Every top artist and producer along Music Row has known Tony Stampley’s music and songwriting for years. He has written songs for superstars like George Jones, Randy Travis, John Anderson, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Billy Currington, Hank Williams Jr., and many other artists. Tony grew up in a home surrounded by music and country radio. Tony’s dad, the CMA Award-winning Joe Stampley, had a whopping 61 radio hits on the Billboard country charts. Tony is proof to the statement that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Tony has written unforgettable hooks, songs, and country hits throughout his career.
Tony will help pick out one lucky winner in tomorrow’s Legend’s Country Music Song Writing Contest. The winner will get to co-write a song alongside of Stampley, as well as having the song premiered on KSBI, $500 cash, and prizes from Sheplers. If there is one thing Stampley knows, that is how to write a hit song. So how does Stampley do it? He says to start out with an idea.
“A lot of people ask me how I write my songs, do I write the melody first or the lyrics first,” Stampley said. “It’s just sometimes if you have a melody you’ve been wanting to write, you put words to it. I usually just start out with an idea. If you don’t have an idea, you don’t have anything. If it is a good enough idea or title, the song will about write itself.”
Stampley has been around in the country music scene for years. In an industry that is hard to break into and even harder to remain in, Tony says he has been able to be so successful by being ready when the time comes.
“Like I told Trace Atkins when I got him to move into town, song writing is like a lotto ticket, you have to be present to win,” Stampley said. “That helped me a lot being in Nashville. I started out writing songs when I first moved out there and Hank Williams Jr. recorded three of my five songs that I had written. I got pretty fortunate with that. The big thing is having the artist hear your song and networking with people. Once you find some people who have written songs and you begin to gel with them, you just continue to write with them on a consistent basis.”
Now that Stampley is in the position to help return the favor and play a part in the start of some ones career, he couldn’t be happier to lend a helping hand.
“It’s a kick, man, it is really fun,” Stampley said. “When I first started out, you’re looking for someone to give you a break and I think that is what this contest is all about. A lot of times, people don’t have the access to guys like me that know all the people that takes songs in Nashville.
“We are looking for that one person and we are going to give them one key word to write a song off of,” Stampley said. “They are going to hear the word and try to write a song based off that word, so its not just a song they wrote when they were 12 or something. We want to see if someone has the talent to write it off the cuff right then and there. They have to sing an original and one of the key word.” With the pressure of making a song up on the spot in front of one of the greatest country songwriters in history watching, the task could be nerve wracking, but the reward could be an opportunity of a lifetime.