David Nail knows a thing or two about covers of iconic songs, having created his own “Uncovered” video series with performances of such tunes as Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” Elvis Presley’s Mac Davis hit, “In the Ghetto” and even his own take on Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).” But his latest homage to the craft of songwriting hits a little closer to his country-music home, as he delivers an intensely passionate take on Vince Gill’s breakthrough hit “When I Call Your Name,” the latest installment in the Forever Country cover series commemorating 50 years of the CMA Awards.
In 1989, Vince Gill had moved from RCA Records – where he experienced limited chart success – to MCA Nashville, releasing his label debut, When I Call Your Name. The third of four singles from that album, its title track peaked at Number Two, his highest charting hit to date. But the mournful tune would also twice be nominated as CMA Song of the Year: in 1990, when it lost (but was named Single of the Year), and the following fall when it earned the trophy for writers Gill and Tim DuBois. Gill would go on to win a total of 18 CMA awards and was the longtime host of the live annual event for several years. Earlier this year, when he celebrated his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, his harmony vocalist on the tune, Patty Loveless, took the lead vocal on the now legendary tune.
Fun fact: Loveless does not appear in Gill’s original music video for the song. The shadowy female figure in the clip is actually future CMA Song of the Year-winning writer (for “Strawberry Wine”) Matraca Berg.
Other recent highlights of the ongoing Forever Country Cover Series include Josh Turner’s version of the inspirational Randy Travis smash “Three Wooden Crosses,” Drake White’s performance of Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman” and Jon Pardi’s version of another Travis hit, “Forever and Ever, Amen.”