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F YOU’RE a country music fan and,

more specifically, a country music fan in the ’90s, you are quite familiar with country star, Collin Raye. His music dominated the country air waves with hits like “Love, Me,” “In This Life,” “My Kind of Girl,” and “I Can Still Feel You.” Recently Collin and the co-writer of “Love, Me,” Max T. Barnes, re-teamed for one of Max’s songs, “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead,” from Max’s album of the same name. The three of us had the privilege of meeting up in Nashville to discuss the song and other subjects. Randy: What has been the response to the new song and video, “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead?” Max: People hate this song. Ha! Ha! We’re here to squash and to put it to bed for good. Ha! Ha! This is the front end of the launch. People seem to get a kick out of it. Collin: You might have heard Max say earlier, talking about the buddy songs are kinda gone by the wayside. There hasn’t been anything like that in a while. The George and Merle – the album they made back in the ’80s; these buddy/party songs. Randy: I can’t help but notice that your first hit, “Love, Me,” has the imagery of death and now, “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead,” obviously alludes to it, too. Is this coincidental, or did you guys consciously plan it that way? Collin: I think it was coincidental. Ha! Ha! Max: Part two! Collin: Our last collaboration, if you will, was a heavy song. A beautiful song about love beyond the grave. I thought it was kinda nice that we get together all these years later and do something that, for me, compared to hits that I’ve had. It’s far more “That’s My Story 26


(and I’m Sticking to It)” than it is “Love, Me.” I think that’s kind of refreshing. For people who know that Max wrote “Love, Me,” and here we are, all these years later, instead of trying to redo that again. Randy: Is there another “Love, Me” in there between the two of you? Collin: Wouldn’t that be sweet? Max: It would be amazing. You know, “Love, Me” or the songs of that era, I’m not sure that they would go or that they would make it. I think there were so many things that lined up for us on that song. The lay of the land was just right for it. Collin’s an amazing artist. He did a perfect job on it. It was produced wonderfully. He was with a great label who could put it out there. A year later or a year before or a five or 10, I don’t know if it would’ve worked. But we had that one, didn’t we? Collin: We had that one! I’ve heard people say, too, like we were talking a few minutes ago about doing an album. If you could get onto a major label and someone wanted to do an album with retro artists or whatever, and

they say, “Wouldn’t you love to have another hit?” and you go, “I got plenty. I got plenty of ‘em. I got more than I can play in a show.” Max: That’s when you’ve done well. “Love, Me” is a good case of this… not to keep going back to it. “Love, Me” took off, and it was very big. It went five or 10 years. It had this very, very long tail where it’s still played now. Somebody said on Facebook the other day, “Would you rather write a number one song that people kinda forgot,” which I’ve written those, too – “or would you like to write a number 30 song for Glenn Campbell in 1967?” Well, that number 30 song was “Gentle on My Mind,” which is the most performed song of all time. So, in the end, they won. Randy: I hope to interview you many more times in the future, and when we do, we’ll ask these questions of you every other time: How do you want to be remembered, and what do you hope your legacy is? Max: I’ll jump right in there. I raised two great kids. I stayed married my whole life. The rest of it, you can have. Collin: I agree. I’m not married, but I’m really, really proud of my kids, and I’ve got an awesome granddaughter. That’s my world. So glory, as General Patton said, is fleeting. It comes and it goes, so you can’t put any emphasis or any value on that or what work you did. That’s just going to be what it is. Randy’s first interview was at the tender age of 13 with none other than Col. Tom Parker. Thirty-six years later he founded the webzine,, and has conducted close to 200 interviews with some of the most interesting people in music.

Everything Knoxville January 2018  
Everything Knoxville January 2018