Sam Hunt‘s latest hit, “Hard to Forget,” begins with a sample of Webb Pearce‘s number one from 1953, “There Stands the Glass.” 

Of course, Sam’s made a name for himself by putting a progressive spin on country music with smashes like “Body Like a Back Road” and “House Party.” If you’re wondering why he took such a traditional turn, the Georgia native confesses Ken Burns‘ Country Music documentary on PBS may be to thank.

“I think that may have been one of the reasons I was so drawn to it,” Sam tells ABC Audio. “When I listen to country music, I’ll go back to about the seventies and maybe some early George Jones I listen to sometimes, which goes even further back.”

“Occasionally, some Hank [WilliamsSenior,” he adds, “but rarely do I, like, really listen to that era of country music.”

“But it is familiar to me,” he continues, “because it’s always been around. My granddad listened to a lot of that music growing up and he’d be singing it around the house or he’d have it on or it’d be on at the feed store.”

For Sam, the PBS series reminded him of good times he spent with his grandfather.

“Watching that documentary, really, it kind of filled in some blanks with the story of my grandparents and their parents and their grandparents,” he reflects. “And so it it was very familiar to me.”

“And I think after watching that documentary — and I can’t remember if I watched that before hearing that sample — but I was just in that state of mind when I was writing that song,” Sam explains. “It just really felt like a piece of home to me.”  

“Hard to Forget” is on track to be Sam’s next number one.

By Stephen Hubbard
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