much like one of the pure hack-written songs that you find on a lot of Idols’ debut albums, and I thought that country songwriters were pretty much above that. Puzzling, to me.

  36. This song is really growing on me. I really like It’s Only and am a little disappointed that it is not Danny’s first single; however, I completely agree that this song has wider appeal and will do better commercially. I have read many times that TPTB in country music prefer the lead off single to be uptempo. The only country music I like is the newer stuff, Carrie, Taylor, Rascall Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and I know that I am not alone. Country music has gained new fans because of the newer music being played on country radio. I turn the station when the twangy traditional stuff comes on.

    As to Bucky, I like him but his voice does not come close to Danny’s.

  37. Sherena says

    Why is the songwriting on his songs so awful? This one doesn’t even have the benefit of being funny.
    =======================================
    What do you mean? Are you looking for songs that make you laugh?

  38. It’s Only is a better demonstration of Danny’s voice IMO, but I hear nothing wrong with his take on this one, either in the studio version or having watched/listened to three different live versions he’s done on television & radio appearances this week. This is an just an upbeat song delivered in a relaxed, light style. If Danny used all of his vocal power and style, it would detract from the spirit of the song.

    I could see this song making a fun upbeat video to introduce Danny to country fans. Danny has some live appearances coming up at mid-sized venues, this seems like a great song to get a crowd into. All of the live versions sounded really good, & Danny looked very comfortable singing the song even in his first presentation of it. Most comments I’ve read online from anyone have been favorable, with even non-fans saying it was a fun song.

    I was very impressed by the country music songwriter credentials behind this one, as with It’s Only. It’s good to know Danny is able to find songs that speak to him, written by such talented people.

  39. I think this song is better but I am not really a country fan. I like tough girl countrry singers like Carrie and Shania but I don’t get into too many male country singers. And the ones I do occ like, Chesney and Urban, have almost a rock swagger. Danny is very AC in these songs. He needs to add some umph. Forget the smaltzy sentimentality.

  40. “I wonder if Danny envisioned his ‘country’ songs to sounds so’ ¦. well country?”

    So funny how at the same time some are saying Danny is not country enough, you will have some say this.

    Country has all different sounds, types of singers. You can’t say “Country is this or that, or has this kind of voice”. Look at Rock- the huge diversity and range of types of song. I think Country is heading that way, and I applaud it; I think they will gain more fans, become more diverse. There’s a reason country is not popular outside of the US compared to Rock- too narrow of a sound.

    Singers like Danny, Darius etc are expanding Country and I think that is why Sony pursued Danny for country pretty aggressively.

    I think this is a GREAT song- fun, uplifting and great guitar play. I think the lyrics are great and fit Danny to a tee. Also has a great hook in the chorus. And you get (what some are calling breathy- that is Danny’s distinctive raspy tone, which not all like. You can’t belt it out on every song; I’m sure we’ll get plenty of that) the the Danny sound on it.

    It will be a perfect song for live performances too, which he excels at.

  41. I could see this song making a fun upbeat video to introduce Danny to country fans

    The video for this should be fun. :) Also, I could definitely see Danny singing this song at events like the one at Coyote Joe’s, where other country artists will be performing as well and where they will probably be a good amount of country music fans in the audience.

    I also agree about the songwriters that Danny has for this song and “It’s Only” as well, he’s fortunate to be singing songs by a talented group of people.

  42. I agree that the song is fairly weak. Maybe Mark Bright is on board because he’ll get to sign Danny to his Christian label if the country thing doesn’t work. No matter what, I think Danny could have a great career doing Christian music.

  43. Country has all different sounds, types of singers. You can’t say ‘Country is this or that, or has this kind of voice’ . Look at Rock- the huge diversity and range of types of song. I think Country is heading that way, and I applaud it; I think they will gain more fans, become more diverse. There’s a reason country is not popular outside of the US compared to Rock- too narrow of a sound.

    ITA. Even just the country artists whose CDs/songs I own, are all over the map in terms of what they sing about, and their vocal styles. I do actually own country CDs by a few artists who sing about beer and trucks (lol), but also have some by artists who sing more inspirational songs. No doubt Danny fits more with the latter group than the former, but there is clearly room for both.

    Danny’s had any number of interviews with country music broadcasters in the past two weeks, between CMA Week and the ongoing radio tour out west. He’s been very open about his background in church music prior to AI (if Danny has ever recorded a single CCM song, that is news to me), and what draws him to country music. I’m sure there will be a range of feelings in country media, just as they debate about other artists who aren’t as traditionally country. In general though, Danny’s had a very good rapport with the interviewers at all of these appearances. One radio personality yesterday said that he welcomed Danny “with open arms” into the country world.

  44. ‘My Best Days’  is an upbeat, feel good song. I think it will have wider appeal. I can see something like this being very popular in live performances. And the video will be fun. I am willing to bet they will have Danny dancing. Danny said that when it was first performed at Sony, someone said that they can easily see this song being played in a movie. Ironically, the DJ who interviewed Danny said the same thing.
    It certainly features Danny’s soulful voice. And I don’t think the critics will claim that this is more of a CCM song. And it certainly fits Danny’s personality ‘“ he really is an upbeat, fun kind of guy.

  45. I know country artists cross over’ ¦ but shouldn’t they be country BEFORE they cross over?

    Daughtry?? He was never country.

    Don’t understand why Danny continues to get negative posts when people don’t even give him a chance. I hope he outsells everybody from Season 8, which he may well do. Danny has a huge fanbase and most everybody I know loves this song.

  46. Country has all different sounds, types of singers. You can’t say ‘Country is this or that, or has this kind of voice’ .

    ITA.

    In general though, Danny’s had a very good rapport with the interviewers at all of these appearances. One radio personality yesterday said that he welcomed Danny ‘with open arms’  into the country world.

    He really does have a good rapport with the country DJ’s and people who have interviewed him at different events. I hope that contiunes to happen as he meets more people on his radio tour, at different events, etc…

  47. I hope he outsells everybody from Season 8, which he may well do. Danny has a huge fanbase and most everybody I know loves this song.

    I think that Danny definitely has a shot of being one of the more successful idols from Season 8, and successful in general. I wish the best for him.

  48. Maybe Mark Bright is on board because he’ll get to sign Danny to his Christian label if the country thing doesn’t work.

    That seems highly unlikely to me. It certainly would be a huge compliment to Danny though, if a producer of Mark Bright’s reputation would go out of his way to take on a project that he expected to fail, just so he could sign a novice recording artist to his Christian label. ;)

    I’m very pleased personally with the first two tracks from their joint efforts. Some of the other singles out of AI8 have not represented to me what I liked about those artists on the show or live tour. Both of these songs are a very solid representation of Danny’s singing and personality. I’m encouraged by that, where earlier releases for other AI8 finalists I liked have been rather confusing. I expect we will continue to see good things as more tracks are unveiled from Danny’s album.

  49. True story: when Jessica Simpson made a go at country music, she also did the radio tour. It’s standard practice for new artists/ artists trying to enter the country music industry. In one radio station, the DJs played a game. They would play a snippet of a country song and Jessica would have to guess the title. The DJs were very kind; they played country songs that were very popular at the time and they would play a portion of the song where the title would be easy to guess, usually the chorus. Well, they played Dierks Bentley’s “Long Trip Alone” where Dierks sings “It’s a long trip alone…” You know how many times they had to play that short, exact snippet and give hints before Jessica could guess correctly? 3! It just showed how Jessica clearly had no idea about country music. Say what you will about the Australian Keith Urban being a country music superstar and the rocker Darius Rucker making it, but the former can give you a long discourse about country music history at the drop of a hat and the latter’s music with Hootie had country influences even back then, and he also knows country music. The country music world is a small, tight-knit, almost cliquish community. Contrary to what seems to be a popular opinion here, it is very difficult to break into successfully. Because once you do, you can have a lifelong career and a lifelong, loyal fanbase. That is why, unlike the pop music world where the names and faces change quickly, in country music you have the constants: Reba, Dolly, King George, Tim, Kenny, Brad, etc.

    My (rhetorical) question is: how is Danny planning to go about this? When he attended the CMAs, did he have someone at his side at all times whispering the name of the country music star who’s about to approach and talk to him? Is he attending courses and lectures on country music and its history? Well, the answer to that one is probably yes, because IIRC, when he was first asked about country music, he only knew of Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift music. Suddenly, in the press release announcing his signing, he was citing country music veterans as some of his musical influences. It’s just so off-putting. And as a country music fan (a contemporary country music fan at that) who’s become protective of the genre, it’s a bit insulting.

  50. I actually think this is a great song, and as a country fan, I think this will be accepted by other country artists.

  51. It certainly would be a huge compliment to Danny though, if a producer of Mark Bright’s reputation would go out of his way to take on a project that he expected to fail, just so he could sign a novice recording artist to his Christian label

    LOL.. :D

  52. This sounds country, so Danny is getting the hang of it. Go Danny. i prefer it to the “only” song.

  53. If some country music personality wants to play gotcha games with Danny, I’m sure they can find questions he won’t know the answers to. I don’t know how that will matter. Danny is not representing himself as an expert in country music. He speaks of his background singing in church, and driving a truck, with the opportunity now to pursue his dreams in music coming out of AI. He also speaks very sincerely about the subjects that he wants to sing about, and how country music is the best home for them.
    If there are questions he doesn’t know the answers to, I fully expect Danny would just say so. Even if someone did trip up Danny with a trivia question, one thing about Danny — he is very open and honest and willing to laugh at himself when he makes mistakes. He’s also very conversant on a lot of topics. One of the interviews yesterday spoke a lot about his charitable pursuits. I know some here scoff at that, but the interviewer was quite impressed when Danny related the various projects underway from SHF, including an effort to feed 1500 people for Thanksgiving. That particular station had Danny on air for over half an hour. I quite doubt they would have done that if they weren’t willing to give him his chance.

  54. and as a country fan, I think this will be accepted by other country artists.

    I agree. Also as far as Danny’s country music knowledge goes, it’s true that he didn’t know a lot about country music before he came on Idol, and during his time on Idol, and that he probably still doesn’t know a good amount about country music now.

    But he does have some knowledge that extends beyond knowing about Taylor Swift and Rascall Flatts. He said that when he was 12 his dad, bought home music by Wyonna Judd, and that he became interested in her, and he mentioned that Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take the Girl” was the first single that he bought. I don’t think that he is lying about those things.

    And he also mentioned him and his family being fans of The Gaithers, which is something I definitely believe. The Gaithers are a Southern Gospel Group and they are popular with some country music fans. I have seen specials of them on GAC (Great American Country Channel). When Danny told one of the radio DJ’s that interviewed him that he was a fan of “The Gaithers”, the radio DJ knew exactly who he was talking about.

    for all we know he could be learning more about the genre, especially now that he is in the music business. He’s got to be learning some stuff as he’s going out to these events, meeting new people, a lot of them country artists, hanging around with, performing at events with them, etc…

    I think that it would be good if he did take it upon himself to actively learn more about country music in general, listen to a lot more country music. It could be a good and fun learning experience for him if he did that.

  55. I think Mark Bright believes in Danny but 19 has tried before turning someone on the show who wasn’t country into a country artist. It didn’t work. But that person went on to do fine as a Christian artist.

    I don’t listen to country though so I’m really ignorant on the whole scene.

  56. In addition to what Jx223 expressed, Danny’s grandmother seems to be a big country music fan. The station that played It’s Only for the first time expressed how Danny’s grandmother, Dottie, was one of the stations biggest fans/listeners.

    I’m sure Danny is no country music trivia whiz, but I do think he has been exposed to some country music in his life. Everything about Danny seems to be exaggerated in the most negative way possible by his detractors.

  57. If he is patient and humble, I think he can be a country artist. If he acts like a d-bag, or try to fake his way into it, he is going to be BBQ’d.

  58. True story: when Jessica Simpson made a go at country music, she also did the radio tour. It’s standard practice for new artists/ artists trying to enter the country music industry. In one radio station, the DJs played a game. They would play a snippet of a country song and Jessica would have to guess the title.

    Yikes. That’s … uh, cold.

  59. Good luck to Danny. I’m not in his target audience (don’t ever listen to Country stations) but I liked this song. In my opinion, it’s a much, much better first single than “It’s Only.” Decent lyrics, catchy chorus, good message and it’s got the gravely Danny tone which was always his best feature. I don’t see it having crossover appeal (sounds purely Country to me) but it’s a good, solid first song.

    To me, there’s no comparison between Jessica Simpson and Danny. His voice (untrained though it is) is still 10X’s better in terms of an instrument than hers. And it has a distinctive sound, hers doesn’t. On the success chart, who knows how well he will score. Too many factors to consider, not the least of which is the quality of the material.

    Still Danny is so much better off in the country world … I really have no idea how they would have marketed him if he had won. And at least there are reduced expectations for him compared to Kris who, if he continues on his projected sales trajectory, will wind up being the lowest selling winner in all eight years. Danny has the luxury of being able to grow slowly.

  60. That country interviewer sounds pretty nasty. A factor in their gotcha game with Jessica S. may have also been her image (not saying a reality) of being none too bright.
    Danny doesn’t have a lot of formal education, but he’s a pretty serious and capable guy when you look at what he’s done with his non-profit and some other interests.
    Also, if Danny was willing to brave at least three interviews with media who were actively hostile to him during the AI season (Michael Slezak/Idolatry, Jim C at mtv), I have to think he’s not afraid to venture into interviews with country music personalities who have to be a nicer group, overall. Whatever they say about him in country probably could never begin to compare with the crap he took from that Kristen on Idolatry. I was happy to see Jim Cantiello in his recent interview retract a lot of that, saying that he immediately realized after meeting Danny, how much he had misunderstood him during the AI season.
    One of Danny’s impressive qualities to me is that he keeps going, focusing on where he wants to go and on the (many) people who do support him, like his music, and wish the best for him.

  61. Danny is the absolute perfect example of the “sing in the shower” contestant that MANY AI fans adore…and with his back-story it was and is a powerful force that did and will bring in some very enthusiastic fans (see Boyle, Susan).

    I wish all the best for Danny and hope that he is able to fulfill the dreams that he and Sophia had. But, I also think that his current place in the music business is a lot about his very vocal AI fans (and their potential to put money where their mouths are).

    I am sure that RCA Nashville looked at Carrie’s early success, and the smaller success that Bucky has and is having (didn’t he just buy a ranch) and concluded that Danny with his “nice” voice and “big” fan base would be an excellent person to invest in. Now it is up to Danny to prove that he is more than a congregational sing leader and has the stuff to deliver the goods. Like all of the Idols, I’ll just watch and see….but because I’m not enamored with Danny’s story or his voice I won’t be participating financially in the process.

  62. “I actually think this is a great song, and as a country fan, I think this will be accepted by other country artists.”

    I predict this is how most true country fans (I have noticed there are not a lot of country fans on this blog-just look at the small number of comments for Carrie Underwood, considering how she is one of, if not the, most successful Idols) will view this song.

    “If he is patient and humble, I think he can be a country artist.”

    I think this is a smart prediction. And I think Danny has already proven he’s very patient and goal oriented (put up with a lot of negative detractors yet kept on his course, put a lot of thought and negotiations into his contract, is doing well with the very low key, grassroots publicity put out so far by Sony Nash) and despite, misrepresentations by detractors, is considered a very personable and humble guy by those who meet him in person.

  63. I don’t know whether Danny will ever be considered authentic in this genre, but, quite frankly, if he doesn’t get better material than this it won’t matter.

    If these are the best songs Danny’s being offered I don’t hold out a great deal of hope for him unfortunately. :/

  64. Danny’s a nice enough guy, but I just can’t see him making it in the country music industry. It’s almost as if TBTP were determined he was going to end up “somewhere” and just kind of dropped him there.

  65. I’m an avid country music listener and I think there are so many heavy hitting male country singers out there that it may be very difficult for Danny to get much radio play. In thinking about the music I listen to, it seems country music is dominated by huge male stars with fantastic vocal ability. Some that come to mind are Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Brooks and Dunn, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith. And that’s just a couple off the top of my head not including the biggest out there – Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney.

    I just think it’s going to be a huge mountain for him to climb. I do wish him the best though.

  66. “But, I also think that his current place in the music business is a lot about his very vocal AI fans (and their potential to put money where their mouths are).”

    I won’t argue with why he is in his current place in the music business, but disagree with the vocal fan part, lol.

    Danny has the least vocal fans! Look around at the fan forums; Kraddison comments greatly outnumber Danny comments (unless you count the Danny hate comments, lol)

    Danny fans were vocal in their votes and cheering him on tour; but as far as media and the internet, I think they are way down there on the “loudness scale”. But I actually think that can be a good thing! We will see, I hope they put their $$ where their quiet confidence lays.

  67. Of course we don’t know yet how warmly Danny will be embraced by the country music market. But I am pretty optimistic. There were predictions that he would be reviled on tour, but he was hugely popular. There were predictions that no major label would touch him with a 10 foot pole, yet here he is with a 19/RCA deal and support from some of the heaviest hitters in the industry. I suspect that Danny will continue on the path that he has started. He has a lot going for him. If we’re going to generalize about country music fans, I think it’s fair to say that they like strong and distinctive voices and they like people from working backgrounds and they like people who have faith as part of their lives and they like people who are genuine and sincere. Those things are all true of Danny.

    But people like Mark Bright aren’t as interested in defining country music’s past as much as they are in designing its future. And they have quite a lot of influence in shaping what that’s going to be. Obviously if they didn’t see Danny as a viable part of that, they wouldn’t bother with him. I think when someone at that level has his name attached so strongly to a project, they are not going to be indifferent to how it all plays out. But of course ultimately it’s decided in the marketplace. I think that Danny is going to be making a lot of new friends on this tour, he has a pretty good track record for that. I’m excited to see how it all goes. I really like “My Best Days”, I think a lot of people will.

  68. From the interviews I have listened to so far on Danny’s radio tour, he is being very humble and sincere and has been very warmly received by the DJ’s. Danny is no fool. I truly believe he and his label know exactly what they are doing. As to whether country music fans will embrace Danny, we will just have to wait and see. However, I do think the two songs we have heard so far from his album are solid and he has just as good of chance at being successful as the other 3 Idols who were signed (except for maybe Adam since TPTB seem to be pulling out all stops to promote him unlike no other I have seen in the past).

  69. I heard that another new song of Danny’s I believe called “Tiny Life” premiered on another radio station this morning. Hopefully this song will show up somewhere on the Internet soon.

  70. Yep, Danny’s fans are a buzzing about this new third song. Look forward to hearing it. Heard it’s a power ballad love type song. Danny is just full of surprises.

  71. Yep, Danny’s fans are a buzzing about this new third song. Look forward to hearing it. Heard it’s a power ballad love type song. Danny is just full of surprises.

    I hope that someone will post it on the Internet soon.

  72. “…if he continues on his projected sales trajectory, will wind up being the lowest selling winner in all eight years.” — Laurel G

    Should be interesting to see how it all pans out six months from now or by year’s end (2010). Pink’s been going strong due to radio-friendly singles, Gaga the same. Pink’s 1st week sales were 180,000 comparable to David A.’s. Long term radio exposure and an album with single potential kept Pink’s album viable a year later. Didn’t happen overnight. We shall see how well all the top 4 IDOLS make out, who sinks or who swims. Broad negative statements are useless. Numbers speak the loudest. I think all the IDOL fans are going to have a wake-up call as far as sales are concerned.

    Good luck to Danny. He has a very good voice. My opinion of the song might be shaded a bit by IDOL. I loved Chris Young on Nashville Star. I remember trying to find a CD by him and never could. I lost interest because I’m not a huge Country fan. But there was somethiing about Chris Young, I loved. I’ve been seeing his name pop up on the internet. I’ll have to see if I can find his music.

  73. The title of this song really bugs me. The Best Days of My Life Are Ahead of Me. If I was his deceased wife, I ‘d be haunting him for the rest of his life for because of that title.

  74. I loved Chris Young on Nashville Star. I remember trying to find a CD by him and never could. I lost interest because I’m not a huge Country fan. But there was somethiing about Chris Young, I loved. I’ve been seeing his name pop up on the internet. I’ll have to see if I can find his music.

    Chris Young’s got a great new album out called The Man I Want To Be. He recently got his 1st #1 song with a song he cowrote called Gettin You Home (The Black Dress Song). The whole album is very good, especially a song called The Shoebox. He’s got such an amazing voice and he’s a pretty good writer too. I’m so happy he’s doing well. His sophomore album’s sold a little under 120k copies so far. His debut album was pretty good too, I’d recommend checking that out also.

    Back on topic: Tiny Life could be a song that’s been floating around a while cowritten by Jeffrey Steele and Marv Green. I know Jeffrey Steele was performing it almost 5 years ago, I’ll have to go see if I find some of his performances online. He’s got a habit of sounding better on songs he cowrites than the people who eventually record them.

  75. I think that it’s very likely that Sophia knew that Danny really loved her, sunny. I think that she was the kind of person who would want Danny to find joy in his life again. She will always be his first love and what she meant to him still is a driving force in his life and probably always will be.

  76. “If I was his deceased wife, I ‘d be haunting him for the rest of his life for because of that title.”

    Actually his wife was a happy, beautiful person who would want Danny to be happy, leave his tragedy behind and go on to do good things in this world- which he is!

    They were/are also both people of faith; who believe the soul does not end with death, so that factors in to his optimistic outlook.

  77. Actually one of the guys who wrote Chris Young’s #1 hit Gettin You Home (the black dress song) also wrote “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me”

    “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me was written by Marv Green (Lonestar’s Amazed, Reba McEntire’s Consider Me Gone) and Kent Blazy (Garth Brooks’ (Ain’t Goin’ Down) ‘Til the Sun Comes Up, Chris Young’s Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song”

    And to the individual who doesn’t think Danny should be happy after losing his wife, believing our best days are ahead of us is what gives us all hope.

  78. And to the individual who doesn’t think Danny should be happy after losing his wife, believing our best days are ahead of us is what gives us all hope.

    ITA. And there’s another line in the song that refers to one or two things “I’d change if I could.” It’s a song that looks ahead, but doesn’t fail to acknowledge things from the past, good or bad.

  79. Getting a compliment from Chris Sligh doesn’t come often:

    ChrisSligh “My Best Days are Ahead of Me” is a REALLY good country song! Good songwriting, Danny’s vocals sound great. Great job, Mark Bright!
    about 4 hours ago from web

  80. Not sure if this has been posted, but a nice live performance of My Best Days song from earlier this week in San Francisco, and with Danny interacting in short interview segments with the country radio peeps. They don’t sound any too hostile to me. Had to lol when they talk about the “Lady Gaga country album” :)

    http://www2.957thewolf.com/listen/danny-gokey-my-best-days-live

    This is one of these performances where Danny live is almost identical to Danny in a studio recording. Not a lot of people can do that consistently.

  81. This one is way better for radio play. which is what Danny will need before the full alum release.

  82. It sounds like a hit, because it sounds like everything else on country radio.

    Disclaimer: I hate country music, with some notable exceptions, but know it very well.

  83. I hope everything works out for Danny. He has a great persona and voice.

  84. I really think this will do well on the Country charts and radio. Danny has a great personality when he is not anxious. I hope he finds success.

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