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Music / John Michael Montgomery

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John Michael Montgomery (born January 20, 1965) is a Country Music singer who was highly popular in the first half of The '90s. Montgomery got his start in the band Early Tymz, which also featured his brother Eddie and their friend, Troy Gentry, who would later become the duo Montgomery Gentry.

John Michael started his career in 1992 with the Top 5 hit "Life's a Dance", followed immediately by the crossover ballad "I Love the Way You Love Me". In 1993, he scored an even bigger crossover with "I Swear", another ballad whose popularity was further fueled by a cover by the R&B group All-4-One. Montgomery spent the rest of the 90's charting Top 5 hits aplenty, although his momentum slowed some by 1999. He notched one more #1 in 2000 with "The Little Girl", based on an Urban Legend about a girl comforted by Jesus after witnessing her parents' death from Domestic Abuse. The country branch of his label, Atlantic Records, closed not long after that song's release, so he moved to Warner (Bros.) Records in 2001. He scored one more comeback hit in 2004 with the patriotic "Letters from Home", but once again faded from the limelight, outside a brief return in 2008 with the self-released Time Flies.

Montgomery's repertoire includes plenty of slick country-pop ballads such as "I Swear" and "I Can Love You Like That" (All-4-One also covered the latter), tempered with honky-tonk uptempos such as "Be My Baby Tonight" and "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)."

Tropes present:

  • Auction: The setting of "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)".
  • Covered in Kisses: In "Cover You in Kisses", he offers this as a way to keep his lover warm.
  • Disappeared Dad: In "No Man's Land", a single mother is struggling to raise a family with the dad entirely out of the picture.
  • Domestic Abuse: The protagonist of "The Little Girl" grows up in an abusive home and witnesses a murder-suicide. It's one of, if not the, darkest lyrical examples of such in the history of country music.
    And like it always does, the bad just got worse
    With every slap and every curse
    Until her daddy in a drunk rage one night
    Used a gun on her mom, and then took his life.
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus: "It Rocked". The title refers first to a rocking chair, then a kiss, then a band.
  • Happy Ending: The neglected protagonist of "The Little Girl" gets one of these: after witnessing her parents die, she's adopted by a loving couple who give her "kisses and hugs every day".
  • God Is Good: Played completely straight in "The Little Girl", as Jesus comforted her during her parents deaths.
    Her first day of Sunday school, the teacher walked in
    And a small little girl stared at a picture of Him
    She said "I know that man up there on that cross
    I don't know his name, but I know he got off
    'Cause he was there in my old house and held me close to his side
    As I hid there behind our couch the night that my parents died."
  • Just Friends: Played with on "Friends". She says that she wants to be "just friends" now, but he can't take it because "Friends get scattered by the wind, tossed up on the waves / Lost for years on end…"
  • Loving Details: "I Love the Way You Love Me":
    I like to imitate ol' Jerry Lee
    And watch you roll your eyes when I'm slightly off-key
    And I like the innocent way that you cry
    at sappy old movies you've seen hundreds of times
    But I love the way you love me
    Strong and wild, slow and easy
    Heart and soul, so completely
    I love the way you love me...
  • Motor Mouth: "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)" has a very rapid-fire chorus, no doubt to imitate an auctioneer's call.
  • The Picture Came with the Frame: "That's Not Her Picture" ("…it came with the wallet").
  • The Power of Love: "If You've Got Love":
    If you've got love, you can move a mountain
    A little further down the line
    You can move it all at once or one rock at a time
    You can turn an ordinary picture into a priceless work of art
    That's what you can do if you've got love in your heart
  • Spelling Song: "Hello L. O. V. E.", but that's the only part where any spelling is involved.
  • Urban Legends: "The Little Girl" is based on one circulated via e-mail about a girl who claims to see Jesus while witnessing the murder-suicide of her parents.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice was a little higher on "Life's a Dance" but soon settled into his familiar baritone. By the release of Time Flies, it got even deeper still.
    • In some ways this could also be Vocal Decay; while his voice has gotten deeper with age, he has also dealt with throat issues and a separate condition called acoustic neuroma, which affects one's hearing and balance.