Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Layng Martine

Ep. 116 - Layng Martine, Jr.

"Way Down" - The Determined Hitmaker


Scott and Paul call up Tommy Smith, one of their top tier Patreon subscribers to chat about Songcraft, life, and his budding recording studio.

PART TWO - 9:52 mark
The guys invite anyone who has recorded demos at Pearl Snap Studios to send in their recordings and then they chat about the songs that have become permanently linked to ad campaigns.

PART THREE - 13:49 mark

Our in-depth conversation with Layng Martine, Jr.

* Click the orange play button below to begin listening. Or click here to download to your device.

Scott and Paul catch up with Layng via phone to get the story on the song he heard as a young adult that inspired him to start writing his own material; Why trying to get to Elvis lead to his first publishing deal; how he wrote songs without playing an instrument; why he preferred being his own song plugger; how he made magic in a broom closet;  why saying goodbye to Ray Stevens was the hardest day of his life; how his first Nashville co-writing session led to a Grammy nomination; and why an act of terrorism derailed a would-be hit.

A versatile songwriter who has found success as both a pop and country hit maker, Layng Martine has penned more than 20 songs that have reached the Top 40 on the Billboard charts. His breakthrough came with “Rub It In,” a charting single for Layng as an artist that was later revived as a #1 country hit and Top 20 pop hit for Billy “Crash” Craddock. Years later it was altered to become “Plug it In,” the long-running jingle for the Glade Plug-ins television commercials.

A half dozen of Layng’s songs have earned BMI awards, including “Everybody Needs a Rainbow,” made popular by Ray Stevens, “Should I Do It,” which was a hit for The Pointer Sisters, “I Wanna Go Too Far,” which became a Top 10 single for Trisha Yearwood, and “Way Down,” the last new song ever recorded by Elvis Presley. “Way Down” reached #1 on the Billboard chart within days of Elvis’s passing.

Additionally, Layng wrote charting hits for Freddy Weller, Mel Street, Jerry Lee Lewis, Cristy Lane, Dickie Lee, Tanya Tucker, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis, John Anderson, and others. He wrote Reba McEntire’s first charting single, and co-wrote “The Greatest Man I Never Knew,” which became a chart-topping hit for Reba several years later and earned Layng a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song.    

The list of other artists who’ve recorded Layng’s songs includes Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, The Drifters, Barry Manilow, Don Williams and Billy Dean. Layng was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, but has since set music aside to focus on narrative writing. He recently published his first book, Permission to Fly: A Memoir of Love, Crushing Loss, and Triumphs, available June 11th via FieldPoint Press.

Songcraft's Layng Martine Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a selection of Layng's great songs. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.