Michael Ray wiped his tears with one hand while he held his cell phone with his other to record a thank you video to fans, his team and country radio. He just found out "Whiskey and Rain" is his fourth No. 1 song, and he's overwhelmed.
"We did it, man!" Ray said, his voice thick with emotion. "I woke up this morning, and 'Whiskey and Rain" is No. 1 at country radio right now. This one is special. I just want to say thank y'all so much. What a way to start a year."
Josh Thompson and Jesse Frasure wrote the song, the first single from Ray's seven-song EP "Higher Education." While Ray didn't write it, the song's traditional country sound and themes have bloomed in his heart since he was a child.
Ray started to learn guitar from his grandfather at 8 years old. Even then, Ray loved Merle Haggard and George Jones, and he funneled those influences into "Whiskey and Rain."
"It's been an emotional one today," Ray said on social media after learning the song went to No. 1. "Back when we were recording this song, I would think about all the things I always loved about @garyallanmusic, and the way his music spoke to me and my life growing up in Eustis. I hope this song has been there for you on lonely nights when you've needed it, just like Gary always has been for me. One of my favorites of his goes, "life ain't always beautiful… but it's a beautiful ride." Thank y'all for this beautiful ride!!! Thank y'all for loving this song!!! We ain't slowing down!!!"
Ray said he owes "this one to the fans who love country music just as much as I do."
"I knew when I first heard this song, it embodied everything I love about country music, and I hoped people would find it as relatable and personal as I do," Ray said in a statement.
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