Neal McCoy sings “If I Was a Drinkin Man”
Hubert Neal McGaughey Jr., known in the music world as Neal McCoy, was born on July 30,1958, in Jacksonville, TX. Over the course of his musical career, McCoy has released ten studio albums and 34 country singles. Like many country artists, Neal fostered his love for singing in his local church choir but was exposed to many genres growing up. Neal formed his first band in the R&B format before later switching to country music.
When Neal decided to pursue a career as a recording artist, he released his first singles, “That’s How Much I Love You” and “That’s American,” under the name Neal McGoy. In 1990, he signed a record deal with Atlantic Records who advised him to go by the stage name “Neal McCoy,” as many fans had already begun to refer to him as such.
In 1991, McCoy’s big-label career got a slow start with his debut album, At This Moment, which failed to deliver any placement on the Billboard Top-4a0 chart. However, Neal’s sophomore album, Where Forever Begins (1992) produced the hit single, “Now I Pray for Rain,” which reached no. 26 on the chart.
In 1993, McCoy soared to No. 1 with his lead single, “No Doubt about It,” the title track for the album. His subsequent single, “Wink,” earned McCoy his second No. 1. Additional singles from the album, “The City Put the Country Back in Me” and “For a Change,” both broke the Top-5. The breakthrough album earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and gold certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)..
McCoy’s commercial success continued into the mid and late 90s. He earned two more platinum albums and a Gold in the US with a string of additional Top-10 hits, including “They’re Playing Our Song,” “You Gotta Love That,” “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” and culminating with another stand-out signature song for McCoy, “The Shake.” Though critics panned the single, fans loved it and which helped propel his Greatest Hits album to platinum status. In 1997, McCoy took home “Video of the Year” honors at TNN/Music City News Country Awards, and was named “Entertainer of the Year” in both 1998 and 1999. McCoy’s seventh Top-10 hit, “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On,” came in 2005 from his self-released That’s Life. The album came it at No. 3 on the Indie Country chart and at No. 8 on Billboard’s Country chart.
Since that time, McCoy continues to record and tour, as well as make appearances. In 2011, he appeared in a PBS special, “Music of Your Life,” a big band jazz and country amalgam with Les Brown, Jr. In 201, he released XII, his twelfth studio album with brand new tracks included, which hit Billboard’s Top-50 Album chart. In 2013, he released Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride, Neal’s long time friend and mentor; 2015 brought the Big Band Standards CD You Don’t Know Me.
Neal has been on 15 USO Tours around the world and continues to say it’s one of the achievements for which he is most proud. In 2016, Neal bolstered his patriotism by beginning to recite the Pledge of Allegiance LIVE on his Facebook page every morning. He is also the recipient of multiple Humanitarian awards from The Academy of Country Music, The Country Radio Broadcasters and The Masonic Grand Lodge.In 2016 Neal has again made a move to continue his patriotic values by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance “Live” on his Facebook page every morning. Neal also supports his own charity organization: East Texas Angel Network, which is committed to the enhancement of the lives of children of East Texas who are living with terminal or life-threatening diseases.