Whether you call it "neo-classic" or "neo-traditional," Wade Hayes music is all about honoring the traditional music that he loves. "The music I grew up on, it was really good music. Gene Watson, Gary Stewart, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings - those are my top 5."
Wade has built his own solid reputation as a performer. Beginning with his signature No. 1 song "Old Enough to Know Better," hes cut a path through the country music landscape with top tunes "Im Still Dancin With You," "What I Meant to Say," "Dont Stop," "The Day That She Left Tulsa," and others. He was named Billboard magazines "Top New Country Artist in 1995," and in 1997 was chosen the "Male Star of Tomorrow" by TNN Music City News.
What he brings to the country music scene is a distinctive heart-reaching baritone, well-written songs and outstanding musicianship. There isnt another voice like his on country radio. Audiences connect with the songs he writes - whether they have you wanting to dance, chuckling out loud or wiping tears from your eyes. And you can stack him right in there with Nashvilles top guitar players. When he strides onstage, you know he was born to be there.
Wades journey to todays country music stage began in the tiny country town of Bethel Acres, Oklahoma. Its one of those communities where you dont live close to your neighbors, but everyone knows you and cares about you. At age 14 Wade played lead guitar in his dads country band, but had very little experience beyond Oklahoma.
"When I came to Nashville, Id never been on a plane or seen the ocean." Still, he knew he wanted to have a career in country music. When he drove into the Nashville scene in his pick-up truck with a few bucks in his pocket and a big dream, he wanted to be a lead guitar player and right hand man for a big-time country artist. Little did Wade know what lay ahead for him.
In Nashville, he balanced the rigors of working construction during the day and playing the clubs each night. Seasoned songwriter Chick Rains saw him at Gilleys and recognized the high level of Wades talent. Rains took him to producer/songwriter Don Cook, who also happened to be vice president for Sony/ATV. In a 72-hour period, Wade had a publishing contract and a label deal and entered a whirlwind world. Rains would become a friend and a major co-writer.