This morning, Granger Smith made his 'Today' show debut to perform his number 1 hit 'Backroads Song' to a national audience. While the song was the first exposure to Granger's music for most of the world, those of us in the Texas music scene have known Granger for years. We see this as a lot more than just a great song getting recognition. This is a perfect example of how years of hard work, dedication, forming friendships, and finding the right people to add to your team can really pay off.

Before his performance, Hoda asked Granger if it feels like he's still in the 'pinch me' stage of his career. Granger's reply, “We’ve worked at this for a long time but to see something that you can hang on the wall and say No. 1, it’s a huge feeling,” definitely seems like an understatement. His first number 1, off of his new album 'Remington' which came out this week, came about after releasing 7 albums dating back to his 1998 self-released debut, 'Waiting on Forever.'

Just over 3 years ago, I saw Granger in concert in a small bar on the very last night before I moved away from Manhattan, Ks. You could tell that no matter what size the crowd, this was a guy that cared about putting on a great show and making sure everyone got their money's worth for coming.

Upon moving to Wichita Falls, one of the very first Blake Backstage videos I ever did was with Granger before a show at Denim and Diamonds. You could tell this was a guy who wasn't just doing an interview because he had to sell tickets. He really wanted to share his music with anyone who wanted to listen. He even asked me what song I would want to hear, and played an awesome acoustic version of 'Saturday Night Meets Sunday Morning' from his 2011 'Poets and Prisoners' album when I said it was one of my favorites.

His last album, 'Dirt Road Driveway,' was his most successful yet. People were starting to take notice to Granger, thanks in large part to the crazy viral success of the internet alter ego he had created, Earl Dibbles Jr. In another interview I did with him we even joked about how somehow Earl had more twitter followers than him. Either way, he was able to use that success to move people over to the real man and the songs that were behind it all.

'Remington' is Granger's major label debut. The album is expected to top the country charts and has elevated Granger from just a Texas Country performer to the next level. Where he will go from here is anyone's guess, but to those of us who have seen the work put into it for many years, by both Granger and his team, we're pretty happy to see the rest of the world finally taking notice.