‘Catch of the Day’ – Gary Allen – “Mess Me Up” [VIDEO]
Today we turn our focus to an artist who has scored 4 #1 singles and 3 #1 albums, including his most recent, which not only topped the Billboard Country Albums chart, but it also hit the top of the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart. That's an honor usually reserved for pop or rock artist, or at least country singers who can by identified by just their first names.
Instead, today's prefers to go by two first names. Gary Allan Herzberg was born & raised in Southern California, growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of La Mirada. His was a musical family, with his mother insisting that guitars always remain visible in the family home. At age 13 Gary began playing in local clubs with his father, and within two years, A & M Records came calling, offering young Gary Allan his first record deal. Gary rejected the deal because his parents wanted him to finish high school. Gary's father felt that his son needed more time to develop his own style, instead of being forced into a style by the label.
Gary continued to lead his own band while still in high school, and after graduating from La Serna High, but all the while Gary continued calling his own shots. Many of his shows were scheduled in small venues, which would sell out quickly. When local promoters started to schedule him in bigger clubs, Allan would refuse because the larger venues would ask him to change to a more modern style, attempting to lure in a more contemporary audience.
Nashville came calling again in 1993, when Gary met talent-scout Jim Seal at a club he was playing. Seal in turn introduced the singer to producer Byron Hill, who arranged to bring an executive from a major label to a showcase Allan was performing. The executive was there to see another artist performing in the showcase, but Hill kept him there long enough to see Allan perform. The label rep was impressed, wanting to sign Allan, but a looming restructuring of the label stood in the way.
Allan would begin recording songs with Hill, splitting his time between a recording studio in Nashville, and his job selling used cars. Luck shined on the singer when he sold a used truck to a couple who later discovered on of his demos in the vehicle's glove box, and offered to back his career financially. With a $12,000 check in his pocket to get started, Allen moved to Nashville full-time to concentrate on his career. Now with his mind fully on his music, Allan got down to the business at hand, and his new demos began to draw immediate responses from Nashville labels. Several showcases were scheduled for Los Angeles, and the audience of the first was a representative of Decca Records who encouraged Allen to cancel the remainder of these shows by offering him a recording contact. Allan signed the deal, and headed into the studio in March of 1996 to begin work on his debut album Used Heart For Sale.
Allen would release two albums with Decca Nashville, and while neither burned upped the charts sales wise, each would feature a top-10 hit. 1996's Used Heart For Sale would feature "Her Man" and 1998's It Would Be You's title track would climb to the top-10, both singles peaking at #7.
In 1998, Allen's label, Decca Records, would fold and he would be melded into the roster of the parent label MCA Nashville. His first album for the label would prove to be his biggest success to date, the multi-platinum selling Smoke Rings in The Dark. It would produce his two top-5 singles and be certified platinum by the RIAA. In the time since, Allan has called the label home, resigning in 2016. The partnership has spawned 9 studio and a pair of greatest hits compilations, resulting in 13 top-10s and 4 #1s. Allan in currently in the studio, with a new album expected later this year.
We have the first single from that project in our spotlight today, brought to you by All American Super Car Wash of Lawton. Gary Allan and "Mess Me Up" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you're gonna wanna hear it again.
You can catch our featured song every day during the lunch hour with Liz Ryan, right around 12:10. Like, share or comment on our Catch of the Day, and you will be entered into our drawing for a $25 gift card from All American Super Car Wash of Lawton, who bring you the Catch of the Day, every day on Oklahoma's Best Country, KLAW101.