By Annie Reuter
“It’s a huge thing to have a No. 1 song,” Randy Houser told Radio.com. And he should know: the Mississippi native topped the charts again last month with “Goodnight Kiss.” It’s the third consecutive No. 1 hit from his album How Country Feels.
“I would have expected to have a first No. 1 as a songwriter before I did as an artist, but I’ll take it either way,” Houser said. “Some things don’t happen exactly the way you expect them to, which is good sometimes.”
Now, Houser is gearing up for yet another run at the radio charts with his new single “Like a Cowboy.” In fact, he was in New York this week to perform the song on The Late Show with David Letterman. Watch it below:
Radio.com caught up with Houser that same day (May 14) on his tour bus outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Letterman show takes place.
“We got together and we didn’t know what we were going to write,” Houser recalled about the day he and his buddy Brice Long wrote “Like a Cowboy,” his current single. “It was one of those days that I didn’t want to settle on writing something just to be writing a song. I wanted to wait on the right idea. Brice is a cowboy and I grew up rodeo-ing through high school as a cowboy. I got to thinking about our lifestyles and the lifestyle that I lived. I thought about the similarities and the parallels of what I do and the Old West cowboy.”
Houser said the song isn’t just for cowboys, though. It’s for anyone who travels for a living and the difficulties that can bring to one’s home life.
“That’s what you do. You can’t help it. You don’t know how to do anything else,” he explained. “You have to come home and pick up the pieces and try to make everything as best as you can at home, and then you have to prepare everything to leave again. The leaving and coming back and the let downs and the ups and downs. There’s a lot of highs in what we do and there’s a lot of lows. There’s a lot of tough times in what we do. Every time you come home it’s not that you had a huge success, and every time you leave and go out there you’re fighting for success of some sort.”
Houser proved passionate not only about “Like a Cowboy” but regarding songwriters in general. After all, songwriting is how Houser first made his name in Nashville.
“I’m such a supporter of songwriters,” Houser said. “I think the fact that I made my living as a songwriter before I ever got to make my own albums [Houser’s writing credits include “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” by Trace Adkins “Back That Thing Up” by Justin Moore], I’ve seen the process and I’ve seen how hard those guys work and how hard it is to get cuts on records for the artist. It’s just a tough life and a tough way to make a living. Our songwriters are getting screwed in the way that they’re getting paid for their property. A lot of the websites — I’m not going to say any names — just aren’t paying. Our Congress and people in Washington need to pay more attention to people and their intellectual properties and paying them for it. I’m such a supporter of that, coming from that world.”
Houser is proud that, of his three No. 1 hits as a performer, one of them (“Goodnight Kiss”) also includes his name in the writing credits.
“I spent so much time learning how to write songs and expressing myself, and to have that finally, it feels like a little pat on the back.”
Houser is currently on the road opening for Brad Paisley. It’s his first time on the road with Paisley, so he’s mentally gearing up for the pranks.
“I know he’s prepared to mess with me a lot,” Houser said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re going to start thinking about it. He holds all the quarters whenever it’s his tour. We’ll think of something.”