When you think Tim McGraw: 10 years of Taylor Swift’s first ever single.
I hope you think your favorite song, Taylor Nation.
It was the first ever song you heard from Taylor Swift. Some fans go further back, before she even had a record deal when she used to play country fairs. I found her much later, during the Fearless Era. But this goes back during the times before she ever headline a concert, in the days before her first album. It was Tim McGraw, a song written by Tay with Liz Rose, that was chosen as the first single, hand-picked by Scott Borchetta. The legend goes (ok, I read it on a magazine) that Taylor played him the song in his office which was going to be part of Taylor’s first studio album. Scott Borchetta heard Tim McGraw, loved it and commented, “that’s your first single.”
Tim McGraw was released back on a day like today, June 19, 2006. It was the first single of Taylor’s first album, titled Taylor Swift which was released on October 24, 2006. From then on, she has continued to release an album every two years.
The sundress-and-boots songstress (a throwback nickname that I just made up) wasn’t sure that for her first single she should begin with a song that name-dropped a famous country singer, but Scott knew the business. Nowadays, I suspect he asks her. The Blondie Who Didn’t Have A Sparkly Guitar Yet (ok, sorry I’m having too much fun with the nicknames) trusted him and the rest is history. I suspect that if it were up to Teen Swizzle (last one, I promise!) she would’ve picked Our Song (otherwise known as the song she’ll always perform from that era if given a choice). Still, Tim McGraw opened many doors for her – including a spot as an opener on quite a few tours.
Big Machine Records was just starting. Another anecdote from that time is how Taylor and her mom had to help put CDs in envelopes to send to TV stations. Not a lot of personnel back then. Taylor did a extended six-month radio tour when most artist do six weeks. The 16-year old had to work a lot more just to be noticed. People that are Taylor’s age were considered for development deals, not albums just yet. She would be the first artist whose audience would be the untapped market of teenage girls that listen to country music. Back then she kept an unheard of internet presence through MySpace and hold meet-and-greets before and after performances that famously last hours. It’s in one of those she famously met a young fan named Elizabeth Huett, but that’s another story 🙂
Coming up next in the Calendar:
- June 24: Elizabeth Huett performs at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula, California.
- October 22: Taylor Swift headlines a special concert at the Formula 1 US Grand Prix.
(Sources: Big Machine Records)