Why A Hit Songwriter Had To Learn To Eat Humble Pie!

by Clay Mills
Mar 17, 2022

After writing my first hit song I thought I had arrived but songwriter humble pie wasn’t far behind…

About 13 years ago, when my son was eight, I was fortunate enough to have a new single on radio. I had moved to Nashville at 32, and eight years later, it was finally paying off with a song called “Fall,” sung by country superstar Clay Walker. People around town suddenly knew my name. The day after it cracked the top 5, my son’s school called and asked if I would come in and sing it for Garrett’s class. I was stoked!!

Garrett came home from school that day and I informed him of The Big News. “Garrett, I’m going to sing at your school next week.”

Well, you could’ve heard a pin drop. Silence…more silence…hmmmm. Then, he spoke these 8 words, “Dad, you just can’t play at my school.” I immediately understood. He was at that awkward age when his parents kind of embarrassed him. He said, “None of my friends like Country music.” I was a little crushed, but I put aside my feelings and agreed. I didn’t have to play at his school if he was uncomfortable with the idea.

A few months month later, however, I found out the same song “Fall” was recorded by Pop singer Kimberley Locke AND she was going to perform it on American Idol! ‰

Wow, that’s my son’s favorite show. So, I decided to surprise him and not spill the beans that it would be sung for a national audience. The night the show aired, we sat together watching. Kimberley nailed the song and announced it was her new POP single. Even Simon raved, “What a great song!”

Wow, even Simon dug the song. What were the odds???

When the show cut to commercial, I looked over at my son. He spoke in a deadpan tone, “You still can’t sing at my school, Dad.‰”

Songwriter Humble Pie to the face!

We laugh about it now. And just this morning I got a text from him.  “Dad, what songs have you written?” (Seems he’s met a friend at school who loves Country music.) Kids. They keep us HUMBLE!

Write on! ~Clay

*If you’d like to hear the Country, AC, and Dance versions of “Fall,” just click below on each.

Fall- Clay Walker (Top 5 Country Hit)

Fall- Kimberly Locke (Top 15 AC Hit)

Fall- Kimberly Locke (#1 Dance Hit)

Clay Mills

Clay Mills

Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He is the co-founder of SongTown and has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay is also the co-author of Mastering Melody Writing and The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.


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