On Blake Shelton Pondering Retirement
The best in country music don’t make music because they want to. They make country music because they have to. It’s not a means to an end financially. It’s a requisite emotionally and spiritually. Making country music is how a true country music artist unburdens their soul, and finds equilibrium in life, whether they get wealthy doing it, or go broke pursuing it. They don’t choose the music. The music chooses them.
That is why you have an artist like Willie Nelson saying he wants to die on stage, or artists like Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Johnny Cash who pretty much did. They would rather be dead than not be making country music, no matter how far past their prime and commercial relevance they may be. They must make and perform country music like the rest of us must breathe.
George Strait tried to retire. He went on a retirement tour in 2013. And though he doesn’t tour as hard any more, he’s still good for a dozen+ performances a year, and is still releasing albums. It’s in his blood.
A couple of weeks ago at the annual Country Radio Seminar conference in Nashville, Blake Shelton was being interviewed by country radio personality Lon Helton, and had some interesting things to say about the lifespan of country artists, and potentially, his retirement.
“You have to be honest with yourself and you can’t believe that this is going to go on forever because it’s not,” Shelton said. “People are going to get tired of you winning the awards. They’re going to get tired of you having number one, after number one, after number one, and they may not be mad at you, but they’ve already got two or three of your albums. How many albums do I need by Blake Shelton?
For some, one album from Blake Shelton would be too many, and they are mad at him. They were tired of Shelton many years ago, whether it was after he called classic country music fans “old farts and jackasses,” or he released terrible Bro-Country songs like “Boys ‘Round Here.”
But in truth, Blake Shelton was never as bad as some of his contemporaries, and some of his most recent songs and album have been even better than average for the mainstream. He’s also done more than some of his contemporaries to put support behind some of country music’s older artists. But ever since landing his big gig on NBC’s The Voice, he’s pretty much just been one foot in with country music. In 2019, he said he many never release another album again, saying he didn’t want to. Now the 45-year-old seems to be leaning towards the idea of retirement sooner than later.
“You have to be honest with yourself and you can’t believe that this is going to go on forever because it’s not,” Shelton continued. “I want to make great records and the moment that I feel like I’m really not that relevant anymore, I don’t think I want to make them anymore. I’m not somebody that’s ever going to beat my head against the wall, because this room, these people, this industry has given me way, way more than I ever deserved.”
There’s a lot of things you can glean from these Blake Shelton comments. Miranda Lambert fans will glean much joy that Blake Shelton is pondering retirement, as will many who were offended by the whole “old farts and jackasses” thing. Many of Blake Shelton’s hardcore fans may lament it, and disagree with his assessment that having “two or three” Blake Shelton albums is enough.
But this is a big mainstream artist being honest about the cyclical nature of the industry, and smartly so. It’s also an artist basically devaluing his own output. It really tells you how much worth Blake Shelton puts into his own music, and into the desire to make more of it. Where many music artists look at their albums and songs like their babies—like pieces of their soul—Blake just seems to see them as commodities, while not really expressing much desire to make more of them aside from just the thing you do to further your career and get your label off your back.
And then think of an artist like Willie Nelson, who will release his 98th studio album on his 89th birthday on April 23rd called A Beautiful Time, which will include multiple new songs from him. Willie Nelson could have retired long ago, from the studio and the stage, and has long past being relevant on radio. But making country music is what he does. He knows no different. And it’s not endangering his heath to go riding around in buses and performing. It’s what is keeping him alive. Taking him off the road might kill him quicker.
There’s nothing wrong with retirement. For many occupations and people, it’s something to celebrate and look forward to. But being a country music artist isn’t as much as an elective occupation as it may seem on the surface. Sure, some may have the singing skills and performing acumen to make it in country music, and it’s better than working in a cubicle farm or a factory.
But others, they were born to do it. And those tend to be the ones whose music withstands the test of time, who just two or three records from would never do, when they die young it feels like a tragedy, and you can never have enough music from them no matter how much they record and perform throughout their career because their passion comes bounding through the music, and it feels as essential to you as recording and performing feels imperative to them.
March 6, 2022 @ 9:55 am
Too many irons in the fire. And now with a new family, he no doubt needs to look to simplify his life a bit.
I don’t know what the definitive conclusion to this article is actually. Regardless, he is blessed with being able to choose to do what he wants.
March 6, 2022 @ 9:59 am
I think if Blake Shelton felt he had too many irons in the fire, or if he wanted to spend more time with the new family (full of grown kids), or simplify life a bit, he would have said so, and I think we all would have understood that. Instead, he said he doesn’t see the value in more than a few records from him, and that he doesn’t want to make music as soon as he can’t have #1’s and be relevant in the mainstream. That is what the article is about.
March 6, 2022 @ 12:25 pm
He has said many times in past interviews he wanted to slow down and spend time with his family and simplify his life. The last was in an interview with Honda Kotb in 2021. He has said repeatedly he wants to slow down and live some life with his wife and kids. Also I went and watched that interview. He never said he didn’t want to make music if he can’t have #1s. But that’s the goal isn’t it. Scott Hendricks stated in a Variety interview last year he (Scott) cared about #1s not art. If they didn’t they would have released Bible Verses. Jesus when Roughstock tweets you to please release the song to radio you’ve got something. When your most vicious critics write that song moved them and the best he’s had in years and the label sits on it. That’s the environment he’s in. I found this a very refreshing, honest interview. Especially about making room for the next group. And I appreciate he’s not shoving himself down our throats. You can’t go on social media without Bryan, Aldean posting something 24/7. Blake seems to be reevaluating the next phase of his life. He saw what happened to his heroes. He sees what’s happening to the music industry. He’ll release more music because he does love country music. He loves it’s history and it’s future. That’s why he works with his artists after they leave the Voice. And he loves playing music. That won’t stop. Boy I took away something completely different.
March 6, 2022 @ 4:14 pm
Blake Shelton said, “I want to make great records and the moment that I feel like I’m really not that relevant anymore, I don’t think I want to make them anymore.”
He said in 2019, “I don’t want to put out an album. I really don’t. I’m sure that at some point my record company people are going to pressure me into it, but as of now, I’m not putting out an album this year.”
When you couple that with him saying, “they’ve already got two or three of your albums. How many albums do I need by Blake Shelton?” I’m not sure how else to interpret it other than Blake Shelton doesn’t have a lot of passion to make country music.
Definitely wouldn’t fault Blake Shelton for wanting to spend more time with his family, or other things beyond country music that he is passionate about. I just want my country artists to be passionate about country music. And you can be passionate about country music, and also make sure you leave time for family and other things.
March 6, 2022 @ 8:19 pm
The kids are 8, 13 and 15, hardly grown. And he’s taking his stepdad role seriously so of course he wants to spend more time doing that.
But being that there is no way the kids are going to be going to public school in the notoriously awful Oklahoma school system I don’t think he’ll retire for another 10 years. Will still do the Voice, festival shows, and release a single when he feels like it.
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 7, 2022 @ 6:13 am
I understand that you wanted to inject a little politics into this comments section, by bashing the school system of one of the reddest states in the union, but the reality is that all public schools are bad. Being a terrible place to send your children, is a feature of all public schools, everywhere.
March 7, 2022 @ 10:52 am
Um, Oklahoma’s public school system is ranked 47th out of all states. Hoping their recent legalization of weed provides an infusion of cash.
FYI, Blake and his fellow Oklahoman Troy Aikman are arranging a concert to benefit the schools, this year. (“Highway to Henryetta”.)
And my point was not to bash a red state. My point was, Blake has to live in L.A. (which he has said many times he doesn’t really enjoy) half the time for the next 10 years till his youngest stepson goes to college. What’s he going to do there besides be on the Voice? He’s not retiring.
March 7, 2022 @ 1:35 pm
Some might say you were triggered by someone voicing their opinion on the OK public school system. If any politics were injected into the conversation, it was from your reply. What’s that term often used to describe someone easily bothered by a comment? Raindrop? Hailstone? Sleet? Something like that.
March 7, 2022 @ 1:38 pm
No more further comments on this thread. We’re not getting into a political discussion here.
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 7, 2022 @ 3:16 pm
I’m not versed in what metrics go into public school rankings, but my guess is that it has something to do with test scores. Whichever states are doing good, have students who are doing better in a bad situation than the students in OK, who are doing poorly in a bad situation. My wife worked in the public school system for years, and felt embarrassed and disturbed by what she witnessed.
Anyway, having seen you on here before, I thought you were going political. If I was wrong, I retract my accusation and apologize for accusing falsely.
March 7, 2022 @ 4:11 pm
King, no worries. My beloved Nevada, a purple state where I plan to live the rest of my life, was ranked 45th so, definitely not a red vs. blue issue.
March 7, 2022 @ 6:50 pm
Dee is correct.
Unless you are raising your kid(s) in the Blue Sage subdivision of OKC, or other upscale subdivisions of OKCity, the schools are notoriously awful.
But every toddler in the state can yell “Boomer Sooner!” by the time they are 2 years old. Hey, give that kid a Masters degree …
Keepin’ it Coimtry
March 9, 2022 @ 1:11 am
March 9, 2022 @ 10:15 am
Better than Boomer Sooner!
March 7, 2022 @ 6:04 pm
I’m not really sure how an 8yo and two early teens are grown?…that seems like an odd comment. Kids are actually easier to travel with when they’re little. As they get older they have more of their own activities, and school.
March 10, 2022 @ 10:21 am
Everything you write about Blake Shelton is a hit piece of sorts. You’ve made it abundantly clear you don’t like him. I listened to the full interview and it isn’t as you described it. He has been with Gwen for almost 7 yrs and the youngest just turned 8.The oldest was only 9 when Blake came into his life so they are
not “grown up.” He said in the interview that marrying into a family made him realize there is “other stuff.” He was engaging, warm and relatable, especially the part where Gwen having 3 boys was awesome to him because of the great example his Dad set. And the people you elude to that still want to punish him for an out of context old fart statement are ridiculous. YOU are the one obsessed about that comment, Mr. Petty.
January 12, 2023 @ 8:45 am
Stumbled upon this article late and the comments are interesting, but the kids aren’t full grown, they are in elementary school, middle school, and high school, and he has been a parental figure to the youngest since the kid was 1.
But aside from that, Blake has never said he wanted to be a country “artist”, he has always said he wanted to be a country “singer”. When he does go the artist route, the songs he writes are really great. Delilah always stands out as one he wrote alone and I think shows what he likes and who he is. The songs he writes always sound like 80’s country that got mainstream play, to me. If that’s what he likes, good on him for carving out a career where he can make music millions of people love, and still stay true to himself. Even if a lot of people hate him for it.
If you hold every artist up to the yardstick of what many are calling authentic, most will fail. A lot of times, the purists are right, but the masses always trend a different way. Blake himself seems to like closer to what the masses like. And he seems to be a generous guy…he gave his ex The Houe That Built Me and Over You to record, so, maybe too trusting, even stupid. But he seems to be genuinely who he is, love it, or on this site, hate it.
Either way, he has a great voice and as many around him have said, an encyclopedic knowledge of music, down to the session musicians on B tracks. So, pun intended, he’s doing what he likes. I don’t always love his musical choices but I like the guy even when he flubs an interview, doesn’t factor in how being himself will walk him right into cancel culture, or is overly loyal to the wrong people. I mean, his new Barmegeddon show was created from his own brain and it is utterly ridiculous and thoroughly enjoyable… Blake in a nutshell imo.
Sorry to intrude so late in a convo but fun to share, so thanks.
March 6, 2022 @ 10:00 am
Well, I personally was never a big fan of his, but it is his choice, so what ever makes him happy, but George strait said he would retire, so we shall see how that goes.
March 6, 2022 @ 10:09 am
George actually said over and over, and made it very clear that he wasn’t “retiring” he said way back in 2013 that he still planned on putting out music, and playing special events.
March 6, 2022 @ 5:23 pm
Strait certainly said he was retiring to a greater extent than Blake Shelton has.
March 7, 2022 @ 12:08 pm
You can use the Saving Country Music search bar in the right hand corner and type in “George Strait Retire” and not one article will be found. Surely, if George Strait retired, Trig would have wrote an article about it!
Justin is correct. George Strait only retired from the stadium tour circuit. His direct quote was he “didn’t want to show up sometime for a tour and nobody came.”
March 7, 2022 @ 4:57 pm
And where did Blake Shelton say he’s retiring?
March 6, 2022 @ 10:03 am
Trigger I see your side of it. I’m not a Blake Shelton fan, but I see his side of it as well. The dude is 45 and has never had kids. He’s devoted his entire life to his career. Just because he may not be putting out singles, or albums in the future, doesnt mean he cant play music in private, at his home. I dont think you have to be commercially relevant to love music. There is something to be said for playing an old acoustic guitar on a Saturday night in your garage, or around a fire, with your friends, and family. I’m not willing to make a statement about his love for country music, just because he sees his career coming to an end. Just my opinion. I know it ain’t worth much
March 6, 2022 @ 10:24 am
Yeah, I guess similar to Wayne’s comment, I can only comment on what Blake Shelton actually said, not what I may assume are his motivations. Sure, he may play music privately, but I’m not sure that touches on the deeper point I was trying to make, which is if you perform music for the love of music, whether you’re popular or not would not have much bearing on whether you make more of it. I actually think Blake is smart to understand he’s not going to be a top tier country artist forever. Nobody ever is, and the artists who do try to hold onto that relevancy often make fools of themselves and alienate their fan bases. But to tacitly diminish your own output like he did, and basically say that as soon as radio stops playing him he done, seems to speak to a lack of passion that you can hear in the ho-hum nature of some or much of his music.
March 6, 2022 @ 10:04 am
March 6, 2022 @ 10:06 am
Nothing special about Blake’s music and his voice is average at best. Not much sounds believable from him……just a guy singing.
March 6, 2022 @ 10:36 am
I’m not a Shelton fan, but I believe his singing voice is comparable in quality to George Strait’s.
Shame what he’s done with it, for the most part.
March 7, 2022 @ 8:39 pm
You might not like Blake but his voice is not average at best. Blake has one of the best voices in cm. I could list a large number of cm artists that have average or mediocre at best voices but I won’t. Blake sure isn’t one of them. Go to his concert and listen to him perform songs for 2 hours that sound exactly live as his songs on the radio.
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
March 6, 2022 @ 10:35 am
Blake doesn’t seem to care anymore… His touring schedule is typically 6 weeks long & he doesn’t write his own songs.
His latest album took him 4 yrs to make, after telling the press that “He doesn’t believe in the album process anymore because of streaming”.
And sadly, his latest album flopped in sales. So much that within 6 months of its release, he released a deluxe edition of the album with 5 new songs or so.
Blake is only 45 yrs old I think, but he talks as if he’s approaching 60… Radio still adores him too. It’s just a waste of creative space at this point. You have an artist with a massive following & radio support but he doesn’t have the passion for the game anymore…
March 9, 2022 @ 7:03 am
George Strait doesn’t write his most of own songs either and most fans don’t complain about. Just one example. Actually the sales/streams of most cm artists aren’t that great. Only younger cm artists like Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs and Kane Brown have good streaming numbers of their music. The money is in touring and merchandise and appearances and business investments. Blake sure can still sell out the large venues and sell his music . Blake’s worth over 100 million cause of the voice and business ventures and touring . His wife Gwen Stefani is worth over 150 million. So obviously Blake’s doing something right. He’s in great shape and extremely happy in his personal life. Divorcing his ex was a very smart move for him. I just believe some cm fans and snobby Nashville music critics are jealous of his huge success. 😂 Blake’s not going anywhere. 😊
March 6, 2022 @ 10:49 am
Great read, especially the parts about dying on stage… so true. I think his attitude kind of changed after his divorce ngl, it became more about LA and the Voice and less a part of his life than it was when he was with ML. (Also as a Miranda fan I do not give a single shit what Blake does with his music and I can still enjoy it from time to time when it’s decent).
March 6, 2022 @ 11:12 am
I do find it odd that I can if he accepts he isn’t a mainstream star anymore why not do some stuff without worrying about it being commercial? Or has he already done that and I just missed it
March 6, 2022 @ 12:41 pm
I wish he would. He has some great songs on his albums that never see the light of day. Again Bible Verses. Zane Lowe did a great interview with him last year. One of the best Blake’s done. Zane said Blake can breathe life into a song. And he can when it’s the right song. He also said he knew better then to chase success like Gods Country but did it anyway. He recorded the song with Hardy some time ago. He needs to stop with the Hardy songs.
March 6, 2022 @ 1:43 pm
When a mainstream artists loses the acceptance of radio and tries to gain it back, it’s never pretty. We’ve seen this from folks like Gary Allan. Better to accept the fate, and use it as the opportunity to make the music YOU want to make, damn the commercial applicability. I think Blake picked up on the first part of this. But he should pick up on the second part too. Make an Earl Thomas Conley tribute record. It’ll sell 2,000 copies, and be badass.
Country Charley Crockett's Butter
March 6, 2022 @ 2:50 pm
But Blake is still part of the mainstream. His singles can go #1 within 6 months. Radio still supports him the same way they do for Thomas Rhett & Luke Bryan.
Sure, Blake isn’t getting award nominations anymore… But maybe he figures he’ll continue to put out radio friendly stuff until radio doesn’t play him anymore.
I give it til 2025 & I bet radio will treat him & Kenny Chensey the same way radio treats Brad Paisley today.
March 6, 2022 @ 8:03 pm
I agree wholeheartedly on your comment above. Hopefully this will post in the correct space. I would put ” ” around your comment but that seems to be offensive to some.
Aw heck, I will do it anyway.
“When a mainstream artists loses the acceptance of radio and tries to gain it back, it’s never pretty. We’ve seen this from folks like Gary Allan. Better to accept the fate, and use it as the opportunity to make the music YOU want to make, damn the commercial applicability. ”
Marty Stuart would be a good role model in this endeavor.
March 7, 2022 @ 12:43 pm
Blake is a fame-chaser. “Boy’s round here” and that even worse follow-up are beneath the bottom of the barrel. There should be little sympathy for when his stardom implodes.
March 8, 2022 @ 11:23 am
His net worth is $100 million. Gwen’s net worth is $150 million. (And that’s before the new make-up line she just launched, or the opening of the Las Vegas Ole Red.)
Do you seriously think they’ll care when they’re no longer as famous as they used to be? They are successful beyond most people’s wildest dreams…
March 7, 2022 @ 11:29 am
The thing is, he is a big mainstream star in popular culture overall. If you ask people who aren’t country music fans, who the biggest country stars are, they would say:
1. Dolly Parton
2. Johnny Cash
3. Carrie Underwood (Monday Night Football and American Idol)
4. Blake (the Voice and celebrity couple with Gwen)
5. Luke Bryan (American Idol)
6. Gabby Barrett (American Idol and her big hit crossed over to pop charts)
7. Morgan Wallen (notorious for n word incident and getting cancelled off SNL)
8. Kane Brown (big crossover to urban audience)
9. “That girl who sang the national anthem in the Super Bowl” they won’t remember Micjey Guyton’s name but will remember she was impressive.)
10 People over 50 only: Garth Brooks
You may not like this list but it’s the truth. Outside the country music bubble, that’s who’s famous.
March 7, 2022 @ 11:35 am
P.s. forgot Willie Nelson (famous weed smoker and icon)
March 7, 2022 @ 12:45 pm
I would never take the music opinion of anyone seriously if they like Drake. It doesn’t bother me that the masses consume nonsense.
March 7, 2022 @ 8:28 pm
I agree. That’s actually a pretty accurate list.
March 8, 2022 @ 5:42 am
I would just add Reba to that list. Reba had that TV sitcom that people remember her from and hosting the cm awards shows in addition to all her hit cm songs. Also not sure about Gabby Barrett being on it..
March 8, 2022 @ 11:09 am
I think that’s a generational thing. Older prople would definitely say Reba but top 40 radio played the hell out of that Charlie Puth remix of Gabby’s hit so people in their 20s would say her.
March 9, 2022 @ 7:18 am
Yea. Those are good points. It is generational. Your top 5 I think are accurate for everyone.
March 8, 2022 @ 4:39 pm
P.s. next batch on that list:
13. “Miley Cyrus’ dad who did Old Town Road with Lil Nas X”
14. “That couple on 1883”
15. “Blake’s ex wife”
16. people over 50: Shania Twain
17. Movie fans who remember Coal Miners Daughter: Loretta Lynn
March 6, 2022 @ 11:25 am
I doubt that Blake Shelton means he’s going to retire from public life.
Country stars are like any pop stars now. They can do TV, movies, come out with an album on no schedule. But the paradigm of issuing a new album every year and touring and supplying a current single to country radio non-stop for decades is over.
I’d say that Blake Shelton’s model is Kenny Rogers, not Conway Twitty.
March 6, 2022 @ 11:26 am
Good for him. He stopped writing his own material years ago and seems to be well aware that once HARDY stops giving him hits to sing its either call it a day or find some other ghostwriter. After sitting around his ranch most of the last two years with millions in his bank account its understandable that he’s over touring. 45 years old and he can spend all day bowhunting instead of working? Dude’s living the dream.
March 7, 2022 @ 4:24 pm
Blake never really wrote much. He’s an entertainer.
March 6, 2022 @ 11:27 am
He’s a singer? I always assumed he was a C-List comedian or something. Huh.
March 6, 2022 @ 11:36 am
The only BS sing I can name is the chew tobacco spit song from 2013 when I worked at a really bad sheet metal shop in rural PA. I do not miss the song or the job and only occasionally PA. Feels like he is giving everyone an early Christmas gift.
March 6, 2022 @ 12:07 pm
It makes sense that he would want to retire considering his recent singles have had varing degrees of “success” (remember when every single he released was a guaranteed #1?) and his last album spent less than 12 weeks on the albums chart.
There’s a reason people like Loretta, Willie, George, Dolly and a host of others keep releasing music irrespective of chart placement, radio relevance and awards.
Maybe he needs a break, maybe he needs to fall off radar and get excited about making music again (as long as it’s a return to his earlier days of making music ).
March 6, 2022 @ 12:09 pm
Every time The Rolling Stones crank up another tour people say “why?” And Keith says, “What else are we going to do?”
Of course, they make a ton of money when they tour, but I think Keith at least, would have kept playing until he keeled over anyway.
After seeing them in Miami in 2019 I don’t see any reason that they should stop.
March 7, 2022 @ 12:13 pm
I just saw them a couple of months ago and they were amazing. My husband is a huge Stones fan so the crazy expensive tickets and the complex parking issue at Allegiant Stadium were his deal, I was going along for the ride like a good wife, expecting an oldies show.
They were GREAT. Mick Jagger still runs around on stage like a maniac (if you don’t look at his wrinkly face you’d think he was 40 tops). They still sound incredible and had an amazing video show that mashed the live feed that you usually see on big screens at arena shows, with pre recorded video. I have never seen that done before, it was really well done…
March 6, 2022 @ 1:03 pm
I thought Blake Shelton retired from making country music a long time ago.
March 8, 2022 @ 6:37 am
Sorry to disappoint you but Blake’s not going anywhere. 😂 Blake has a huge fan base and actually has become more popular since he married music icon Gwen Stefani. Blake actually still spends the majority of his time on his ranch in Oklahoma with Gwen when he’s not working on the voice in LA. Now taking that job was such a smart career move. Blake’s net worth is over 100 million. Blake’s not retiring .NBC/Universal loves Blake. He can just be selective on what he wants to do with that kind of money. I actually think many are very jealous of Blake’s success but that doesn’t mean he’s not still extremely talented.😏
March 12, 2022 @ 2:33 am
Hi Brandon Blackstock! You having fun with Kelly’s money?
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 6, 2022 @ 2:13 pm
Obviously, the less Blake is recorded, the higher the cumulative quality of recorded music goes up over time. But at this point, with C(c)ountry being long deceased, I can’t think of a reason why it matters either way what he does. Also, him going out on his own terms, as opposed to going out due to making crappy music, is likened unto a killer who takes his own life instead of being arrested and facing justice. You’re glad he’s gone, but you just wish he’d have had to face the consequences of his actions. Country music is worse off for Blake Shelton being born.
And yes, he’s definitely more interested in making easy money, than he is being a touring performer. The “cool factor” of being a star always seemed more important to him than any internal fire to make music.
As far as the question of age, it’s irrelevant to a man with skill and passion. Let’s stop for a moment and remember a few of the singles we would not have, had George Jones decided to hang it up at 45.
He Stopped Loving Her Today
I’m Not Ready Yet
Still Doin Time
Same Ole Me
Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes
The One I Loved Back Then
I’m a One Woman Man
March 6, 2022 @ 3:16 pm
One Woman Man was first released by George Jones in 1969.
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 6, 2022 @ 3:43 pm
Please note that I said “singles”. His hit single was released in 1988. Also please note that George first released it on an album in ‘60, not ‘69.
March 7, 2022 @ 1:26 pm
I love it when music nerds (and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible) start flexing… 🙂
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 7, 2022 @ 3:39 pm
Man honestly, I’m no music nerd. I’m just a C(c)ountry Music lover. I’m not terribly into flexing, but I’m so universally despised on here, that I’m forced into flexing every once in a while. If it had been anyone but me, Ian wouldn’t have said a word.
March 7, 2022 @ 6:20 pm
Oh my God dude. Wtf. Did he break up with you? You trash artists all the time for no reason. You are the living embodiment of a jackass/asshole. Also the reason many older followers stop reading SCM. Look not everyone has to follow the same path. Some want to tour 24/7. Some don’t. He wanted to introduce an audience to country music-old and new. And did that on the Voice. And toured. Dolly, Reba, Willie all chose multiple platforms as well. Oh guess they were fame chasers too.
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 8, 2022 @ 7:58 pm
Have you considered therapeutic cry sessions?
March 12, 2022 @ 2:35 am
Baking calms me down.
March 6, 2022 @ 3:14 pm
Very powerful first paragraph, Trig.
I concur with your assessment of Blake and his music.
But I’d sure feel better if we could get his retirement plans in writing.
March 6, 2022 @ 3:17 pm
One Woman Man was first released by George Jones in 1960.
March 6, 2022 @ 3:25 pm
If and when Blake Shelton retires, can we get Ricky Van SHELTON [no relation, I think?] to un-retire?
March 6, 2022 @ 5:51 pm
Personally, I’ve never found Blake Shelton a bad artist. He’s definitely one of the more enjoyable singers on the radio. I think his commitment to NBC has effectively killed his passion for music making. Before they cut “The Voice” down to one season a year, his life was pretty much dominated by having to do the show. I believe that’s one reason Adam Levine walked away. Aside from some behind the scenes drama, he never got a chance to really be an artist. Levine realized he needed it. Blake is realizing he really doesn’t.
March 6, 2022 @ 8:09 pm
The music goes on forever if it’s music for adults instead of music marketed to 20 yr olds.
March 6, 2022 @ 10:11 pm
Sorry…what has he contributed? Besides being an Aldean precursor?
March 7, 2022 @ 2:45 am
Like any profession, some are lifers others do it for the money, others fall out of love with what they are doing and change.
Whether you like Blake’s music or not, he has made an impact in the genre and his sound has changed as his career progressed. If he retires that doesn’t negate any of it. He’s not begging people to like him, he knows what happens to older artists when country music forgets about them (Farron Young, Tom T Hall extreme examples, others wither away longer) and this article sounds like bitterness. If anything, he’s become TOO famous, like the post two comments above mine indicate. He’s not just part of the machine, he’s become the machine. until the next version arrives anyway.
Does retiring affect the way we think about Colin Raye, Ricky Van Shelton, etc? I think they are still well regarded.
March 7, 2022 @ 5:47 am
With all due respect to Willie, he should have retired years ago. I saw him live when he was 81. Jason Isbell opened and was really good. Allison Krauss and Union Station followed and DESTROYED. Then Willie came out. Holy crap. It was easily the worst performance of ANYONE I have seen in my life. For real. Willie was mumble talking and not singing at all. He would speed up and slow down and the poor band had to just adjust. Almost every song was unrecognizable. It was a little bit of bait and switch. You paid for Willie and got….that. Luckily the other bands made the $70 ticket a little easier to swallow.
Country Music Disciple
March 7, 2022 @ 1:55 pm
I saw Willie 3 years ago and although it wasn’t a “great” performance, it was definitely not the worst performance of anyone I have even seen and was still enjoyable. Maybe you saw him on a bad night. I myself felt lucky to see him perform at the age of 86 and my 8 and 14 year old sons got to see him too. His son Lukas opened up for him and played an hour and then Willie played an hour so seeing them both together made it even cooler. I saw Bob Dylan almost 20 years ago and his voice definitely sucked like it has for a long time. But his band kicked ass and made up for the shitty singing. Of course the band is going to play the music the way Bob wants so that’s a credit to him. I hope Willie gets to live and play another 12 years…long live Willie!
March 7, 2022 @ 6:55 pm
The best show I saw in 2019 was the Outlaw Music Festival in St Louis. Willie, Phil Lesh & Friends, Alison Krauss, OCMS, Dawes, & Shooting with Annie (the local opener).
March 7, 2022 @ 5:54 am
I could not name a Blake Shelton song nor recognize a song playing as his.
March 7, 2022 @ 6:45 am
From a current retiree: I’ve been retired 11 years, hot damn! When I retired I made myself a promise; I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do. And I haven’t. My want to is now trying to play guitar, trying to sing and write songs. I have a you tube video with over 4400 views in a year…. I have over 40 videos. At times I think about how tedious it must be to be on a schedule, set by someone else, and think, damn! I don’t think so Tim.
I wish I could/would have had the same desire/opportunity and creative ideas at 45. I probably would have felt differently. Maybe. No matter what *others* think about a choice, it is up to the Individual…. the Individuals listed as examples are anomalies to humans and music… Individual being a key, *choice* the other key…. a line from I Cast No Stones comes to mind…. “what gives you the right, to tell me my business, good God man, you’re out of your mind”… of course I have to throw a Willie song line in as well; it gets easier as we get older, it gets easier to say, not today. And It gets easier as we get older, to say go away… but not today. And I don’t have to do, one damn thing I don’t want to do…
Think about the pleasure in that last few words…
March 7, 2022 @ 11:33 am
Just to remind you that Blake Shelton has a huge fan
Base. We love his music, although even I am sick of every one of his last singles without Gwen being about how country he is and burning shit up. Almost as if he feels like he should be sure to say repeatedly he’s a country boy. He needs to quit recording Hardy songs and record more Shane McAnally with or without Gwen. Texoma Shore was the best album he’s ever recorded and sold the least. I have every record he has ever recorded and I will continue to buy anything he puts out there. And I agree just for the Hell of it he should release Bible Verses as a single.
March 7, 2022 @ 12:11 pm
I like Blake’s bluff personality. Like Paisley, he’s better at being the voice of just-inside-suburbia, but he didn’t come from there. He was from a tiny country town in Oklahoma, and that’s fine. He did what people typically do to become rich and successful. In my view, he drank too much of the music machine koolaid. He became the industry.
Trig is right. It says a lot about the man that the music was just a means to an end. Sure, he can talk the respectful talk, but when it comes to having the free time, and having the money, to sink into country music and write or record something out of sheer love for the writing and the music, it isn’t in him to do that. Something tells me he’d be happier being a beer belly on the beach, watching Gwen and the kids.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it just confirms that Blake, at best, and like all suburbanites, is on the edge of country, not in it.
March 7, 2022 @ 1:23 pm
Interestingly enough Shooter Jennings just announced what seems to be his retirement from live performing (and perhaps recording?) as a solo artist,
Country Music Disciple
March 7, 2022 @ 2:08 pm
Oh no! I’ve seen Shooter 5 times in the past 17 years and had a great time at each of his shows. Luckily both of my sons were able to see him perform the last 2 times he came to Northern California. We were supposed to see him again in Lodi, CA on Friday 13 March 2020…the same day everything shut down in Cali due to COVID.
March 7, 2022 @ 4:11 pm
I’ve seen him about 7 times since 2010, never a bad show regardless of the venue. He looks to have really fallen in love with producing, and with multiple grammy wins under his belt, who can blame him!
I’m hoping his stepping back from touring doesn’t mean he steps TOO far back from recording, and we see more solo music from him, at the very least id like to seem him release the rest of “Over A Cocaine Rainbow” and it’s not just a two track EP. But hey, he could always go the Jamey Johnson route and appear only on guest spots on other peoples songs and do covers on tribute albums! lol
Either way, I’m happy for the dude.
Unlike Blake Shelton, (who to be honest, does have a track or two I like) I feel like Shooter’s heart has always been in what he’s done, regardless of genre, or whatever hat / title he wore, he’s remained pretty into what he’s doing, never felt like he was going through the motions, but Blake potentially calling it a day isn’t as big of a shame, its been awhile since I felt he really cared about a project.
Just found it interesting that two “notable” acts connected to the genre have been talking retirement as of late.
March 7, 2022 @ 4:26 pm
I saw Shooter about 3 years ago at a small live venue and based on that I wouldn’t walk across the street to see him, never mind pay. He was late, then left immediately after banging on his guitar and hollering into the mike for a little (which was too long) while.
The only place I’ve seen BS is on that TV show he’s on several years ago and he came across as a pretty decent guy… but I don’t listen to radio so I couldn’t tell you any of his songs.
March 7, 2022 @ 4:34 pm
There’s a huge difference between being an Artist and being an Entertainer (both have their place in the world). Blake is, and has always been an Entertainer. A lot of music performers, once they go Hollywood and start bringing in fat pay checks in that market, lose the hunger that drove them to do what they do in the first place. True Artists rarely ever lose that hunger, which is why many create until they die.
March 8, 2022 @ 6:02 am
Just as long as you realize that calling Blake an entertainer and not an artist is an extremely subjective statement. That’s your opinion and not everyone agrees. I don’t agree with the Nashville critics on most of the cm that they give good reviews to. I’m very sure that I don’t like all the music artists that you do. Blake’s an amazing talent with an amazing voice. An artist that can entertain so well because he connects to the audience. George Strait didn’t write the majority of his songs and fans don’t hold it against him. All of Chris Stapleton’s songs sound the same to me. He sounds like rock/blues singer Bob Seger to me. Miranda Lambert is overrated and a mediocre at best cm singer/songwriter.
March 7, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
It’s always best to take Blake’s retirement talk with a grain of salt. He’s said its his last album every album he’s made for at least the last decade.
I do get the sense that the artist lifestyle doesn’t appeal to him as much anymore. He left Nashville more then a decade ago. He rarely does photo shoots (other then for the voice), or red carpets. He’s talked many times about just wanting to sing great country songs, he loves to play covers. I don’t think Blake is saying he’s going to stop singing, but I could see him leaving the industry mostly behind for a bit.
March 7, 2022 @ 8:20 pm
I really don’t think Blake’s retiring any time soon. I do think that his wife Gwen Stefani and her 3 boys are his priority now which I respect. I’ve seen Blake in concert several times and he’s a great entertainer. What an amazing voice. Blake often says in interviews he wants a music career like Conway Twitty because Twitty released a variety of different cm songs during his music career that people just remember. Blake also has his restaurants Ole Red and other business investments to focus on. The smartest move Blake ever made was going on the voice because that gave him the financial security and exposure to do what he wants to and ignore the biased Nashville critics. Now can Miranda Lambert retire or at least have a kid and take some time off? That would be a nice break from her. I’m just not a fan of her or her songs.
March 7, 2022 @ 9:24 pm
I believe you could list a number of other voices that are average or mediocre as could I but this article was about Blake. I’m comparing Blake to the artists I listen to and without naming the cm legends I will say Blake’s voice is average when compared to….and this is my short list.
1. Wesley Dennis
2. Tom Buller
3. Tony Jackson
4. Kevin Denney
5. Tim Culpepper
King Honky Of Crackershire
March 7, 2022 @ 9:46 pm
It’s a disgraceful shame, what happened to Kevin Denney. Two decades, and I still think about what might’ve been. A downright shame.
March 8, 2022 @ 8:51 am
A downright shame indeed my friend. Country music doesn’t need saving it just needs a chance.
March 8, 2022 @ 6:08 am
Obviously I don’t agree with you or that list. 😂
March 8, 2022 @ 6:55 am
I am don’t think blake shelton leave country music I don’t he shouldn’t Gwen that wrong thing shouldn’t done he force on his music and TV business deal like she business partners not else hisusic would be doing a lot better she a country she cook country or act it it
March 9, 2022 @ 7:10 am
Gwen’s a music and style icon worth over 150 million. Plus Gwen has 2 country hit songs with Blake in addition to all her hit songs. Grammy award winner. Gwen is amazing and she’s a loving mom to 3 boys. Can sing any genre of music No Doubt. Gwen’s not Just A Girl. 😂 Blake has never been happier in his personal life. Can see why.
March 8, 2022 @ 8:04 am
Blake clearly loves country music but in my opinion has never seemed in love with his own music. Maybe because he doesn’t have a desire to write so it lacks the personal connection? He has always said he prefers singing other peoples songs, so I think he comes at it from a different perspective than a lot of other artists. I don’t think he means he will stop touring or performing though. Just that he will stop releasing albums and maybe even singles. We will see how that holds up. I’m sure his label doesn’t want that to happen. I will say it was clear that the way Texoma Shores performed really affected him. You could tell it was an album he was really proud of and when it didn’t do well it seems like it made him think people don’t value albums from him anymore. I think that’s unfortunate because it’s a great album.
March 8, 2022 @ 11:32 am
Blake Shelton’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.*
(Apologies to Mark Twain)
March 8, 2022 @ 5:05 pm
Wow. one of strongest things I read about Country “The best in country music don’t make music because they want to. They make country music because they have to.”.
Blake is right, sometimes artists needs to honest to themselves and at least refuse Labels pressure when they are not prepare to record or going in tour. This will avoid a lot of bad recordings maybe. Music comes from heart and inspiration, labels can buy radios, can buy the best lyrics on publishing companies, but they can’t buy a Real Fan. Only a Real Artist can catch a Real Fan.
March 9, 2022 @ 8:00 am
He’s awful. Who cares.
March 9, 2022 @ 1:20 pm
Blake may not be classic country, but he’s a great entertainer. I’ve been to three festivals where he was playing and he really pits his heart into the shows. He just creates a fun environment and everyone has a great time. I think there’s certainly room for that in the world we live in. I would hate to see him retire. He has done some cheesy songs, but there’s good ones in there too.
March 11, 2022 @ 3:16 pm
Regarding Blake and his passion (or not) for releasing more country music, I think his mind has been elsewhere for quite a while now: on his new family and his never-ending hit TV show. As for his voice, there’s a clip somewhere on YouTube of him singing with Michael Buble their (separate) hit, “Home”, accompanied by the piano playing songwriter, David Foster. Blake’s voice is fine.
March 12, 2022 @ 1:05 am
I think it’s hilarious that you always refer to “Boys “Round Here” as Bro-Country. It’s just a goofy song he did for fun because he can – you know, like “real country artists” often did in the 1960s.
March 13, 2022 @ 1:50 pm
I have never been a fan of Blake’s music. As far as I’m concerned he has had a handful of top notch songs handed to him because he was the star the label and radio was pushing. He has a good voice and when I’ve heard him sing real country it’s enjoyable. I’ve never bought one of his albums, but if he recorded a whole album of Earl Thomas Conley songs like Trigger mentioned I would likely buy several copies and download it. I’ve always thought it was funny that he has such great taste in music as far as his influences, but the music he chooses to make doesn’t really reflect that. It’s a shame. I bet that ETC tribute album would be a definitive tribute if he did do it. I’m way more bummed at the news of Shooter retiring from the road than I am the prospect of Blake pondering retirement. I’ve seen more Shooter Jennings shows than any other artists I’ve seen live. Next most was the Possum!