Radney Foster Biography

20 July 1959, Del Rio, Texas, USA. His father, who was a lawyer (as had been his grandfather and father before him), played guitar and sang and Radney, the second of four Foster children, followed his father’s example with regard to music. In 1979, dreams of being a country singer saw him drop out of university and move to Nashville in the hope of fulfilling his ambition. However, he was, at that time, unsuccessful in his quest to be either a singer or a songwriter. Although very disappointed, he refused to give up hope, but after a year, he decided that he would first return home and complete his course at the University of the South, Texas. In the evenings, he sang in local clubs and continued to write songs.

After Foster finally graduated, he returned to Nashville where, this time, he found work as a staff writer for MTM Publishing Company. Here he worked with songwriter Bill Lloyd and after acquiring a recording contract with RCA Records, they began performing as Foster And Lloyd. In 1992, after three albums and nine country chart hits and much discussion about the direction of their individual careers, the duo parted amicably. Foster later cited as a reason for the break-up the fact that he felt that many of the songs he was writing were not suited to the duo; for that and other reasons, which probably included a downturn in the duo’s success, Foster became a solo artist in 1992. He joined Arista Records and his debut album was named after his birthplace and year of birth. He achieved immediate Top 10 success with ‘Just Call Me Lonesome’ (written with George Ducas) and in 1993, three more songs, ‘Nobody Wins’ (a number 2), ‘Easier Said Than Done’ and ‘Hammer And Nails’, charted.

The bespectacled and usually well-dressed Foster is a serious man, who once said: ‘Being a songwriter is about being observant of your own life and the world you see around you’. Foster’s songwriting and performing talents should make him remain popular with country music audiences for some time to come, although subsequent releases on the Dualtone label have not achieved the same level of commercial success as his two albums for Arista. Foster is presently happy to have artistic freedom rather than commercial constraints.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.