Text by Chuck Dauphin
For Henry County native Byron Gallimore, it really did all begin with a song. One of Nashville’s most prolific producers of the past two decades, he says it was winning a songwriting contest that brought him to Music City.
“I was farming in West Tennessee and playing nightclubs. I won a song festival, and as a result of that, I got to meet with some publishers, and signed with Dick James Publishing,” he recalls. The song that helped Gallimore win the contest, “No Ordinary Woman,” was released as a single, and even dented the Billboard singles chart. However, it would be in a behind-the-scenes fashion that Gallimore would make his biggest impact on the industry.
“When I was with Dick James, I was working with some of Charley Pride’s writers. He always liked the demos I was cutting, and he said, ‘When you get out
of this writers’ deal, I want you to come talk to me.’”
Gallimore did just that, and worked for the Country Music Hall of Fame member for 14 years, running the company the last 12, and all the while learning about the music business – especially in terms of production. Working with new artists in the studio would be something he would develop a flair for; particularly a couple of artists he started working with in the early 90s, Jo Dee Messina and Tim McGraw. In fact, save a few cuts from McGraw’s debut disc, Gallimore has been there as producer for the superstar from day one. What makes that connection work so well?
“We’re totally complimentary as far as what we do,” Gallimore explains. “Tim is a good producer. He looks at the overall picture of what he wants to do. I’m able to work with the players and the chord lingo, and all the things that you have to do to get a cut together. We’ve also been good friends, and there’s never been any cross words. It’s been successful to a point that, thankfully, there’s not been a need to change.”
He also has worked with Faith Hill on hits such as “Breathe,” and produced Lee Ann Womack’s 2005 CMA Album of the Year, There’s More Where That Came From.
Now the boy who grew up in Puryear, TN, is the man behind his own label, Streamsound, a partnership with longtime friend Jim Wilkes.
The label’s first signee is traditional newcomer Jaida Dreyer. “She had been writing for me for a couple of years, and she is so unique,” says Gallimore. “It’s an opportunity for us to find great artists, and represents another step for me career-wise.” Sounds like another West Tennessean living his dream!