George Birge's debut single "Mind On You" just hit #1 on the country charts, but it almost didn't happen. George was interviewed by "Billboard" magazine recently and told the story of how his first big hit was actually supposed to go to someone else.
George was just trying to get a foothold in Nashville after several years in the duo Waterloo Revival, followed by some solo success on social media, when he sent "Mind On You" to one of his idols, Jason Aldean. To George's amazement, Jason's people said he wanted to record the track for his next album - a huge leap forward for the country newcomer, and one that would mean a sizable payday for Birge.
But there was a problem. As he was putting together his own debut album, his record label heard "Mind On You," loved the song - and said they wanted George to record it himself - and asked him to ask Aldean to relinquish the song. The thought petrified Birge, as he would sacrifice a guaranteed payday for the slight chance it might perform well for him. On top of that, he was wondering how that would look, an unknown offering - and then pulling back - a song to an established star. "That was a scary prospect. At the time, I was struggling to launch my career, barely scraping by monetarily, and I decided not to let one of the biggest artists in Nashville cut my song - which would have guaranteed me some money. Instead, I bet on myself and it was a one-in-a-million long shot."
Fortunately, the long shot paid off, and George's first song turned out to be a massive country hit. A PS to the story: through all of this, Birge and Aldean had never met, until, George says, "About two months ago, we were both at a party and some of our mutual friends introduced us. He was like, 'I’ve been watching the song and I’ve been rooting for you.' To have him say that was so gratifying."