What started with a simple desire to entertain has turned into something that is almost a holy calling for Collin Raye. The man with the most muscular tenor in country music still puts on shows that are electrifying in their intensity. But as album after album sells Platinum and single after single hits No.1 on the charts, Collin has found that there is something deeper and more profound about what he does than merely entertaining people.
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"In the beginning, I wanted hits and all that," he reflects. "But what drives me now is what this music means to people. Songs have landed on me that made me realize there's more to this than I thought. It's about entertaining people one minute and healing them the next. It's kinda like a ministry."
People have carved the lyrics to "Love, Me" on tombstones and gotten married to the strains of "In This Life." The Tennessee Task Force on Domestic Violence lauded him for the social conscience of his video "I Think About You." "Not That Different" carried an anti racist message. Nearly 200,000 calls poured into Al-Anon's 800 number after Collin included it in his video "Little Rock." And millions have danced to such joyous performances as "On The Verge," "My Kind Of Girl," "That's My Story" and Every Second."
"Music can make a difference," says the performer of such powerful material as "One Boy, One Girl," "That Was A River" and "What The Heart Wants." Winning an award isn't enough incentive for me. People come to these shows because these songs are inspiring to them. That's what gets me on that tour bus every week. That's what keeps me interested in making records."
It has been two -and--a-half years since Collin Raye issued a set of new country songs. So he approached The Walls Came Down with conviction, respect and determination. "I've poured more blood, sweat and tears into this record than any in the past," says the man with five Platinum records, ten No.1 singles and numerous awards and nominations under his belt. "I co-produced some of the new songs on the Direct Hits album, but this is the first full-fledged album where I've sunk in my teeth from beginning to end. This time, I was there throughout the creation of every note of music.
He also contributed as songwriter, "Start Over Georgia" and "The Walls Came Down" signify Collin Raye's blossoming as a tunesmith like never before. Always a peerless lyric interpreter, he brings pangs of regret to "I Can Still Feel You," fatherly concern to "I Wish I Could" and sweet bliss to "April Fool."
There's a renewed commitment to classic country music in such "hurtin" tunes as "Someone You Used To Know" and "Make Sure You've Got It All." He sails through the groove of "Anyone Else" with the finesse of a rhythm master. And on "Corner Of The Heart" Collin proves once again that few singers can equal him as a romantic.
What has always set Collin Raye apart is his willingness to tackle lyrics that go far beyond typical love songs and dance ditties. "All My Roads" and "Survivors" are relationship songs with hope.
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