In an interview with CMT, Shelton recalls his early days in Nashville, Tennessee and shares his thoughts about his past singles, Ol’ Red and Austin.
Shelton on his first days in Nashville:
When I first hit town, there wasn’t much going on in my daily routine. I had about a two-week job there working for Mae Boren Axton, painting her house. Axton, the mother of singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton, wrote Elvis Presley‘s Heartbreak Hotel. Eventually I got a job working at a publishing company, Balmur Music, which was a company that Anne Murray was a co-owner in, as a tape copy guy. Eventually I got fired from that job. You know, after being fired and not being able to keep a job through the years … there’s no telling how many jobs I went through — four or five. At that point, I had worked my way into the community enough that I started singing a lot of demos and eventually got hired as a staff writer at Sony Tree Publishing. But my days were a country song. I would wake up in the morning, hung over from the night before, especially at that age. I’d try to write a song and do it all over again that night.
Shelton on his earlier songs:
Ol’ Red is so unique, and it’s definitely stood the test of time. It’s not anywhere close to being one of my biggest radio hits.
Austin was one of those songs that nobody would give a chance because it didn’t come from well-known writers or well-known publishers. Luckily for me, I wasn’t a well-known artist at the time. So you just never know.