Travis Denning’s single, “After a Few,” finally hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart for the week of June 13, after a whopping 65-week climb. That’s a record for the Country Airplay chart, marking the longest rise to the number-one spot of any single in its entire history.

“Well man, honestly, [it was] hectic as hell and stressful,” Travis admits about his song’s slow crawl to the top in a new interview with Billboard. “I kind of actually had to unplug a touch and not watch the charts as much as I did on my first single…As an artist, you can torture yourself when you’re constantly looking.”

That first single was “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs,” which peaked in September of 2018 in the low 30s. While that song didn’t ultimately perform as well on the chart as “After a Few,” Travis said it was the song that put him on the country music map.  Plus, it taught the then-debuting artist about the unpredictable nature of chart success, and helped gain a perspective that would serve him well during “After a Few”’s slow climb.

“I know this game pretty well, and when [‘After a Few’] was in the 40s and 50s, I knew it was going to stay there for a while,” he adds.

Travis’ history with “After a Few” has been even longer than fans may realize. He wrote it about four years ago, when he didn’t have a record deal yet, and thought about pitching it to some other artists instead of recording it himself.

“My first thought was to pitch it to either Dustin Lynch or Luke Bryan,” he reveals. “When I signed with Mercury, they wanted me to keep it for myself.”

By Carena Liptak
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