Sign up for newsletter

Lady A tells the backstory

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 – The story of Lady Antebellum will reach TV screens with the premiere of "Backstory" Lady Antebellum" on Great American Country (GAC), Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. eastern.

"We were really intimidated, I was like, 'Let's just write songs for her, she's gonna be a big 'ol star and we can be, maybe, big 'ol songwriters for this girl,'" recalls Lady Antbellum's Dave Haywood about the way he and band mate Charles Kelley felt after meeting Hillary Scott in 2006 and checking out her MySpace page. "Backstory: Lady Antebellum" tells the story of two friends from Georgia and a chance meeting with a second generation country singer, their rise to music superstardom while remaining the band everyone loves to love. Childhood photos and performance videos as well as conversations with the trio's parents help tell the story of this remarkable trio.

While Scott grew up in Nashville, Kelley graduated with a finance degree from the University of Georgia and quit his first day job to move to Nashville and pursue music. Haywood earned a degree in computers from Georgia and took a well-paying accounting job in Atlanta. They had written together once in college so Kelley contacted Haywood and was soon driving to Atlanta every other weekend to co-write. "His brother (singer Josh Kelley) was a big influence on us so I figured maybe we could write songs for Josh or maybe for other country artists," Haywood said. Eventually Haywood quit his job and moved to Nashville hoping Kelley's solo career would take off. Their mantra was 'no day jobs' as they focused all of their time and energy on songwriting, maxing out credit cards in the process.

Meanwhile, Scott was also pursuing a solo career and ran into Kelley in a Nashville club; she was a fan of his work on his MySpace page, and they agreed to get together to write. The chemistry was immediate. "There was this intangible magic that happened when the three of us got in a room together," said Scott.

The plan was to simply write songs for each other's solo projects but things changed. "While doing music demos we found out how well our voices blend together," she said.

After several months they'd written enough songs to do a showcase and as Haywood said, "That show was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as us deciding to make it a group."

They abandoned their solo pursuits, and Haywood became booking agent and web master for the group. "We'd agree to play any place that would offer a stage and a microphone," Scott said. "We had to share a hotel room, and Dave and I were sleeping in the same bed in a Comfort Inn in whatever town we were in." Scott's mom, singer Linda Davis, said, "I'd have probably pitched in for separate quarters but nobody asked me so we just let that run its course. And they managed to put up with each other."

Soon they performed at an industry showcase and within days, they had multiple record deals on the table. Signing with Capitol Records, success came quick. While the group claimed the best new artist prize in 2008 from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music and their first number single - I Run To You - was also the CMA Song of the Year in 2009, it was the release of Need You Now that changed everything. "Literally, in less than two hours, we just knocked it out," Scott said of the songwriting session with the trio and Josh Kear.

The song sat dormant for six months and almost didn't make the record. "I truly believe the stars were aligned and fate stepped in and it was part of God's plan for us to be there right then," Scott said of the song that helped Lady A earn 5 Grammy awards including the all-genre Song and Record of the Year prizes.

"We're trying to just enjoy these moments and that's kind of the theme of our new album, "Own the Night" (Sept. 13)," said Haywood. "We have grown closer and at this point in our career are enjoying ourselves and each other more than ever."

More news for Lady Antebellum

CD reviews for Lady Antebellum

Heart Break CD review - Heart Break
Lady Antebellum may cause you to throw out many of your country music principles. They don't sing and play traditional country music, for starters. They're not cool like more rocking Americana artists. In fact, they're huge mainstream country stars. So, why are some of us still suckers for their sound? And why does the new "Heart Break" sound so good on the ears? Well, it's simple, but complicated. Hillary Scott is simply a wonderfully sincere singer. »»»
747 CD review - 747
Six albums into its career, Lady Antebellum pretty much has the formula down pat. Either Hillary Scott or long and lanky Charles Kelley assumes lead vocals with Dave Haywood also providing vocals plus guitars and mandolin in a bunch of songs easy on the ears with a story often involving a lust for love. The typical song ("Lie With Me," for example) starts with Kelly or Scott taking a stanza, followed by the other with both then tackling the chorus together. This has worked quite well »»»
Golden CD review - Golden
Lady Antebellum probably needed a change in direction after "Own the Night" dropped in 2011. The material was overly geared towards taking dead aim at the radio jugular and not the best material. That isn't the case this time out on the trio's fifth release because most of the songs veer away from being obviously radio fodder (except for the current singleDowntown with its soulful beginning and strong vocals from Hillary Scott), but that also doesn't man that this was the right change. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Womack planned a good night – Lee Ann Womack pretty much summed up where she's at these days in concluding her show with Don Williams "Lord I Hope This Day Is Good." The ever-strong voiced country traditionalist sang, "I don't need fortune and I don't need fame" with the concluding line of the stanza asking the Man upstairs to "plan a good day for me.... »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy – Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country. That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
With Stanley and Watson, sound isn't elementary Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Seasons Change CD review - Seasons Change
"Boys from Back Home" is Scotty McCreery's amalgamation of Kenny Chesney's "I Go Back" and "Boys of Fall," which even borrows words from each hit song to create something attempting to be new. It's not new. »»»
17th Avenue Revival CD review - 17th Avenue Revival
With a group history that spans over 50 years, gospel and country music mainstays The Oak Ridge Boys are at a place when they could conceivably rest on their laurels, release a few greatest hits records and coast the rest of the way through their careers, and fans would still be pleased. »»»
Right or Wrong CD review - Right or Wrong
Dave Adkins stepped to the plate and swung for the fences. His monster swing found the sweet spot and delivered a game-winning home run. "Right or Wrong" is filled with hot picking, great vocal presentations and a risk or two that absolutely pay off. If Adkins was trying to outshine previous releases, he may have done so.  »»»
Staggered CD review - Staggered
East Nashville may be known as "the" Americana hotbed these days, but some of the talent there is very much verging on rock 'n roll. This is the case with Lynn Taylor & the BarFlies on their third release, a collection of personal tunes by the front man. »»»
Live at Club 47 CD review - Live at Club 47
When Doc Watson passed away in 2012 at the age of 89, his legacy as one of the most treasured and iconic figures of American country and folk music was embodied in nearly five decades worth of highly regarded recordings, both live and in the studio, and for many up and coming musicians... »»»
Here's to You CD review - Here's to You
It's impossible to listen to Montgomery Gentry's "Here's to You," without also feeling sad that it's the last studio album featuring Troy Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash. When they sing, "Here's to the on... »»»