Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
Brett Eldredge saw his first No. 1 single this year with “Don’t Ya” off his debut album, Bring You Back. Three years before “Don’t Ya,” though, Eldredge released his debut single “Raymond,” a moving track he wrote (with Brad Crisler) about his grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s.
“The first time I heard my song on the radio was ‘Raymond,’ my first song I wrote about my grandmother. I was at a really small radio station in Tennessee,” he recalled. “It was a small mom and pop station, and we went in and we played the station and they recorded it right there, but we knew they were about to have it on air pretty quick. I was so nervous. We recorded the interview and then they were going to play the song. We rushed out to the car and I’m like, ‘I don’t hear it, I don’t hear it!'”
Eldredge started to eat his lunch, and once “Raymond” came on the radio he said he “literally almost spit out my food.” He couldn’t believe that a song he wrote years ago was being played on the radio.
“That’s something I remember writing in a room, just me and another guy. Telling him about my grandma, a story that I experienced. We recorded it on a laptop computer, and then we took it into the studio and recorded that, and now it’s being heard by thousands of people,” he said. “That’s the most mind-blowing thing in the world to me. You can go out there and have a song that can touch somebody like that on the radio. That’s really cool, and to be able to hear it for the first time was a special moment.”
Eldredge said he never gets tired of hearing his music on the radio. “It’s just reassuring to keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.”
With country radio still playing his No. 1 hit, “Don’t Ya,” and his new single “Beat of the Music” getting rotation, Eldredge continues to have radio firsts with each song.
“I got a new vehicle, and I was trying to figure out the radio and my parents were in the car with me,” he said. “I don’t get to see my parents as often as I’d like because I’m on the road a lot. We’re all driving around, and ‘Don’t Ya’ is the first song that I heard in that brand new car on the radio. My parents had tears in their eyes.”
His radio first with his family didn’t stop there, though.