Ryan Larkins Shares Heartfelt Moment With His Oldest Son In ‘King Of Country Music’ Video

This marks the rising star’s first major music video.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 29, 2024

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Ryan Larkins; Photo Provided

Ryan Larkins has unveiled his first major music video production for the song that became his debut single and earned him a publishing deal with Red Street Records, “King of Country Music.”

The Song Was Inspired By A Real Conversation Larkins Had With His Son

Directed and shot by BLNK SPCE Media’s Sam Aldrich and Cody Lunsford, the just-released video illustrates the real-life conversation between Larkins and his oldest son, Whitman, that sparked the inspiration for the song when he asked, “Who is the king of country music?”

This age-old question has been at the forefront of discussions among fans and industry members for years as there is no official answer. There have been several worthy names that have claimed the title over the years, including Roy Acuff, who was the first male artist to be named to this high honor when he declared himself “The King of Country Music” on his 1962 LP of the same name. Other musical legends like George Jones, Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard and most recently, George Strait, have also had a seat on the throne, which Larkins makes sure to note in the tune’s chorus. 

Ryan Larkins; Photo Provided
Ryan Larkins; Photo Provided

So when Larkins’ son came to him with this question, he got to thinking and came up with a response that differs from all the rest – it’s not a person, but rather it’s the song itself that holds the title in his eyes. To best explain the reasoning behind his answer, the video finds Larkins strumming his guitar in between clips of him and his son making their way to a record store where they start to dissect what truly makes a country song a classic. Together, the father and son bond over their deeply ingrained love for country music which they then carry back home with them in the form of a vinyl record.

“I’m so excited about the release of my very first major music video! I had so much fun working with my son, Whitman (the star of the show). ‘King of Country Music’ is such a special song to me, and I love the way it was brought to life by the BLNK SPCE team! I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

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YouTube video

Throughout the song, the Nashville, TN native also makes sure to honor several other significant names who have had a profound impact on the industry. In the opening chorus, he notes different places where the “King” can usually be heard, such as in church, on the radio, down the famed Music Row, and more specifically, cities “from Saginaw to Houston.” Saginaw is Larkins tipping his hat to the late Lefty Frizzell, whose final No. 1 single of his career was 1964’s “Saginaw, Michigan.” Houston is a nod to an artist and legendary group, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band, whose final top-charting hit was “Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You).”

Once he reaches the end of the chorus, Larkins cleverly labels the song as the rightful “King” because that is where the authentic storytelling and simplicity of three chords and the truth will live on forever. 

Who Wrote “King Of Country Music?”

Larkins himself had a hand in writing “King of Country Music” alongside Will Duval and JR McCoy, while Red Street Records founder Jay DeMarcus, and guitarist Ilya Toshinskiy act as co-producers. 

Ryan Larkins; King of Country Music
Ryan Larkins; King of Country Music

The label released the song to country radio on Oct. 12 with a Nov. 27 add date. It made its way onto the Billboard Country Aircheck chart as the Hot Shot debut only weeks after its impact date. 

In addition to watching this single climb the charts, Larkins is also making waves with the song “The Painter,” which was recorded by Texas native Cody Johnson and has quickly become a fan favorite. 

Ryan Larkins is currently making his way to stages around the country as direct support for on Priscilla Block’s Hey Jack tour. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.