Eric Paslay: The Hit That Almost Got Away

He Wasn't the First to Record "Friday Night"

Eric Paslay’s “Friday Night” isn’t the first song that took a while to become a hit, but once he released it as a single, it became his first No. 1 on Billboard’s country songs chart.

The song is featured on his recently-released debut album, and there’s a good reason why it might have sounded somewhat familiar when you first heard it on the radio. Lady Antebellum had recorded and released “Friday Night” on their 2011 album Own the Night.

In an interview with , Paslay said he and his co-writers Rob Crosby and Rose Falcon recorded the tune Lady A-style and sent it over to the trio. They loved the song, and it was reportedly intended to be released as a single for them.

But that never happened.

However, Paslay enjoyed playing the song in his live set and watching the magic unfold as the audience listened to it. And he wasn’t the only one witnessing the incredible fan response. Apparently, others were taking notice, too.

“A lot of people at the label were really excited when I’d sing it live,” he recalled last week during his first No. 1 party as an artist. “I just kept singing it live. And Lady A never put it out as a single, and I was gonna go back in and record. So it just happened, you know?

“Kevin Herring — he was the head of radio promotion for EMI Nashville for a little while — came out to a show that I played, and I remember he walked up and goes, ’That’s the one!’ Maybe it was Kevin Herring. I don’t know, but he walked up and said, “That’s the one!'”

Regardless of who suggested it, it was indeed “the one,” and it helped make Paslay’s dream come true.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.