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When Darryl Worley showed up to shoot his "Family Tree" video at a late-1800s house near Chapel Hill, Tenn., he was pretty sure he'd be the center of attention. After all, it was his video.
But another performer almost stole the show!
"He was just the epitome of a hound dog," grins Darryl, describing his scene-stealing fellow actor. "Just big and lazy with old floppy ears. I don't know if you remember Beauregard from Hee Haw, but he's got Beauregard beat.
"And there was a moment during the performance section of the video where he just went into a wallowing fit! You've seen dogs do that - they get up on their back and just start floppin' - and he was movin' to the music! Right on the beat!"
Fortunately, the dog was captured in mid-wallow. "It was just unbelievable," laughs Darryl. "He did it for the longest time. When they let the cameraman know what was goin' on, he immediately took the camera off of us and focused on the dog! It was a funny scene!"
The canine cutup fit in perfectly with the good-time feel of the song about a couple who can't seem to stop doing what comes naturally - and havin' babies as a result. And with every new arrival, Darryl notes that they add another branch to the "Family Tree."
The lanky singer, who has been married to wife Beverly for a year and a half, hasn't added any limbs to his own family tree - yet. "We had high hopes of having children right off the bat, but things have changed," he explains. "We've just been so busy. We've realized that having children right now would probably be tough on both of us and the children, so we've got that on hold. But gosh, someday I'd like to have kids - at least two or three!
"And that was one of the things that really turned me on when I first heard 'Family Tree.' It's right down my alley, the whole hillbilly nature of the song: If I find another tick I'm gonna come unglued is one of my favorite lines. And just like in the song, me and my wife started our life together in a house made out of sawmill wood. In fact, we cut the timber off her daddy's property, he sawed it at his sawmill and we all pitched together and built the house. We're not faking it, we're living it!"
Family has always been important to Darryl, which is why the Savannah, Tenn., native felt right at home on the "Family Tree" video shoot.
"It reminded me of back home, just the setting and the fact that the house was lived in," he says quietly. "There's a family livin' there. They were great people. Wonderful, nice folks. Their little son, Adam, was in the video. He was tickled with that."
Darryl's obviously pretty pleased with the song and video, too. "I think it's colorful and a different side of me that people haven't really seen," he declares. "I'd love for it to catch on with fans, so we could have another big hit right behind the last one."
He's referring to the title cut from his I Miss My Friend album, which was Darryl's first
No. 1 and a major factor in his first-ever CMA nomination, for the 2002 Horizon Award. "People seem to take me a little more seriously" since notching No. 1, Darryl observes. "They know I'm gonna be in the hunt for a while."
It also doesn't hurt that Darryl is continuing his high-profile Big Men Of Country tour with fellow six-and-a-half-footer Trace Adkins.
"I like Trace a lot, because he's straight-up - what you see is what you get," reports Darryl. "It makes life a lot easier for me, because I'm that kind of person, too. In fact, his whole bunch is really great. We're starting to feel more comfortable around everybody now, and it's loosened up a whole lot."
With all else going well, all Darryl can hope for now is that "Family Tree" is on its way to the top branch of the charts.
"That's probably the thing that I would like to see happen more than anything else," he admits. "Because I think, as an artist and as a group - the crew, my management company, the label, all of us together - that would sort of solidify things even more in my career. And I feel like it's going to."
-- David Scarlett