I don't sing in my act. But my first love is music. I've been singing into a hair brush and writing songs since I was 5. I got that love of music from my late mother.
I started beating on pots and pans when I was two but started playing drums for real in the 6th grade. Never lost first chair and I was drum captain at Boswell is Saginaw sophomore thru my senior year. I went to UTA on a music scholarship.
For a long time, I piddled with the writing. I wrote them down. Passionate about it but with terrible follow through.
Then, 25 years ago I wrote a song the day after my mom died. I even got that demoed in Vegas with Vinny Falcone (Frank Sinatra's orchestra leader) and legendary Vegas crooner, Clint Holmes. But the demo didn't turn out like I had planned it in my head and being too naive about the industry, I let the song go dormant for years.
Opening for country artist always kept the dream alive. Obviously watching Strait, Jones, Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Loretta Lynn, do their thing from the side of the stage would motivate the laziest of writers.
I would come off the road and I would even try to get some of my red-dirt Texas country artist friends to write with me. And with the exception of Chris Rivers, they all said, "You stick to comedy, we will write the songs."
I didn't listen. I just wrote.
Chris and I wrote a few times together. During the whole NFL kneel down period, I called him and said, "I want to write a song about why I stand." A couple weeks later we had,
"I'll Stand for you" which to date has over 10 million views on Facebook.
And still the Red-Dirt guys turned me down.
I didn't listen. I just wrote.
Then I got on the ships to work as a fly-on entertainer where I met Will Southern. He's an amazing musician who was living in Nashville (now in Austin). We wrote together all the time. Every time I would get on a ship, we would write.
"400 Horses" being my favorite song I co-wrote with Will. The song is all about being from a small town and wanting out. It also plays during my closing credits of my first TV comedy special on CMT.
During the pandemic I got really serious about writing songs. I saw the lock-down as a wake up call to my life. Fortunately I was able find some amazingly talented songwriters who wanted to write together. Folks like David Banning, Kyle Level, Bradley Banning, JD Monson, Tyler Elliot, and Joelle Kittrell.
And now I'm doing some of my best work with songs like "You make me want to drink" which starts out with my favorite line I've ever written, Three days from the weekend, I'm already thinking, this week's been three days too long.
Now everyone tells me that artist don't cut songs from other writers anymore.
I don't listen.
I just write.
I'm BMI registered as a writer and my publishing company is called Donia Publishing. It's named after my mother who started this passion and gave me this gift.
And btw, that song I wrote 25 years ago? I finally found a melody and a hook for it and now it is my favorite song I have ever written. It's at the top of the list below and it's called, "Being Her Man."
Most of the songs are demoed by Nashville's Troy Johnson.
Kyle Level demos several as well.
Mariah Reymundo demos the beautiful, "On the Day You Died".
If you are an artist and you have interest in cutting one of them, contact me through management@WilliamLeeMartin.com
And if you are a writer.