Jimmy Wayne has been waiting for years to record the Hall & Oates song "Sara Smile." So when the country singer finally did it, it was only fitting that he made it the title of his third album.
"I ended up, when I moved to Nashville, getting a record deal singing 'Sara Smile,'" he said. "The song has been my sword and shield. It's just opened every door for me, and I eventually got the opportunity to record it. It's just been my dream."
But if it hadn't been for a chance encounter with a bargain box years earlier, Wayne may not have found his lucky song.
"I was returning a rental suit to the mall back in my hometown," said Wayne. "On my way out of the mall, I saw this bargain box and there was a Hall & Oates greatest hits CD, and I bought it for a dollar. I remember that day very well. I was going home, and I was listening to the CD, and I heard the song 'Sara Smile.' I just fell in love with it."
When Wayne got the go-ahead to record the song for the album, which was released late last month, he felt like he hit the jackpot.
Daryl Hall and John Oates went into the studio and sang background vocals on it, he said.
"I mean to hear my voice on the same tracks as those guys was just incredible, because they're the most successful duo in rock history. They wrote the song, and here they are singing on it with me," he said. "You can't hardly even imagine that feeling."
The song has been good to Hall & Oates lately as well. They recently received a Grammy nomination for "Sara Smile" in the best pop performance by a duo or group category. The recording, from their "Live at the Troubadour" album, is competing against tunes from the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, the Fray and MGMT.
As for "Sara Smile" _ the album _ Wayne has a good feeling about it. Keith Urban co-wrote the first track on the CD, "Things I Believe."
"For some reason he didn't record this song. He may have been holding it, but he let me have it, and I'm very thankful for that," Wayne said. "I also made it the first song on the album, because it's just an up-tempo song. It kind of gets you into it."
One of the tracks Wayne wrote on the album is called "Elephant Ears." It's about a foster child who finally finds a family. The 37-year-old drew on his personal experience in the foster care system.
"Being a foster kid, growing up in and out of homes, I relate to it very well, and I just want to bring some more awareness to how important it is for us to remember those kids, take care of them."
Overall, Wayne _ who has been enjoying a career resurgence since his debut in 2003 _ is just trying to take it all in.
"I'm twittering a lot. I've got my cell phone in my back pocket, and I'm just trying to capture every moment of this thing, because it's a very special time for me."
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