“Old Enough to Know Better”
Written by Wade Hayes and Chick Raines
#1 (2 weeks)
February 25 – March 4, 1995
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
February 17, 1995
Wade Hayes is the last young traditionalist of the nineties to launch his career with a No. 1 single.
The Road to No. 1
Wade Hayes grew up in Oklahoma as part of a musical family, with a temporary move to Nashville when his father earned an independent record deal. Once Hayes was a teen, he played in his dad’s band while he honed his own musical skills. He attended three colleges before fully committing to his musical career, moving back to Nashville on his own and developing his songwriting talent. His writing partner Chick Raines put Hayes on the radar of established record producer Don Cook, who helped Hayes sign a deal with Columbia Records.
The No. 1
Hayes started hot, topping the chart with his debut single. Even in a crowded field of “hat acts,” with so many traditional male country vocalists on the radio, he immediately stood out.
“Old Enough to Know Better” is cleverly written and reflects the youthful energy of Hayes early in his career. It’s striking how even on a simple rave-up, his deep baritone and rich vocal style shine through.
Hayes would likely have been held in the same regard as Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, and Tracy Byrd if he’d come along just a little bit earlier.
He’s just a damn good singer that came along a little too late in the nineties to be fully appreciated. At least radio was on board for his first album.
The Road From No. 1
Wade Hayes kept the momentum going with his second single, which reaches No. 1 a bit later in 1995.
“Old Enough to Know Better” gets a B+.
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