By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore-based country singer Ricky Crook said he was not overly surprised that his debut single didn’t make the charts, although it got airplay from as far away as England.
Some problems that evolved at about the same time as the first release, “In My Truck,” caused Crook and crew to get a late start on promoting the record, and it never cracked the Top 40 or 50 on any radio chart. Now he’s ready to really put his back into pushing the second one.
“We’ve got another one out of the chute,” Crook said Monday, August 5, the release date for his second single, “My Old Flames,” and his first extended-play record. “We’re really going to push this album and single. It wasn’t like that with the first. We rushed it out, but it did pretty good for airplay. It was even played on the network they have at that huge hospital compound (Royal Berkshire Hospital) in London. It did better than I ever thought it would do.”
He said since he signed an Mc1 contract and released his first single, life has been, well, like a country song.
“I’m still chasing that neon rainbow, so to speak,” Crook said, referring to one of Alan Jackson’s earliest songs. “(The singer and various versions of Horseshoe Halo Band) are still playing some of the small clubs and we’re doing some bigger shows, too, like CMA Fest in Nashville. We’re making one drive to push the album and single.”
Crook’s new single is formatted somewhat like his initial release with heavy steel guitar and a solid mix of drums and percussion.
“I wanted to stay within my lane, do what I’m most comfortable with,” he explained. “The (first and second) songs have similar wording, and if you compare the two, there’s not much difference in the structure.”
The single is the lynchpin of a three-song extended-play recording, “Better Man Than Me,” that was also released Monday and includes the title song, the single, and “You Can’t Wrap Your Arms Around a Memory.”
The local singer said he might celebrate the twin releases with twin parties.
“I am possibly going to have a release party in Nashville and one in Atmore,” he said, noting that he will continue to pay his dues and enjoy his accomplishments.
“It’s hard work, maybe not like manual labor, but still hard work,” he said of the path to country music stardom. “But to hear your own songs on the radio is something else. I still get the tingles when I hear mine.”