Walker Hayes On “Fancy Like”

This week’s co-host is Walker Hayes, who joins Lon for the first time thanks to the success of “Fancy Like.”  Walker says: “I always swing for the fence, I don’t enjoy playing it safe.  Safe just looks boring.”  Walker just got the word that his song is nominated for an American Music Award: “That’s amazing, I’m not the guy who gets nominated for things.”

Throughout the countdown, Walker tells the story behind Fancy Like, starting with the inspiration: “Fancy Like was one of my first co-writes coming out of the pandemic.  I had just come off a road trip with my family, and when we get hungry, I always ask, ‘Do you want fast food, or do you want to sit down, fancy like Applebees?’ That like spilled out ‘Fancy like Applebees on a date night.’  It just flowed, and I went home and laid down the guitar and the vocal, like the record.”

So what’s the story behind the dance we see on TikTok? “I had just released the song, and it had been getting great reaction.  It was a Sunday, my daughter & I had just come home from church, and she goes, ‘Dad, Fancy Like needs a dance.’  In about 30 minutes, we made up those moves, and when we were done and I just uploaded it. By that night, it surpassed a million views.”

So how did the TV commercial come about with Applebees? They called us when the song was driving people to the restaurant.  Once they saw the song was marketing for them already, they joined with us.  I’ll never forget, we were all home watching ‘Field Of Dreams’ on TV, and I made them watch it.  Then in the commercial break, the Applebees commercial came on, and we lost it.  That was a huge moment.  It was just another large part of the story.”

Lon asked about performing the song at the CMT Artist of the Year awards:  “I was closing the show, and with the traditional nature of the music, and the honoring of Randy Travis, the longer I sat there, the more nervous I got.  By the time it was time to start, I was a nervous wreck.  I got through the first verse, and  at that point, Kane Brown stood up and applauded.  That was all I needed, I got over my nerves.  I told him afterwards, ‘When you stood up, it was all good.'”

So Christmas must be fun at the Walker house with 6 kids: “A long time ago, at a Home Depot, my kids say I said this. if we ever got a #1 that I would buy them a blow-up Santa.  I think Fancy Like is gonna go, so I may have to buy 6, one for each kid. So drive by our house, it may be covered in blow-up decorations.”

Walker also has great stories this week about Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, Jake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Lee Brice, and Old Dominion.

NEXT WEEK: Zac Brown

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