When popular music artists cover country songs, few hits this side of "I Will always Love You" room bigger 보다 "I Swear."

The pop-leaning ballad — written by candid Myers and Gary Baker — was very first a country hit for man Michael Montgomery, then an inevitable smash in the summer the 1994 when it was tape-recorded by R&B stars All-4-One. Not too shabby because that a tune that Myers started writing not through a guitar in his hands, yet a steering wheel.

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Myers said the story of "I Swear" to Bart Herbison, executive, management director that Nashville Songwriters association International.


Frank, I"m gonna do a the majority of songwriters mad here. It"s the perfect song, and couple of are. ... You concerned town and also you to be Eddie Raven"s bandleader, and also through the you met a character named Gary Baker. Tell us around "I Swear."

I live around three hours from Gary, and also one morning he referred to as me when I was acquiring ready come go under (to Muscle Shoals, Ala.) come write. The says, "I"ve obtained an idea because that you to think around on the journey down. It"s dubbed "I Swear" ... And also it"s like, "I"ll love friend forever." I just think it"s a an excellent title." i said, "Let me think about it top top the journey down." So i did, and I actually wrote the chorus, music and also words, driving under to his house.

I acquired to thinking, "I make an oath what" girlfriend know? "I oath on mine life? through the moon and also the stars?" I simply kept reasoning of all these things and also put the lyric together, and the music came with it. I put it under on this tiny recorder. We were writing through Robert Byrne that day, God rest his soul. We went to Robert"s house and also wrote a song, and Robert made us some barbecue chicken and also we ate. The was around 2 o"clock in the afternoon, and also we to be driving back to reputation (Studios in Muscle Shoals) due to the fact that I left my vehicle there. I said, "I composed a chorus to the title you provided me this morning." Robert"s no there. That didn"t want to work any more. So we got earlier to Fame, and we satellite in (songwriter/producer) Walt Aldridge"s office and wrote the verses.

... Everybody in city passed on it. But it was more of a pop-sounding demo. Then i personally pitched that to man Michael (Montgomery) 3 times. He said, "I choose this tune a lot. It"s a little pop. I"m not certain it"s better than what we have," and that was his comment, and that to be on a houseboat increase in Kentucky through him and also his mom and dad, and Eddie (Montgomery) and also Troy (Gentry) prior to they even became Montgomery Gentry.

But he adjusted his mind, and he walk it. What happens following is nothing short of incredible. The won all of these awards, and then this never happens — All-4-One, they"re ~ above fire, and they cut it.

The story behind the is Doug Morris, who ran Atlantic at the moment up there, that asked stack Blackburn, that was running Atlantic documents at the time here, if he would shot to crossover "I Swear" through John Michael. Stack said, "No, ns don"t desire to make nation radio mad." that says, "Well, OK, then we just signed a deal with David Foster to do some manufacturing things. That did a label v us, and also we have actually this new group referred to as All-4-One." They had their an initial single out. It to be a hip-hop type of thing that they had actually out, "So lot In Love." Morris asked, "Do you mind if David cuts a monitor on these guys?" castle said, "No, go ahead."

The craziest thing: us didn"t recognize anything about that. So someday Gary and also I room writing up right here in Nashville, and I gain a speak to from (A&R executive) Al Cooley. That says, "Hey man, is Gary with you by any kind of chance?" ns said, "Yeah, we"re actually writing today." that says, "Well, come across the street. I desire to play girlfriend something."

So us walk right into Al"s office and sit down, and the next thing ns know right here comes rick Blackburn. They played it, and also it started out, and I actually assumed it to be a hoax at first, till we gained into it, and thought "Wow, this is cool." ... Stack goes, "Yes, it is going to be a pop single. Yes, David Foster created it. Yes, it"s walking to be a No. 1 record, and also yes, it"s walking to success a Grammy." really prophetic.

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— Compiled by Dave Paulson, dnpaulson

About the series

In partnership v Nashville Songwriters combination International, each week we will release a brand-new video special NSAI executive director Bart Herbison interviewing a Nashville songwriter about his or her work.