Carrie Underwood’s Big, Bold Decision — Secret History of Country Music Podcast
Carrie Underwood was on a plane when she made a decision that changed the course of her career. The sweet 22-year-old midwesterner had just won American Idol and was choosing songs for her debut album when a song began that was the true antithesis of everything she knew and believed in.
She was all in — immediately.
"Before He Cheats" songwriters Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear told this story to the Tennessean, admitting they thought they were writing for another female country star, someone with a more believable bite. In fact, Kear had no idea who Underwood was in the summer of 2005. When the pair wrote the lyrics, they were trying to be funny.
But she was committed.
This week's episode (Ep. 5) of the Secret History of Country Music Podcast explores "Before He Cheats" as a way to explore Underwood's unlikely career as a bonafide country killer. After this 2006 hit, the body count started to add up on albums like Blown Away and Storyteller, and this songwriting duo was there for much of it. It's all in stark contrast to the sweet, shy, sheltered young woman fans had just met on Idol. Who can forget her early moments on the show, talking about how she'd never even flown in a plane, and how she hoped her dad would let her talk to her pets while she was in Hollywood?
The second half of this week's podcast looks at a music video that required some behind-the-scenes antagonism. Years ago, VH1 gave "Before He Cheats" a one-off Pop-Up Video treatment, and while it doesn't exist on the internet any longer, ToC's Billy Dukes has a long memory. Let's just say everything was not as it seemed in the clip.
Season 1 of the Secret History of Country Music Podcast is an extension of the popular video series of the same name, and a part of the Townsquare Media podcast network. Look for new episodes every Monday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Taste of Country. Be sure to follow for more great country music podcasts.