Thirty years ago today, on Oct. 29, 1990, Vince Gill earned his first gold record, signifying sales of 500,000 copies, with his 1989 album, When I Call Your Name.
All four singles from When I Call Your Name reached the Top 25, including a duet with Reba McEntire, “Oklahoma Swing,” and the title track, which peaked at No. 2. The album was Gill’s fourth, and his first for MCA Records; he previously released three records on RCA Records. The singer-songwriter co-wrote eight of the disc’s 11 tracks, which include contributions from hit songwriters such as Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark and Don Cook, among others.
“One thing I was grateful for is that it was a really traditional country record,” Gill says. “I really like deep, deep-rooted, hardcore, twangy kind of country music, the old-school stuff. I don’t like the new stuff very much. The contemporary side of it’s okay; I’ve done some of it. But I’m not as crazy about it as I am those great old records of the ’50s and ’60s that I grew up on and, to me, is the definition of what country music is.”
When I Call Your Name was ultimately certified double platinum, signifying sales of more than 2 million copies, to date. The record kicked off a series of successes for Gill: His next five records were certified at least platinum.
“I think it’s as simple as having the right record at the right time, having the right song at the right time,” Gill explains. “As I go back and listen to my earlier records, I’m not surprised that they’re not hits. Hit records sometimes are not necessarily that great either. It takes one to have another. You can’t have the second one until you have the first one.”
Gill won a CMA in 1990 for “When I Call Your Name,” and another in 1991, for Single of the Year, for the same song. He won his first Grammys trophy, for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for the song as well.
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