By CLINT FOSTER
At age 6, Shane McAnally sat on the edge of his mother’s bed in their Mineral Wells home, his eyes glued to the television set.
It was the night of the Country Music Association Awards in 1980.
Barbara Mandrell took the entertainer of the year award and a little ditty called “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” by George Jones, won song of the year.
Young Shane watched as many of his country music heroes graced the stage on that small screen. What happened next, his mother, Margaret Terry remembers very clearly.
Shane looked back at his mom and said, “Mama, one of these days, I’m gonna be there.”
Thirty-three years later, Shane has an office on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn., and works as a singer, songwriter and producer.
Shane has been involved with eight No. 1 singles this year with some of country music’s most famous names, like Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan, to name just a few.
When “Country Music’s Biggest Night” comes around this year, Nov. 6, Shane will be nominated for four CMAs. He’s nominated twice in the song-of-the-year category – as a songwriter for “Merry Go ‘Round,” sung by Kacey Musgraves, and “Mama’s Broken Heart,” sung by Miranda Lambert. It is only the second time in the CMA’s 47-year history that a songwriter has competed against himself for song of the year.
He is also nominated for album of the year for co-producing Musgraves’ new record “Same Trailer, Different Park” and for single of the year for producing Musgraves’ song “Merry Go ‘Round.”
In Shane’s words, “It was a good year to know Kacey Musgraves.”
But as is often the case, Shane’s success did not happen overnight. It’s just been in the last five years that his songwriting and producing careers have truly taken off. But to properly tell Shane’s story, it would seem best – as they say in “The Sound of Music” – to start at the very beginning; a very good place to start