Born and raised in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma and a son of country music, Wade Hayes is no greenhorn in the industry. His roots run deep with his Dad having a full time career in the music business and Wade following his lead at an early age. He first began playing the mandolin but picked up the guitar with encouragement from his Dad. At the young age of 11 Wade was already signed to an independent label but that fell through and he decided to become a member of his Dad’s band.
Wade shook up the industry in 1994 when he signed with Columbia Records and recorded his first hit single and by early 1995 the album, “Old Enough To Know Better” paved the way and would go on to produce three more hit making songs.
This same album would be certified gold after hitting 500,000 copies shipped and not only that but 1995 would also bring Hayes a nomination for Top Male Vocalist of the Year.
From 1996 to 2004 Wade would continue on with his success, eventually taking some time away from the road. During mid to late 2009 Hayes began performing again full time as guitarist with Randy Owen, of the group Alabama, in his road band. But shortly after returning to the road he began to notice some health issues that just wouldn’t go away. Small things that didn’t trigger concern. After all, when your working and traveling on the road your constantly tired and even feeling a little bloated and worn out from the long nights, fast food and the occasional drink. Still he had no cause to think the worst.
It was then in 2011 that Wade was given some overwhelming news. He had stage IV colon cancer. It was discovered that he had been living with it for several years and never knew it. By the time it was found it was at stage four and by all indications he should not be here today.
He was determined it would not get him down. Through out all the surgeries and lost time with family, friends, and his career, Wade never stopped. Through out this time he began his support of the Cancer Foundation which ignited a new fire within. A fire that would send him into not only a new direction in his life but in his music.
I asked Wade what his thoughts were on where we are today in country music and if he felt we were veering away from what his style of music represents in the country music industry.
“I have to say I’m so proud of Chris Stapleton, love what his doing. I like Joe Nichols, Lee Brice, Lee is an amazing talent. I think the country music sound is quite different with some of the younger artists. Not all of its for me but I think the pendulum is swinging back toward traditional country, or I hope it is and I hope it’s going back to a more natural place. Everybody has different taste. ~ Wade Hayes~
Released in early 2015 “Go Live Your Life” is a culmination of songs from the heart and soul. Song’s that Wade hopes will inspire others to live life to the fullest and that will encourage them to pay attention to their body when things seem out of the norm. All the songs on the album were written by Wade except one which was co-written with Bobby Pinson. The album was co-produced by Wade and Dave McAfee.
“I’m so thankful I can hardly stand it. So grateful. Because in all reality I shouldn’t even be here. I give the glory to God and I’m so thankful. I know he has something big in store for me and I hope to do whatever it is he wants me too.”
The first three years after all this happened held me back from touring. Most of my liver was taken, 65 to 70 percent, about 20 inches of my large intestines and part of my diaphragm. The second time around it was in my lymph nodes. I lost count of the procedures that were done. There was so many. But now….I feel great, I’m working out and ready to move forward. I watch my diet, I love cheeseburgers and I had stopped eating red meat but the doc said it was ok to have some red meat, not a lot…so once a month I get that special treat of a great cheeseburger. My case is A typical, in my case most people don’t make it. I was given about a 12% chance of making it through even a year.
2015 has been the best year I’ve had in the last few years. I’m anticipating working with the colon cancer alliance, meeting with people one on one. I hope to be able to express to everyone, especially young people that the necessity of catching it early is imperative. Colon cancer is treatable if you catch it in time. Unfortunately it is the third leading cancer in early deaths of both men and women. I cannot stress enough how important it is in getting pre-screenings. Most people when you say something about getting a colonoscopy, they cringe, it’s not as bad as you think and it could save your life. Early detection is the key.
I’m looking toward make a new record hopefully real quick, I’ve been doing some more writing with Ward Davis and several other outstanding writers that I’ve worked with over the years. Very blessed to be here and thankful. So thankful.
For more information on Wade and his work with the cancer foundation, the new album “Go Live Your Life”, and his new upcoming singer/songwriting collaborations please visit http://www.wadehayes.com