On The Row: John King Talks Writing With Hootie & The Blowfish, Offers New Single “Try Saying Goodbye”

John King. Photo: LB Rogers

Georgia native John King recently visited the MusicRow offices to perform some of his latest music. King is currently signed with Starstruck Management and inked a publishing deal last year with Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

King offered an acoustic rendition of “We Went,” a song he wrote that went No. 1 for Randy Houser in 2015. The song’s success was a full-circle moment for King, who shared how Houser had encouraged him as an aspiring artist and songwriter some years earlier.

“I was playing every writers’ round and just living off a tip bucket. I got a residency playing Puckett’s downtown, playing every week. I would play a mix of covers and originals. One night, there was this one guy at the back by the bar and I could tell he really seemed focused on my songs and paying attention,” King said. “Toward the end of my set he came up and put $100 in my tip jar. It was Randy Houser. I felt like that told me I was on the right track.”

King also contributed a song on Hootie & the Blowfish’s upcoming album Imperfect Circle. He co-wrote “Rollin’,” which was ultimately released as the first song from the album.

“I was riding into town and got a call from my publisher. It was 30 minutes before the writing session, and they were like, ‘Would you like to write with Hootie & the Blowfish?’ I was like, ‘Yes!’ Talk about a band you grew up idolizing, that was one of the first concerts I saw in Greenville, South Carolina when I was six.”

King also performed his current single, “Try Saying Goodbye.”

“We wrote it just over two years ago. I told [Starstruck’s] Narvel [Blackstock] when I signed, ‘This is a song that has stuck with me.’ I think it’s because it rings true in my personal life. I wrote it about my wife. We were high school sweethearts and started dating when we were 15 years old. She’s the only girlfriend I ever had. Now we have a baby girl. You change a lot between 15 until now, a lot of progression happens. You get in those spots in a relationship where it’s real easy for pride to get in the way and for it all to just end. People listen to this and think it’s a breakup song, but to me, it’s a stay together song. But that’s what I love about this, that people can put their on stamp on it.”

John King and MusicRow Magazine owner/publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: LB Rogers

Pictured (L-R): David Ross, MusicRow Magazine Founder, Alex Kobrick, Sales Manager & Chart Director, Artist John King, MusicRow Magazine Sherod Robertson, Publisher/Owner, Jessica Nicholson, Managing Editor, LB Rogers, Project Manager. Photo: MusicRow.

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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