Behind the Song: Wilson Fairchild, “Ready for the Times to Get Better”

They could have taken the easy way out and called themselves The Reids, in a nod to their familiar family name – they are, after all, the sons of Harold and Don Reid of the Statler Brothers, the legendary vocal quartet that shared the stage live and on TV with Johnny Cash for so many years. Instead, first cousins Wil and Langdon Reid went with their middle names when selecting a name for their duo, Wilson Fairchild. They call their latest single, “Ready for the Times to Get Better,” “classic country meets modern Americana.”

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A song about a person’s dissatisfaction in his or her relationship, “Ready for the Times to Get Better” is a remake of the Crystal Gayle crossover hit of the 1970s, written by her producer, Allen Reynolds. Reynolds is probably best known as the producer behind Garth Brooks, as well as the writer of such classic works as the Vogues’ “Five O’Clock World” and the oft-covered Waylon Jennings song “Dreaming My Dreams of You.” Wilson Fairchild’s new version was produced by Gordon Kennedy, whose deep credits as a writer, producer and musician range from Eric Clapton to Carrie Underwood to Ricky Skaggs.

Langdon Reid talked about the recording of “Ready for the Times to Get Better” from Staunton, Virginia, where he and his cousin were born and raised, and where they, and their fathers, have always lived and worked from.

“Wil and I were just noodling around in our hotel room while were out touring,” Reid said. “We grew up obviously kind of country, and we love all kinds of country, but we always gravitate back to the country music of the ‘70s, it just really hits home with us. It was such good music, good songwriting, good production, it just teases our ear the best and the most when it comes to country music. We were just fooling around with ‘Times to Get Better,’ jamming on it, fingerpicking style, and we felt it lent itself to that kind of picking, and it grew from there.”

“We started doing it in concerts, and people were asking when we were gonna record it. So we called our buddy Gordon up and he said, ‘Let’s do it.’ The song just fits our style and our vocals and our guitar playing as well. And it’s exciting to look at our set list during a show and know we’re gonna be doing this song. That doesn’t happen a lot!”

“The way we go back with Gordon is that Gordon is the son of Jerry Kennedy, the producer for the Statler Brothers for 30 years over at Mercury Records, all the way up until their retirement in 2002. We all grew up on the same type of music, guitar playing, songwriting.” 

In these days of turmoil around the world, politically and in so many other ways, Reid said he and his cousin weren’t trying to take any kind of stance with a song called “Ready for the Times to Get Better.” They were just recording a song they like. 

“We’re lyric guys, and we always liked the lyrics of the song, but at the risk of sounding shallow, we were not making any kind of statement when we cut the song. We had people asking if it was it a political statement or a spiritual statement or something like that, and we weren’t doing anything like that. It’s just a good country song. It’s fun to play and it’s fun to listen to, and we wanted to record and perform it. It’s not anything more than that.”

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