Neal McCoy has been known for his energetic live shows and incredible rapport with his audience. Still, it’s his brand of neo-traditionalist honky tonk that brought him a string of hits in the mid-’90s after winning a talent contest in 1981.
Here are our top 10 favorite songs by Neal McCoy.
10. If I Was a Drinkin’ Man
Though its title may suggest a rowdy ode to wilder days, in reality, “If I Was A Drinkin’ Man” is a thoughtful ballad about how a man copes with his lover’s departure. The lyric says, “If I was a drinkin’ man like I used to be, I’d get myself a bottle, and you’d be history. You made me a thinkin’ man when you walked out. If I was a drinkin’ man, I wouldn’t need you now.”
With McCoy’s warm voice and smooth delivery, this track peaked No. 16 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
9. You Gotta Love That
The song was released as the fourth single from his album You Gotta Love That. The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in April 1996. Here, McCoy proved that he’s one heck of a live performer as “You Gotta Love That” is a party song that you’d want to play on full blast during road trips.
8. They’re Playin Our Song
“They’re Playin Our Song” is another hit of McCoy, it peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and No. 8 on the RPM Country Tracks in Canada.
7. Going, Going, Gone
The song was first recorded by American country music artist Bryan White on his self-titled debut album in 1994 and was later cut by Neal McCoy. It was released as the second single from the album Neal McCoy and peaked No. 35 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
6. Now I Pray For Rain
With lyrics that go, “Well, I used to curse the thunder. I used to run for cover when it came. But since I let it strike me, I never looked at lightning quite the same. Now I pray for rain,” this pop-accessible country song quickly made it through the heart of many country fans.
5. The City Put the Country Back in Me
Billboard magazine reviewed the song, and called it a “lightweight effort, a sassy, brassy tale of a lad who finds the best of country life in a city honky-tonk.” It peaked No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and No. 11 on the RPM Country chart in Canada.
4. The Shake
“The Shake” is one of those fiery, fiddle-driven line dance songs that make the ’90s country fun.
It’s the only single from Neal McCoy’s Greatest Hits compilation album, and it peaked No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and No. 7 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks.
3. No Doubt About It
“No Doubt About It” is McCoy’s first No. 1 country hit in early 1994.
The song sweetly says that the narrator and his woman belong together, “Like a hammer and a nail, socks, and shoes. We go hand in hand, like a rhythm and blues. What good is a man who hasn’t got a dream? ‘Bout as good as a car with no gasoline. You’re the one I’m dreaming of got to have your love can’t live without it. We were meant to be together, no doubt about it!”
2. For A Change
Of all his songs, this is the most personal to McCoy.
“There’s a song called ‘For a Change’ that really speaks to my life,” he said. “When I first met my wife, I was a happy man for a change. I had been through a few relationships that didn’t work out, and that song just hit the nail on the head all those years ago. And I like to think that my wife likes it a little bit.”
If there’s one song that comes to mind when you hear the name Neal McCoy, it’s absolutely “Wink.” It’s definitely his signature song, and every time he performs it live, he became the definition of energetic. His fans can feel the excitement radiate off him with every word he sings.
“Wink,” which is a simple and fun song that tells the tale of a man that just needs a wink from his lover to lighten his mood, reached the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.