Seth Ennis’ ‘Call Your Mama’ Was Inspired by a Familiar Reminder
There's not a boy on the planet who avoids his mama's reminders to call more frequently. You may call it nagging, but Seth Ennis may call it his first hit.
"Call Your Mama," a sweet-sounding ballad that features Little Big Town on harmonies, sprouted just before a songwriting appointment, Ennis tells Taste of Country.
"My mom had texted me like five times in a row: 'Call your mama. Call your mama. Call your mama,'" he recalls, laughing.
"Simple" co-writer and frequent Ennis collaborator Michael Hardy heard the idea and insisted they write it between appointments, not wanting to lose the magic of the moment. Thirty minutes later they had a song worthy of a standing ovation, and he'd get one, somewhat reluctantly.
Ennis didn't know if he could sing the song. To him, it sounded like a father talking to his son, and the newcomer doesn't have any kids. While in the United Kingdom he played the song at random to surprise his mother, who was traveling with him and visiting with friends. Backstage, LBT's Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman heard it and quickly told him he needed to play it at every show. By the end of the tour, during a performance at Royal Albert Hall, the crowd stood and shouted for Ennis.
As for his mom? She cried, of course. “After I put the song out she was like, ‘If you don’t call me every day I’m gonna expose you as a fraud,’” he says, laughing once again.
While fans have reached out with their own stories about reuniting with mom after hearing Ennis' song, he doesn't need to stretch that far to put a face to the lyrics. His own relationship with his mom was strained through high school and college, partly (or mostly) due to his own issues with structure and authority. When he moved to Nashville, things got a little better. The timing and special bittersweet quality to his performance are not coincidental, however.
“It was right around the time when I watched my grandma pass away and I was watching my dad kind of go through that," Ennis admits. "I don’t know, I guess it just kind of hit me."
Since then they've been best friends, and while he'd yet to call mom that day, he had the day before. But for good measure, just as we wrapped up chatting, Ennis checked his phone and found a text message from Mama.
Wanna guess what it said?
See Pictures of Country Stars With Their Mamas: