Photo: Chris Wallin, right, and Toby Keith celebrate the success of their number one single, “Love Me If You Can.” Raised in a small town in East Tennessee, Chris Wallin came to Nashville more than a decade ago to be part of the music business, or starve trying. Wallin lived on occasional temp job paychecks and fast-food burgers he bought in bulk and kept in the freezer until he finally began to make money at what he loved to do: Write songs. Performing wherever he could and hooking up with people like Jeffrey Steele and Anthony Smith, who apparently liked his style and began to write with him, Wallin eventually managed to get his songs recorded by Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley and others. Today Wallin has a co-publishing deal with ole Music Publishing, one of the largest independent publishers in the business with offices in Toronto, L.A. and Nashville. Wallin was gracious enough to take some time out of his busy writing, performing and teaching schedule to talk with American Songwriter. How long were you in town before you got a cut, and what was it. I had been in town about three years when I had a cut that was a co-write with Jeffrey Steele and Anthony Smith called "3 Seconds" that Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw cut. It was the only duet I’ve ever written and it was pitched as a very rough guitar/vocal demo with me singing both the male and female parts. It still amazes me that they were able to hear the song through that work tape. The day we finished “3 Seconds” we started a song called “I'm Tryin’,” which was cut by Trace Adkins and was my first top five record. Your discography reflects a lot of whom you... Sign In to Keep Reading
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