Not much time, but a reader sends me this link. A country music singer had a USMC sticker on the bumper of her SUV and got harrassed by another driver for being a “baby killer”. So she wrote a song about it, recorded a rough demo, and tossed it in a drawer and forgot all about it.
Now, this particular baby killer also performs for the USO, and she took the tape along on a trip to Iraq as an afterthought.
She taught her band the song, and they played it for the first time for the troops in Iraq this year. “Obviously,” she says, “they loved it. That was the first time in my career I ever lost my cool onstage. I was crying. Generals were crying. My band was crying.” So they performed it every night during their tour of Iraq.
Wright says hundreds of enlisted men and women she met asked her to record the song and send it back to them so it could be played on the American Forces Radio and Television Service station Baghdad FM.
An MP3 of the song made its way back from Iraq to U.S. country station WGNE Daytona Beach, Florida, which began playing it. Next, WGAR Cleveland added the song, and from there it began spreading to other radio stations strictly by word-of-mouth.
Wright has no promotion team behind the single, and no indies are working it. Yet it continues to climb the chart. “The Bumper of My S.U.V.” is currently No. 44 on Billboard’s airplay-based Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
She’s now selling the single on her website and half of the proceeds go to Stars For Stripes, an organization that provides entertainment for overseas US troops.
I haven’t heard this song, but I intend to check it out. Anyone out there ever hear it?
And many thanks to the reader who sent this in. Great stuff.
UPDATE: Upon re-reading this I realize that I didn’t even mention her first name. She’s Chely Wright.
Her site doesn’t seem to offer downloads (free or otherwise) of her song. If the blogosphere (besides MO, anyway) picks this story up, that’s definitely going to cost her. I’m sure you can find it somewhere, but I haven’t tried…
Why wouldn’t she have this up there to download?
UPDATE: A reader notes in comments that clicking on the banner on her page takes you to a download. It’s just a 23 second clip, but better than nothing. It’s also got a full account of how the song came about and a few pic of her with the troops.
I’ll say this, though. If she was selling downloads on her page I would have bought one. The odds of me going to a record store to buy a CD are quite slim.