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Harlem native co-writes hit song

Posted: November 22, 2017 - 2:20am
Former Harlem High School student and current songwriter Ray Fulcher co-wrote a No. 1 hit country song.
Former Harlem High School student and current songwriter Ray Fulcher co-wrote a No. 1 hit country song.

HARLEM - For months, country music fans have been jiving and jamming, thanks to one local musician who helped produce a No. 1 hit song.

Harlem native Ray Fulcher co-wrote the song "When It Rains It Pours," a hit that remained No. 1 for country music on the Billboard radio chart for two weeks and No. 1 on the Mediabase chart for a week.

"It's almost kind of surreal," Fulcher said. "A lot of ways it hasn't sunk in yet, because it's something you kind of always dream about, and when you make that move, you hope to be able to do something to make your hometown proud. In my case it's Harlem."

The hit, Fulcher said, happens to be his first song as a songwriter that has played on the radio. The song was also written by country singer and song writer Luke Combs and his running mate Jordan Walker.

Fulcher said he discovered his song was No. 1 while on tour with Combs.

As an opening act, Fulcher was on the nationwide "Don't Tempt Me With a Good Time" tour with Harlem counterparts Tyson Thaxton and Davis Branch from October to November.

On Oct. 21 in Springfield, Ill., during the tour, Combs announced to attendees and to Fulcher and his band that the song was No. 1. Immediately following the announcement, Fulcher said he and Combs performed the song in front of country music enthusiasts.

Thousands - and even millions - of country music fans continue to enjoy the music and its message. To Fulcher, the message is clear: the very worst thing that can happen can turn out for the best.

"The song is about a breakup, but it's about the best thing that could ever happen to this guy," Fulcher said. "In the moment, it doesn't seem that way, but he finds out different.

"To me, that's a life lesson too, not just about a break up," Fulcher said. "Whether it's like an unanswered prayer or kind of a silver lining, sometimes it winds up being bigger than you think. Sometimes it seems bad on the surface, but it winds up being really good for you."

Although the song is fresh in everyone's mind, Fulcher said the song was actually written two years ago.

Fulcher said no one was going through a breakup at the moment; however, the group of country singers and songwriters did their best to put themselves in the shoes of others.

As creative minds combined forces, the idea of "When It Rains It Pours" was introduced. Fulcher said it was Walker's idea to put a positive twist on the song, and thus, the song was created.

The song was written at Walker's house in Nashville off of Music Row, Fulcher said. He added the song took four hours to write.

Many of Fulcher's musical attributes and qualities he uses to produce a hit song were developed in Harlem.

During his time at Harlem High School from 1999 to 2003, Fulcher played football and baseball, and it was in these sports Fulcher had the ultimate mentor, coach Jimmie Lewis, who taught Fulcher about adversity, and never quitting.

"What I learned in Harlem is that if you put the work in, and do things the right way with integrity and you're humble about it, good things will happen," he said.

Moving on to the University of Georgia, Fulcher developed an interest in music listening to musicians performing at the Georgia Theater. After graduating with degrees in social science and a masters of education, Fulcher moved back to Harlem, where he started a band called County Line with his longtime friend Alex Hintz.

He moved to Nashville in 2014, and after several networking events and stringent, hard work, Fulcher signed with the Riverhouse/Warner-Chappell Nashville publishing label.

Fulcher has performed - singing and playing the acoustic guitar - all over the nation with the likes of David Nail, Dustin Lynch, Lee Brice, The Marshall Tucker Band, Craig Morgan and Montgomery Gentry.

Next up, Fulcher will write songs for Combs' next album, as well as his own band; however, his ultimate goal is to sign with a record label.

 

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