The Story Behind ALABAMA’S #1 Single “IN PICTURES”
“This song was born after walking into my song plugger Bobby Boyd’s office at BMG, located on the 2nd floor of 1 Music Circle North, sometime in 1992. He had a new photo of his son, who I believe lived in Texas, on the window ledge in his office. I remarked, “that boy is getting big”, Bobby’s somewhat mournful response was “yeah, I’m watching him grow in pictures.”I immediately made a mental note; that sure sounds like a good song idea, but I didn’t say anything about it and went about our typical conversation, about who knows what.
I soon took a trip back home to Rhode Island to visit with my family, and on these visits, I usually stayed with one of my sisters, who had recently begun having children, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the little ones. On the flight back to Nashville, I began to think of how sad it would be if they were my own kids and I only got to see them a few times a year, missing out on all their childhood milestones; their first steps, their first words and so on. Which of course, led me back to the phrase Bobby had uttered; “yeah, I’m watching him grow up in pictures.” The next day I stayed home and sat at the baby grand in the converted garage of our old house in Kingston Springs and the chorus “I missed her first steps, her first words and I love you daddy is something I seldom heard, oh it hurts me so to watch my baby grow, up in pictures”, just fell out. I remember thinking to myself; this is a good “verse”. Shows how much I knew.
The next time I stopped in the office to visit with Bobby, I told him I had used something he had said to me in conversation in a song and had a chorus and some verse ideas mapped out. I politely asked if he didn’t mind me using what he had said to me. Over the next week or two I would stop in and ask him what he thought of my latest ideas and we discussed the realities of the situation I was attempting to write about.
In a short period of time after demoing the song, Linda Davis recorded a wonderful, heart-felt version for her Arista debut CD, produced by John Guess. As luck would have it, Alabama would hear her version listening to her CD “Shoot for the Moon” while driving the through the Georgia mountains and decided to record it themselves and make it the title track of their 1995 CD release. It would become a #1 Country single in December of 1995.”
I guess some songs have a life of their own. In December of 2014, nineteen years after it topped the charts for Alabama, Craig Wayne Boyd performed “In Pictures” on the finale of the TV singing contest show “The Voice.” Eventually winning the contest and releasing his version as a digital single, reaching #3 on the digital sales chart. Always thankful! – Joe Doyle