by Holly Tong
Any faithful GAC or CMT music video viewer has most likely watched Randy Houser’s unique video for his hit song, “Boots On” on numerous occasions. This particular video became one of the most played of the year, spending weeks on the countdowns. Not surprisingly “Boots On” was nominated for “Music Video of the Year” at the 2009 CMA awards. In addition, it is now up for the same nomination for the ACM awards that will be airing on April 18th. Such a nomination never comes without reason, for there is always something that sets the video apart and makes it extra enjoyable for viewers.
Aside from the fact that Houser is an incredible singer and “Boots On” is a foot tapping upbeat tune that attracted fans everywhere, something else made this video especially unique and award worthy. A cute little boy named “Drake” has added a very special touch to this video that will forever be a part of country music video history. One couldn’t hardly turn on GAC or CMT without being taken up with the adorable child jamming in his car seat to Houser’s song. Not only was he singing the song word for word, but also hitting the guitar licks perfectly. I imagine I am most certainly not the only one who has always wondered what the story was behind this video that has clearly and rightfully been such a standout.
Drake Dixon is the son of Singer-Songwriter Dillon Dixon and his wife Paige. At the time, Vickie Vaughan a well noted Nashville photographer was also a full-time (still part-time) nanny for Drake. As a loving nanny does, Vickie would spend a lot of time taking Drake to places such as the park, library, stores and anywhere else that may come up for the day. Genetically it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Drake has always loved all types of music. Interestingly Vickie, a long time friend and supporter of Randy Houser would commonly play his CD while she and Drake would drive around for their daily activities. Vickie had fallen in love with Houser’s “Anything Goes” song and had left the CD in her CD player for a good six months. Just like Vickie, Drake became hooked on Houser’s CD.
“Boots On” just happened to be Drake’s favorite song and his usual request. Every time he and Vickie would get in the car, he would ask to hear “Boots On.” He always wanted to hear it again and again. After a good six times of listening to the same song, Vickie would ask him if they could listen to another one. He would then proceed to ask for “Wild Wild West.” Amazingly, young Drake knew every single title and song on the entire album. Vickie has also always kept a guitar shaped flyswatter in her car, and Drake would always use that to sing and play along. She couldn’t help but always watch him in the mirror in amazement, because he knew all the words and guitar licks.
One night while Randy was playing a show at a local club, Vickie told him about Drake knowing all the words and guitar licks. Randy was in amazement and disbelief wondering how a 4 year old could do all that. Vickie assured him that she would tape it for him and prove it. A couple weeks later she taped it on her phone. She then showed Randy the video while they were at a friend’s birthday party. Randy thought it was hilarious and was just as impressed as Vickie. He decided that he most definitely wanted this footage for his Myspace. Vickie then told him she would tape him another one using a regular video camera.
A few days later, Drake and Vickie were simply leaving Costco while it was still light out, and she decided to tape him again. Amazingly, the video only took her one take totaling less than three minutes, and “voila” they were finished. Vickie came home, uploaded the video to Myspace and called Randy to let him know he could now put it on his Myspace. By the next day, Fletcher Foster (the head of Randy’s Label) has already posted the video on www.randyhouser.com. About 2 weeks later, whenever users signed into their account on Myspace, the “Boots On” video immediately popped up as one of the four coolest videos to watch on Myspace. It wasn’t long before the video was making a huge splash across the internet. About 3 weeks later during the Key West Songwriter Fest, the wife of GAC’s Storme Warren called him and told him that Drake’s video was up on Perez Hilton’s website and the next morning it was on the CBS Early Morning Show. In just 72 short hours, the video had went from over 35,000 views to over 400,000 views. Not surprisingly, the label decided to consider the video for Randy’s actual “Boots On” video.
As you probably guessed, the label did decide to use Vickie Vaughan’s footage for the “Boots On” video. Randy’s footage took place at a gas station in Green Hills while Drake, his parents, and Vickie were all on hand. They then took Vickie’s video footage and spliced Randy’s into it making it the official “Boots On” that you now see on GAC and CMT. As aforementioned, the video did well on countdowns and was already up for the CMA awards “Video of The Year.” Excitedly for Drake sporting his little Manuel suit, he was able to go walk the Red Carpet at the CMA awards. He enjoyed his nomination as well as having Kellie Pickler accompany him as his date.
Thankfully the excitement doesn’t end there, as the ACM awards are still yet to come and they have received a second nomination for “Video of the Year.” Drake, Nashville’s favorite young performing sensation has also appeared in Alan Jackson’s “I Still Like Bologna” video. Houser and Jackson are not the only well noted artists that will have Drake appear in their videos. Drake, who just turned 5 and ironically has the same birthday as Houser appears to just be getting started. Being an important part of a video that is up for “Video Of the Year” it is safe to say that young Drake has had an exciting year, as has everyone else that has been involved. With an adorable young energy and an unusual talent, it isn’t a wonder that country fans have quickly become fans of little Drake Dixon. Now that you know the story, stay tuned and be sure to watch the ACM awards on April 18th.
Reprinted with permission from Vickie Vaughan
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