Billy Currington is one of country music’s most consistent hitmakers, but he was a young artist looking for a shot when he made his Grand Ole Opry debut 20 years ago, on April 25, 2003.
Currington had released his debut single, “Walk a Little Straighter,” to country radio just days before, on April 21, and he performed the emotional, traditional-leaning song during his Opry debut. Currington teamed with Carson Chamberlain and Casey Beathard to write “Walk a Little Straighter,” which Chamberlain produced. The song tells the story of a young man being raised by an alcoholic father, and the impact his dad’s drinking has on his life.
“Walk a little straighter, daddy / You’re swaying side to side / Your footsteps make me dizzy and no matter how I try / I keep tripping and stumbling / If you’d look down here you’d see / Walk a little straighter, daddy / You’re leading me,” Currington sings in the chorus.
“Walk a Little Straighter” gave Currington a Top 10 hit straight out of the gate, reaching No. 8 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. He followed it up with “I Got a Feelin’,” which reached No. 5, and scored his first No. 1 hit single with his third single, “Must Be Doing Something Right,” in 2005.
Curington has gone on to a long string of hits, hitting No. 1 a total of eleven times with songs including “Good Directions,” “People Are Crazy,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” “Let Me Down Easy,” “Hey Girl,” “We Are Tonight,” “Don’t It”, “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” and “Do I Make You Wanna.” He continues to perform regularly at the Grand Ole Opry.