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Music / Clay Walker

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A Country Music singer from Vidor, Texas.

Ernest Clayton Walker Jr. (1969-) was discovered by Record Producer James Stroud at a bar in Texas, leading to a contract with Warner (Bros.) Records subsidiary Giant Nashville in 1993.

Walker's self-titled debut launched three #1 hits right out of the gate: "What's It to You", "Live Until I Die", and "Dreaming with My Eyes Open". For the rest of The '90s, he had a long streak of hits spanning a total of five albums on Giant, including such songs as "If I Could Make a Living" (co-written by Alan Jackson), "This Woman and This Man", "Hypnotize the Moon", "Rumor Has It", and "Then What?" Despite a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1996, his career continued unabated for the rest of the decade.

Following the closure of Giant, he moved to Warner Bros. itself, but his only releases were the unsuccessful Say No More and a Christmas album. RCA Records picked him up for A Few Questions, which notched two Top 10 hits but was also commercially unsuccessful and panned for its more pop oriented sound.

In 2005, he joined Curb Records for Fall and She Won't Be Lonely Long, a pair of albums that returned him to his more traditional sound, while also notching him a couple more hits in their respective title tracks.

Although Walker had the image of other "hat acts" present in The '90s, and never quite rose to the same level of stardom as his contemporaries, he maintained a steady catalog of mostly traditional-leaning modern country.


  • Clay Walker (1993)
  • If I Could Make a Living (1994)
  • Hypnotize the Moon (1995)
  • Rumor Has It (1997)
  • Greatest Hits (1998)
  • Live, Laugh, Love (1999)
  • Say No More (2001)
  • A Few Questions (2003)
  • Fall (2007)
  • She Won't Be Lonely Long (2010)
  • Long Live the Cowboy (2019)

Tropes present in his work:

  • Age-Progression Song: "One, Two, I Love You".
  • And Then What?: "Then What?" has the narrator asking the title question of a man who plans to commit adultery.
  • B-Side: "Where Do I Fit in the Picture" was originally the B-side to "What's It to You".
  • Break Up Song:
    • "Where Do I Fit in the Picture" has him pondering whether she even remembers him at all, or has forgotten about him entirely.
    • "My Heart Will Never Know" has him lying to himself and pretending that she's still there.
    • "Where Do I Go from You" has him unsure of what to do with himself now that he's broken up.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": "Only on Days That End in 'Y'":
    The only time I ever miss you, honey
    Is when I'm alone or when I'm with somebody
    Your memory never even gets to me
    'Cept when I'm awake, and when I m sleeping
    Girl you never even cross my mind
    'Cept just when I think I left you far behind
    Only when I laugh, only when I cry,
    And only on days that end in "Y"
  • Childhood Friend Romance: "One, Two, I Love You" follows a couple through kindergarten to the present day.
  • Christmas Songs: In addition to the album Christmas, he also contributed two songs to the multi-artist Believe: A Christmas Collection: a cover of "Blue Christmas" and the original "Cowboy Christmas".
  • Dead Sparks: "This Woman and This Man" is about a couple trying to get back in touch.
  • Everyone Can See It: "Rumor Has It" is about how everyone can see the narrator's budding romance.
  • I Have This Friend: "This Woman and This Man":
    There was this woman and there was this man
    And there was this moment they had a chance
    To hold on to what they had
    How could they be so in love and still never see?
    Now nothin' could be sadder than
    This woman, this woman and this man
  • Miniscule Rocking: "If I Could Make a Living" barely reaches two minutes.
  • Old Shame:invoked In-universe example with "'Fore She Was Mama", where the narrator recalls a childhood encounter with a box full of photographs showing his mother, whom he thought to be conservative and buttoned-down, wearing long hair, smoking weed, and riding a motorcycle. At the end of the song, he reveals that the mom burned the photos.
  • Self-Plagiarism: "What's It to You" sounds very similar to Ronnie Milsap's "What's It to You". Both songs were written by Curtis Wright.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "You're Beginning to Get to Me":
    I'm not saying I'm in love
    I'd admit it if I was
    I'm just saying I believe
    You're beginning to get to me
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "What's It to You" shifts from D to E-flat halfway through the last chorus, while "If I Could Make a Living" shifts from F to G to A at the end.