This Top 10 Parker McCollum Songs List showcases the best Parker McCollum Songs like “Pretty Heart” “To Be Loved by You” and more. Texas-born and raised since 1992, Parker McCollum grew up listening to country music classics that came from legendary artists, Buck Owens, Porter Wagoner, and Willie Nelson. His family also introduced him to Cross Canadian Ragweed, Chris Knight, and Pat Green, who is known for a style of country music known as red-dirt. During the summer season, McCollum worked on a cattle ranch with his father, who exposed him to classic rock music from Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, and Townes Van Zandt. In school, he played the violin for its orchestra, then learned to play guitar at thirteen years old. This was also the same time he began to write his own music, often mixing Americana, country and rock sound styles.
McCollum credits his older brother’s talent of lyrics and songwriting as the key influence that led him down the path he is still on today. In addition to his skill with the guitar and the violin, McCollum is also handy with the harmonica. When he was sixteen years old, he began to perform at local venues before moving on to college in Austin, Texas. While there, he continued to write and perform music that would lead him to his first recording release in 2013, a single titled “Highway” and an extended play (EP) A Red Town View.
On February 14, 2015, McCollum released his first studio album, The Limestone Kid, through the label of Cedar Creek Recording, which is located in Austin. The style of music saw a blend of Americana, country, and folk-rock, which featured the artist handling vocals, the guitar, and the harmonica. The majority of the music on the album were original pieces that were either written by McCollum or his family, which revolved around McCollum’s experiences while growing up in Limestone County and working at his grandfather’s ranch. Since then, he has recorded two additional studio albums, Probably Wrong on November 10, 2017, and Gold Chain Cowboy on July 30, 2021.
He also has three additional EP’s to his credit, namely Probably Wrong: Session One, which was released on July 7, 2017, and Probably Wrong: Session Two, which was released on September 8, 2017. Hollywood Gold was his fourth EP, which was released on October 16, 2020. McCollum has eleven released singles, but it has only been the latter work of his music that has been released through the bigger label, MCA Nashville, that his music has properly earned nationwide attention to see that music hit the US Billboard charts, as well as Canada’s. At just thirty years old and with such talent, this young artist still has so much more to offer the music industry that he’s sure to deliver for at least a few more years yet.
Top 10 Parker McCollum Songs
#10 – Lucy
“Lucy” was a playful, toe-tapping song Parker McCollum began writing while playing in another band at the time. When presented to his band members, they wanted no part of it. Later, when McCollum met a new group of bandmates, the feeling was the opposite, and wanted to have it recorded. According to McCollum, the wong was written on a whim in a rehearsal studio as he was reflecting back on good times. Although not officially released as a single, “Lucy” is featured on his debut album, The Limestone Kid. He admitted he never knew who “Lucy” was, but was unaware as he was rehearsing the song that it was being recorded, but it was his desire to write about good times as an adult rather than some kid.
#9 – High Above the Water
As a millennial who seems to understand the times with a clear head, Parker McCollum’s “High Above the Water” was the third single he released since starting his musical career. It is the second song from his debut album, The Limestone Kid, which was released in 2015. Not only does his refreshing Texas sound come through with confidence, but there is also the wave of uncertainties members of his fellow generation share.
As a song of inspiration, McCollum illustrated it’s better to go out on style and in the fire than to settle for a life that lacks purpose, even if there are waves of doubt that threaten to get in the way. McCollum’s performance of “High Above the Water” came across as if a young Frank Sinatra was born as a Texan, opting to be himself and do things his way instead of whatever the world expects from him.
#8 – South of the City Lights
“South of the City Lights” is a highly twangy, down-to-earth country song that paints the picture of life and love lessons often learned in small-town environments. The core of Parker McCollum seemed to burst loud and clear from this song seemed to bridge the easy-going nature of McCollum with the complexities and uncertainties of his generation’s wonderment about what today’s world has in store for them. It’s one of the eight tracks featured on McCollum’s second studio album, Probably Wrong, which was released in 2017.
#7 – I Can’t Breathe
From Parker McCollum’s second studio album, Probably Wrong, “I Can’t Breathe” quickly became a popular single that graced the Texas-based radio stations. The unconventional approach McCollum has taken to release most of his music as downloads as opposed to working with large record labels has been paying off as he’s able to record and release music as he sees fit instead of conforming to big-name producers who want to do things their way instead. This gamble has paid off for McCollum, especially through his second studio album as this is what put the music industry on notice.
It certainly won the attention of MCA Nashville and one can only hope they let him continue to do things his way, as this seems to be what the fans want. The sign of the times have been making it more obvious a growing number of listeners are favoring organically engineered music, which is what McCollum has quickly become established for. As for “I Can’t Breathe,” this highly emotional track became a fast favorite on streaming music sites like Spotify and continues to win even more fans as more listeners become aware of who Parker McCollum is and what this superstar-in-the-making can do.
#6 – Memphis Rain
Released in 2017 from Parker McCollum’s second studio album, Probably Wrong, “Memphis Rain” was a toe-tapping tale of an aspiring talent pursuing a dream. This song, combined with the entire EP, and the rest of McCollum’s work since his debut album, The Limestone Kid in 2015, served as a notice that the young talent was becoming a more mature and seasoned artist.
It definitely got the attention of the music industry as they’ve since seen McCollum as a destined great that is exactly what the entertainment industry as a whole needs right now. The bridge of Texas meeting Nashville, combined with lyrical storytelling, is a niche Parker McCollum had already mastered at such a young age.
#5 – Like a Cowboy
The second of three singles from Parker McCollum’s EP, Hollywood Gold, was “Like a Cowboy.” On the US Billboard Country Digital Songs chart, it charted as high as number twenty-two in 2020. Evidence of McCollum learning how to excel as a songwriter is seen here as he takes cues from the likes of Chris Stapleton, who is credited to the write-up of this song with the young country artist. This beautiful ballad showed a sensitive side to McCollum that illustrated his music simply isn’t about toe-tapping barn dance classics in the making.
#4 – Meet You in The Middle
“Meet You in The Middle” was the second single a twenty-two-year-old Parker McCollum released that became a huge hit on Texas radio stations in 2015. It earned over sixty thousand followers, as well as over one million listeners on Spotify since its release in less than two years. Lucky listeners that heard this song, as well as the music critics, seem to agree this served as a great intro to the music industry the unique, raw talent of a young singer-songwriter from Texas that seems to be destined for superstardom.
The bridge he has so far served as a homegrown Texas talent with its own music flair with Nashville country’s brand of music has definitely shaken up the genre’s music scene, which according to many fans and critics, is both refreshing and welcoming at the same time. “Meet You in the Middle” came from his debut album, The Limestone Kid, which is a recording loaded with youth-sharing tales from the Texan.
#3 – Young Man’s Blues
From Parker McCollum’s fourth EP, Hollywood Gold, “Young Man’s Blues” served as his third and final single. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, it peaked at number fifty. This catchy, hearty, and upbeat single, much like the rest of McCollum’s work on the EP, continued his lyrical storytelling about the unique bond he shared with his grandfather while working with him each summer at the Limestone Country Ranch.
Throughout most of this young artist’s career, he has continued to share his personal life stories with an audience that cares to listen. With a fan base that continues to grow, as well as the positive reviews that come from the critics, it seems more want to keep listening and discover what he will come up with next. In his own way, McCollum’s story about his transition from childhood to adult seemed to serve as a small town-Texas, organic version of Alan Jackson’s classic, Summertime Blues.
#2 – To Be Loved By You
First released as a download on January 1, 2021, then on country radio on January 25, 2021, “To Be Loved by You” was a single released from his first studio album with MCA Nashville, Gold Chain Cowboy. The inspiration behind McCollum’s second big hit single came as an inspiration about his fiancee, Hallie Ray Light, while he was on his bus tour with fellow songwriter, Rhett Akins. The two were engaged in a stream of songwriting sessions as a means to creatively pass the time while on the road.
The tale of a Texan mourning the lack of time he’s spent with his love interest due to circumstances going on in one’s life that all too often feels unfair. On the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “To Be Loved By You” served as the second top-ten single in his career, which peaked as high as number nine, as well as at number nine on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. It was also his second crossover hit into the US Billboard Hot 100 as it charted as high as number forty-eight. On the Billboard Canada Country Songs chart, it peaked at number forty-four.
#1 – Pretty Heart
“Pretty Heart” served as the big breakthrough hit for Parker McCollum after its 2019 release. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it peaked at number one and was a number-four hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also became his first crossover hit into the US Billboard Hot 100 at number thirty-six. In Canada, its Billboard Country chart peaked “Pretty Heart” at number eleven and at number seventy on its Canadian Hot 100.
This song was inspired by the original lyrics McCollum wrote in 2014 that were presented in 2018 to Randy Montana while the two did a songwriting session. This resulted in “Pretty Heart,” which revolved around the vulnerability of a somber narrator who is reeling from mistakes he made to cause a relationship to end on a sour note. According to the reviews shared by Billboard, the bravado performance behind McCollum’s vocals, combined with the swamp-rock slide guitar, gave off that real country-style music through its witty songwriting and storytelling.
“Pretty Heart’s” popularity while it was streaming on the internet, already had this hit charted before MCA could officially release it as a single. It impressed enough fans to either buy or download enough copies to earn this single certified platinum with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), as well as certified gold with Music Canada (MC). To Be Loved By You” was the first and most successful single that was released from his fourth EP, Hollywood Gold.
Photo: Eric Coleman, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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