Story Behind the Song: Michael Ray, ‘Didn’t Know I Was Country’


Sometimes you don’t know how good you’ve got it — or how things differ around the world — until you leave. Michael Ray‘s song “Didn’t Know I Was Country” explores that theme through the lens of his hometown of Eustis, Fla.

“I didn’t know I was country / Thank God I am,” Ray sings in the chorus, naming off all of the things he grew up learning, observing and enjoying without knowing what he knew wasn’t the same as what everyone else did. The idea of the song, the singer shares, came from a friend, songwriter Taylor Phillips.

Ray and Phillips co-wrote “Thank God I Was Country” with Ashley Gorley. Below, Ray shares the story behind the song in his own words.

My buddy Taylor Phillips had the idea for it. He was like, “Man, isn’t it weird that you don’t know you’re any different? You think everybody does the same things like your family does until you get older, move out, go to another place. Like, in ways, you didn’t know you were country until you went somewhere else, but thank God that you are.”

And so, it just mentions all those things about country living and all the things that we all do that we didn’t know that, in our world, we had it made. It’s a song just about being from my hometown and not really knowing that people do things different around the world until you travel around the world.

Listen to Michael Ray on Taste of Country Nights, On Demand:

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