Story Behind the Song: Trace Adkins, ‘I’m Tryin”
In 2001, Trace Adkins scored a Top 10 (No. 6) hit with "I'm Tryin'," the lead single from his Chrome album. Written by Anthony Smith, Jeffrey Steele and Chris Wallin, the song actually came out of a writing session for another project.
Below, Steele shares the story behind "I'm Tryin'" in his own words.
That morning Chris, Anthony and I got together to write, I had these words floating around in the back of my mind; I didn't even think it was a song. I was just kind of walking around that whole day singing, "All I can do is all I can do, and I keep on tryin' ..." It was very Beatles-ish, for lack of a better term. I'm a big Beatles fan.
We were asked to write a song for the Sammy Kershaw and Lorrie Morgan duet album [2001's I Finally Found Someone]. I hate when I get forced to write something for a certain project, because it's hard to be real.
We spent the whole day forcing these words together, and we wrote this [other] song, ["3 Seconds"]. After we finished the song, a couple of guys from the publishing company came in and wanted Chris, Anthony and I to go to this party. I said, "Man, I'd love to go, but I have this thing I want to play for these guys to see if they're interested in staying late and writing it."
Other than those few lines, I had the part about "this getting up early, pulling double shifts, gonna make an old man of me long before I ever get rich ..." I pulled out my guitar and sang it for Chris and Anthony.
Chris looked at me, and his eyes were bugged out! [Laughs] He says, "Man, I love that!" He immediately just spit out the second line about "it's been two years since we've finalized, and I still ain't used to saying 'ex-wife,' but I'm tryin'."
We worked on the song until well after midnight. The guys came back from the party, and they said, "Oh my God, that's great! You got to get that on tape!" So it just kind of went from there.
It was incredible! It was one of those things where you really felt like you weren't being creative. We'd spent the day forcing these words together working on this [other] song, and then all of a sudden, we were in the middle of this incredible song.
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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