When Blair Garner, host of the syndicated nightly radio broadcast The Blair Garner Show, was hosting After Midnite more than a decade ago, he was looking for a way to fire up fans across the country as they headed into the weekend. The veteran radio host came up with an amped-up version of George Jones’ “Finally Friday.” Now, more than 20 years later, the song has gotten a facelift thanks to newcomer Steve Moakler and songwriter/producer Luke Laird.
“I found this old song by George Jones, ‘Finally Friday,’ Blair recalls to Nash Country Daily. “I brought the staff in, we recorded a clap track and we’re all hooping and hollering and making silly noises. We take that [recording], we put it on and we got stupid audio clips from I Love Lucy and [other tracks to spruce it up]. The recording made its way across the country—it became a big Friday thing, but that was also 1993. Music has progressed quite a lot since then.
“I thought it would be great if we could do a new 2017 incarnation of ‘Finally Friday,'” Blair continues. “Who would be the ideal voice that could take over from George Jones? Steve [Moakler] just popped into my mind, because I’m Team Steve and I’m crazy about him. I called Luke [Laird] and said ‘I got this idea.’ Luke, being familiar with the 1993 version, said, ‘We got it,’ and that’s how it started.”
Luke worked with Steve on arranging the recording of the brand-new version that is set to launch on The Blair Garner Show this Friday (Feb. 17) at midnight. The newcomer was honored to get the call to be the voice of the updated version.
“I was nervous,” Steve confessed to Nash Country Daily. “It’s a tall order to sing a George Jones song. He has such a unique and great voice, so I wasn’t sure—until we worked it up—I was like, ‘I really hope I could do this well and do it justice.’ When we got in there, I was like ‘I’m just gonna sing this the way I would sing it.’ He’s got his unique voice and I just had to do my thing. It’s a great melody and a great song. I’m super honored to do it.”
“Steve and I felt the same,” adds Luke. “[We wanted to] really be true to the original. We stuck to the arrangement. My job was really easy. It was just getting in the studio with Steve’s great band and we brought in Glen Duncan—who actually played the fiddle on the George Jones version, but we didn’t know that at the time. We had a lot of fun.”
The final version is a catchy way to kick off your Friday and bound to get people excited for the weekend.
“I feel really proud of it. I think it turned out pretty amazing,” Steve said of the new version. “As Luke said, we really honored the original version. I think it does feel fresh and reinvented. I’m happy with it.”
Check out the new refreshed version of “Finally Friday” when it premieres this Friday (Feb. 17) and every Friday at midnight on The Blair Garner Show.