Story Behind the Song: Kenny Chesney and George Strait, ‘Shiftwork’
Drawing on his own previous work experience, Troy Jones wrote "Shiftwork," a song that Kenny Chesney and George Strait then recorded as a duet. The song was released in December of 2007 as the third single from Chesney's Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates album, eventually reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Below, Jones opens up to The Boot about the tune.
I worked in a paper mill for 20 years, and I worked shiftwork the whole time. When I signed a publishing deal with Carnival Music, I wanted to write a song about something I knew inside and out. I knew something about shiftwork!
I was a little worried about if somebody would even cut the song when you're talking about "a big ol' pile of shiftwork." Kenny was familiar with some of my songs, and he liked "Shiftwork" for a little while before he cut it.
My publisher never calls me on Saturdays, so when I answered the phone, he told me that George Strait wanted to sing on the song as well. My wife jumped about three feet in the air! We were both pretty excited. I am so proud of the job they did on it.
The thing for me as a songwriter and someone who worked in the factory for so long is that people who actually work in factories tell me how much they love the song. I worked shiftwork for 20 years ... now I know why!
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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