In Nashville, there are some famous bars that have actually become part of some hit songs. In the case of Tyler Farr’s latest #1, “A Guy Walks Into a Bar,” the “bar” in question is a place called Winners. It’s a small, ramshackle place between Music Row and Vanderbilt University. It’s there where Tyler Farr first heard the song, and asked the writer if he could record it. Last week, Tyler and the writers gathered once again at Winners to celebrate the success of the song.
Tyler remembers it well: I was sittin’ right back there drinkin’ whiskey. Jon Singleton was up there playing, I heard ‘A Guy Walks Into a Bar,’ turned my heard and walked up to them and said, ‘Man that’s a hit song, can I cut it?’ They said ‘Sure.’ Then later on, I had to arm wrestle Blake Shelton for the song, but this is where it happened.”
Wait a minute…wrestle Blake Shelton? Why? “It wasn’t easy arm wrestling Blake Shelton for this. Although my biceps are bigger than his. It was a well fought battle. I put the song on hold, it got pitched to Blake, and they asked what we should do. I said, ‘Blake’s had quite a bit of success with pizza commercials and #1s, I think he’s doing alright, we had it on hold first, so we’re gonna do it’ and it’s funny is that’s the reason why Blake & I became friends. We really hit it off when we talked about this song. He came running to my bus yelling ‘Song stealer,’ we were sitting in Miranda’s Airstream when I played my version of it, and he said ‘Well done, brother.’ That was a cool feeling, and the song is so important because it has country music roots, and I couldn’t be happier.”
The songwriter, Jonathan Singleton, confirmed the story: “I think we played a writer’s night here, and Tyler was standing in the back, and I played the song, and he came over and said, ‘Is that song on hold?’ I said, ‘No, it’s yours.’ My publisher was standing nearby, and they worked it out.” Co-writer Brad Tursi agreed: “It’s a nice full circle moment, to be back where he heard it. I know there was some controversy, I think Blake Shelton wanted to cut it, but we’re happy it went to Tyler.”
A couple months ago, Tyler got engaged, so we asked, Are you involved in planning the wedding: “When you get engaged, the plans for the wedding is all they seem to want to talk about. Guys don’t need to see the venue, but that’s not good enough. You have to visit it. I got lucky that she said yes. We’re going to do it here in Tennessee, sometime in October, Jack Daniels agreed to sponsor it. I’m kidding, but I’m blessed, it’s a big step in my life, just glad she was here. She’s been there from the beginning, supported me, my crazy ways, so she’s an awesome lady. Words of advice to anyone who’s getting engaged: Don’t let Jason Aldean help you pick out a wedding ring. He’s got a few more hits than I do. I had to sell a tractor and my dog to buy that ring.”