Radney Foster Feels the Pull of 1950s “California”


Radney Foster captures the allure of the mid-20th century West Coast in his nostalgic new video for “California,” a track from the masterful songwriter’s latest album, Everything I Should Have Said.

Using authentic home movies shot in 1948-1962 and rediscovered through the Library of Congress, Foster and director Steve Boyle tell two stories about falling in love: One with a girl you only met once and one with a state that captures the imagination.

“In ‘California,’ the story’s made up, but it was born out of a real conversation with [my wife] Cyndi,” Foster told CMT Edge in May. “She was raised in the Bay Area, and we were talking about her mom and dad. Her dad had been in occupied Japan and got off the boat after World War II, and he said, ‘I ain’t going back to the farm in Pennsylvania. I’m staying right here.’ Her mom escaped the East Coast, too.

“Cyndi said, ‘Everybody comes to California to start over with a new life.’ I said, ‘Excuse me, honey, I have to go write something down. Finish your glass of wine, and we’ll have dinner in a little bit.’”

Foster’s lyrics follow a guy who met the girl of his dreams while they were both moving out West. They go their separate ways, but her memory won’t leave his thoughts alone. With supportive harmonies by Kacey Musgraves, he makes a crazy plan to reconnect.

Full of endless sunshine, uncongested roads and inviting roadside motels, enjoy the classic sights and optimistic sounds of Radney Foster’s video for “California.”