The music business is all about comebacks. On CDX 559, there’s a song that showcases one artist who has been away for awhile – Terry Bradshaw – with his new single “Lights Of Louisiana.” The former Pittsburgh Steelers QB charted a trio of records from 1976-1980, including a top-20 cover of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” CDX recently had a chance to catch up with Bradshaw, and he said he was excited for radio to hear his new holiday release.

“I’m all about comebacks,” said the FOX Sports commentator. Bradshaw said that he had wanted to do a Christmas album for the past few years, and though the full project won’t be released this season, he says he’s excited to be working with legendary Music City producer /songwriter Jerry Crutchfield on the song. It’s not the first time the two have combined their talents.

“I’ve been doing music with him for many years,” Bradshaw said. “He produced both of my Gospel albums, which were nominated for Dove Awards.” Crutchfield also produced Bradshaw’s last record – a 1996 project that paired him with one of Gospel Music’s greatest. “He also cut an album which I was not real proud of vocally, because I was petrified, with me and Jake Hess. He was my hero. I grew up on Gospel Music like the Imperials. Jerry said ‘I know Jake well. We should do an album,’ so we did. I didn’t sing well because I was scared of not doing a good job, which I didn’t. I wish I could redo it, but Jake has since passed.”

What makes working with Crutchfield special? “First of all, he’s a great songwriter, and a great musician, and has a tremendous ear for talent,” Bradshaw told CDX. “He knows a great song, and has produced some of the greats. He and his brother Jan, co-wrote a lot of songs. God has blessed him with a great ability to hear the melody and come up with a lyric. ‘Lights of Louisiana’ is gorgeous. We stuck it out there, and maybe someone will play it.”

Though Terry Bradshaw and the music business might seem an unlikely fit, he says it’s actually more natural than throwing a deep pass to Swann or Stallworth. “My first love was music. Football was second. A great number in my family on my mother’s side were mandolin or bass players, and also piano. Two of my uncles were great singers. The only reason I got to do the album was that I had a $100 bet with Tillman Franks that he couldn’t get me a recording contract. I went over to his house in Shreveport. He had Jerry Kennedy on the phone, and he said ‘Listen to this guy sing.’ I sang something, and Jerry said ‘Get him to Nashville.’ So, I go there and sing a few songs, and next thing I know I’m doing an album, which included “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Just like working with Hess, Bradshaw says he was somewhat overwhelmed by the Music Row experience. “Once again, I was totally intimidated by being in the studio. Pig Robbins was my piano player, and Charlie McCoy on the harmonica. Please, are you kidding me? It was a pretty impressive bunch of musicians. I was blessed to have such a unique opportunity, I just wish I hadn’t been as nervous. My daughter (Rachel, who is signed to Bigger Picture) is a tremendous singer, and she can stand in front of a million people and sing, and she just loves it. I sound pretty good in my kitchen. Now, I can talk in front of a million people, but singing? I’m learning, at 64 years of age, that I can do that. I’m singing better now than I’ve ever done before, but I think it’s because I’ve studied it, and tried to develop a breathing style. I think this song sounds good. I don’t think people will know it’s me.”

Terry Bradshaw’s “Lights Of Louisiana.” On CDX 559.

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