Music: Songwriter Shane McAnally Learns It Really IS In the DNA

The hit Nashville songwriter/producer shares-for the first time anywhere- something he recently learned about his roots and why music is so much a part of him

By kncitom on October 23, 2019

Growing up, songwriter Shane McAnally was obsessed with music, and was writing songs while still in grade school. As he got older and more into music, he always thought it was strange that he took to it so easily, when nobody else in his family was musically-inclined.

It wasn’t natural to anyone else in my family” McAnally, who’s written (at last count) 40 #1 country songs, told me while taping the December episode of my songwriting podcast, Write You a Song. “Noone said ‘oh, you should play guitar, or, you should play piano, or, you should write songs’. I just did it, and I had never seen anyone else do it, so it was clearly meant to be.”

More than Shane could ever know, as it turned out. Recently his father discovered something remarkable, something Shane said he was sharing for the first time anywhere.

I did find out something very interesting and I’ve never even talked about this so you’re getting the super-inside scoop: My dad was adopted and I did know that growing up.” But, he adds, “we very recently found out about my dad’s biological father. And my dad didn’t know him and I’d never met him, of course. But we have some pictures of him as a teenager, and he is holding a guitar in every one of those, and that just kinda blew my mind because I had never seen anyone in my family show interest in music like that.”

It just shows, he said, “how….there is a nature part of it. It was in my blood, and it just showed up.”

You can hear the full interview with Shane, who talks about everything from his struggle for success to his tenure as a coach on the hit NBC show Songland, when his Write You a Song episode drops December 1st. Download it wherever you get your podcasts from.




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