Remember Jake Owen’s Debut Album?
Jake Owen was just another country music newcomer looking for his shot when he released his debut album, Startin' With Me, on July 25, 2006 — but it didn't stay that way for long.
The Florida native had intended to become a pro golfer and was well on his way to that goal when injuries from a wakeboarding accident left him unable to play. He turned to music during his recovery, learning to play guitar. After playing some local gigs that inspired him to start writing songs, Owen moved to Nashville in 2005, where he quickly made some important contacts.
He drew the attention of RCA executives with a song titled "Ghosts," which he pitched to Kenny Chesney, and though Chesney passed on the song, the label signed Chesney to a recording contract in 2005.
Owen worked with some of the top talent in Nashville on Startin' With Me, enlisting producer Jimmy Ritchey and co-writing with Ritchey, Brett James, Casey Beathard, Wes Hightower and more. Alabama frontman Randy Owen joined him for a duet on the album's closing track, "You Can Thank Dixie." Top studio talent including Kenny Aronoff, Paul Franklin, David Grissom, Glenn Worf and Brent Mason rounded out the album, and the result was a success right out of the gate.
Released on July 25, 2006, Startin' With Me scored a Top 20 hit with its lead single, "Yee Haw," a light-hearted party song that reached No. 16 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Owen took a turn in a more serious direction with his second single, the album's title song, which laments a long list of regrets the narrator has about his life.
"If only I'd have known / That later on down the road / I'd look back and not like what I see / I'd have changed a lot of things / Startin' with me," Owen sings in the chorus. The song gave him his first Top 10 hit, reaching No. 6, and he followed it up with "Something About a Woman," which reached No. 15. Startin' With Me peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, and the success of the project landed Owen opening slots touring with Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson. He also earned an ACM Awards nomination for Top New Male Vocalist, launching him on a career path that has so far seen him land nine No. 1 singles and counting.