Singer-songwriter Aaron Barker is best known for the string of hits he wrote for country superstar George Strait, but Barker’s long career has many other highlights. Long before his success as a songwriter, he made his mark as a charismatic entertainer.
Born in San Antonio, Barker got his first guitar at age six, taught himself to play it and was soon singing at school and church events. He also began to write songs at an early age. When asked to create a grade-school art project, Barker turned in poetry rather than work within the visual limits of his red-green color blindness. Those poems eventually became the basis for his first songs.
As a young man, he joined a show band called The American Peddlers as its bass player and lead singer. During his decade-plus tenure in the group, it played hundreds of clubs and military bases, marketed its own albums and amassed a large fan club. Barker was regarded at the time as a top stage entertainer in the Lone Star State.
But away from the band’s flashy smoke machines and laser lights, he played solo gigs, trying out his original material on audiences in small clubs and cafes. He left his successful band in 1988 with the aim of finding songwriting success.
A tape of his tunes found its way to George Strait’s manager. Strait recorded Barker’s song “Baby Blue” and scored a #1 hit with it in 1988. Strait repeatedly returned to the songwriter’s catalog for such successes as “Love Without End, Amen” (1990), “Easy Come, Easy Go” (1993), “I’d Like to Have That One Back” (1994), “I Know She Still Loves Me” (1996) and “I Can Still Make Cheyenne” (1996).
Meanwhile, Atlantic Records signed Aaron Barker as an artist. He charted with his CD’s title tune “The Taste of Freedom” in 1992 and reestablished his reputation as an entertainer. He issued further solo albums in 1998, 2002 and 2006, but Barker’s biggest “hits” as a singer remain the widely heard radio and TV jingles he wrote and recorded for Blue Bell Ice Cream.
Other artists clamored for his songs. Doug Supernaw’s record of “Not Enough Hours in the Night” (1995), Lonestar’s version of “What About Now” (2000) and Clay Walker’s renditions of “You’re Beginning to Get to Me” (1998) and “Watch This” (1997) all became Top 10 hits.
Others who have recorded Aaron Barker songs include Tyler Farr, Trace Adkins, Aaron Tippin, Tracy Lawrence, Neal McCoy, The Oak Ridge Boys, Granger Smith, Willie Nelson, Chris LeDoux, Dean Dillon and Trent Tomlinson. Barker was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007 and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 2016.
Aaron Barker – Singer Songwriter Website