Phil Vassar / Photo credit: amazon.com
Phil Vassar originally released his album American Child on August 6, 2002. Included here was the album’s title track which became a Top 5 hit shortly after. Likewise, “American Child” turned out to be the most successful single of the said project. Then again, the singer-songwriter has proven his songwriting expertise in this album where he co-wrote all of the 12 tracks. In particular, Vassar poured out his songwriting prowess in his song “American Child” considering that it’s a tune about him. A prominent Billboard magazine reviewer critiqued the single positively. Apart from the praises for the musical accompaniment and production aspects, Vassar also received favorable feedbacks on his song’s impact to the Americans. Specifically, the song will “kindle pride in the hearts of all who are appreciative of the freedom Americans have to pursue our dreams.”
Phil Vassar’s Autobiographical Song
Many artists in county music have written and recorded their respective autobiographical song. And, they acquired fame for it. Perhaps, the best example that we can cite for this is Loretta Lynn with her “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” For Phil Vassar, it’s his “American Child” hit. Enlisting the help of Craig Wiseman, Vassar tried to chronicle his early life, rise to fame, and eventually becoming a father.
In the song, Vassar describes his growing up years in “Nowhere, Virginia.” He was a slim boy who used to play baseball until his face gets dirty. Living a poor life in that place, it seems impossible for him to be reaching further in the future. Fortunately, things turned for the better for him and as he said,
“Now I’m singing and living the life that I love
And when I count my blessings I thank god I was an American child.”
In 1987, Vassar moved to Nashville to pursue a singing career. With his desire to make himself a more well-rounded artist, he also attempted to become a songwriter. Indeed, it’s in writing songs that his career blossomed. Many of the songs he penned for other artists also helped propel their career. The list of country artists whom Vassar helped rise to fame with the songs he wrote include: Jo Dee Messina (“Bye, Bye“; “I’m Alright“), Tim McGraw (“For a Little While”), Alan Jackson (“Right on the Money”) and Collin Raye (“Little Red Rodeo”).
In the music video which was filmed in the middle of a wheat field, Vassar performs another important role – being a father. Scenes of him having a good time with his little girl flash as he reminisces about his daughter’s birth. Watch the full music video below.
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Alan Jackson, American Child, Craig Wiseman, Jo Dee Messina, Phil Vassar, tim mcgraw