Walk Of Life: Clay Walker Reflects on 20 Years in the Business

Clay Walker first appeared on the billboard charts in 1993 with the debut of his hit single “What’s It to You?” Since then, he has gone on to sell 11 million records, bagged 4 platinum and 2 gold records and scored 11 number one hit singles, and just last month he celebrated (well, sort of celebrated) the 20th anniversary of the hit that started it all.

“It wasn’t on my calendar and I had absolutely no idea until someone sent me a Tweet about it. It’s actually quite amusing to me that it has been that long,” Walker reflected as he chatted with The Voice-Tribune. “It feels a little like your twenty-year high-school reunion – you don’t feel like it’s been twenty years, but it has.”

Clay Walker at the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune.

Clay Walker at the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune.

The milestone is just another one in the books for this celebrated artist who will return to Louisville on August 20 to perform a free concert at the Kentucky State Fair. And while he may not rely on his calendar to remind him of significant single releases, when it comes to returning to Louisville he needs no help remembering a few of his favorite local attractions.

“Golf! We always try to come in the night before a show so we can fit in a round of golf. Louisville has some great golf courses,” says Walker.

“Louisville is almost like a sister city to me,” exclaims the Texas native. “When I talk about Louisville, it’s like I’m talking about Dallas or Houston. This is an unbelievable city, the people are amazing and I’ll never forget my first Kentucky Derby – probably one of the highlights of my entire life.”

And while the Bluegrass State certainly appreciates the ode to our abundant golf courses and Mint Juleps, we’re more pleased to hear the enjoyment Clay Walker gets from performing at outdoor venues.

“At state fairs you have much more fun, people are more themselves and the whole atmosphere is more relaxed. It’s great for the show and us on stage.”

If the bourbon wasn’t enough to bring him back for more, our deep Southern appreciation rooted in the lyrics of Country music also has an appeal to this Country crooner. “People in Louisville really like country music and that goes a long way. They understand it and I feel like I’m playing for my kinfolk,” he adds with a laugh – a smile you can hear through the phone.

So what’s next for this hit slinger? “Right now we are making new music and shopping it around to the record labels to see who’s going to get the next record.”

Walker also shares that the silver screen could perhaps be in his future with plans to take his talent on camera to television and even movies. But not to worry, this new pursuit won’t land Walker in the “Conjuring 2” rather the focus for this next step is geared towards drama and Westerns. “I would rule out horror films,” Walker assures us. “Something preferably that includes music because that is what I’m driving at.”

So where does this leave his music fan base? Right where we’ve always been – the front row. “I’m not acting because I don’t see a future in music, in fact it’s the opposite. I want to grow my career as well as my audience and give them a little bit more of me.”

No complaints here.

As Clay Walker reflects on the past 20 years, his booming career and somewhat successful golf game, he has his eye on the prize with no looking back. “It’s been a nice ride, but you don’t want to think about it because you’d rather focus on the future and the fact that there are 20 more years to come. “

I have no doubt in my mind that this country boy most definitely can survive.