9. Back When:
As I have previously told you, The Rev and I went a few years where we didn’t have the opportunity to write together at all. It seriously put a dent in my song output, because I sort of lost my will to write without my favorite co-writer around. I mean… I managed to write some things—but my heart really wasn’t in it.
Anyway, on our first opportunity to write together after several years of inactivity, we wrote “Back When.”
When I was a kid, footballs were not very popular in our basketball crazy state of Kentucky. GO BIG BLUE! As much as I loved basketball, I loved football too. I watched games any time I could on our old black & white Motorola TV. Of course the Kentucky Wildcats were my favorite team, but they were never very good and seldom on TV. However, my favorite pro player was a guy named Johnny Unitas, who played for the Baltimore Colts … that’s right—Baltimore, not Indianapolis. I was really a Cleveland Browns fan, but Johnny U was my man all the way.
Once, after watching a pro game, my brother Mike and I wanted to play football but didn’t have a ball. I folded and rolled up an old brown coffee sack and tied it up with baler twine. Wallah! We had us a football.
That is how this song started taking life, reliving those old times. Now tell me, what 12 year old boy has not pretended to be driving their dad’s car off to the destination of their dreams, with their first crush by their side? The Rev and I spent a great day together fashioning this tale that was really our own lives in song. Oh, for those days again…. The pickins’ at Hobart and Dorothy Skaggs’ place when Ricky was just a kid, when a guy named Keith Whitley and his brother Dwight might just show up and blow you away. When a good time didn’t cost a dime..……. back when.