Written by Kendell Marvel and Casey Beathard, “Right Where I need to Be” was recorded and popularized by country music icon Gary Allan. The song was his third and last single for his Smoke Rings in the Dark album in 1999. Released in September 2000, the song reached the number 5 spot on the US Billboard Hot Country Tracks and Singles chart by June 2001. “Right Where I need to Be” became Gary Allan’s first top 5-hit and his third one to reach the top 10.
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The song tells the story of an executive trying to climb the corporate ladder but at the expense of his personal life. The man’s boss promises him a promotion if he flies on a business trip to New Orleans.
The man decides to abandon the opportunity of a promotion. He leaves his first-class seat empty to stay with the one he loves. The man says staying by his lover’s side is “Right where he needs to be.”
Before “Right Where I need to Be” got released as a single, it charted unsolicited airplay while another one of Gary Allan’s Greatest Hits, “Lovin You Against My Will,” was still rising on the charts. As a result, the song got the longest chart run during the 2000s decade.
However, the Billboard Charts eventually credits the song with fewer weeks on the chart because of a rule change they implemented on January 13, 2001. During that time, Hot Country Singles shrank to 60 from 75 positions. All the songs on the chart had their total number of weeks spent on the chart recalculated. The rule change decreased the song’s 23 weeks on the charts to 16 weeks.
The production of the music video for the song was also interesting. They shot it on a deserted runway at Nashville International Airport while enduring a 98-degree heat day. Chris Rogers directed the video and showed Gary Allan and a full band on a mobile stage and performing the song on the airport tarmac.
Want to hear this sweet song for yourself? You can listen to Gary Allan’s “Right Where I need to Be” by clicking here.