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'A-OK' for a day: Neal McCoy shoots music video in downtown Longview

By Glenn Evans
Dec. 21, 2011 at 10 p.m.

Everything was A-OK on Wednesday in downtown Longview.

You could tell that by the music, the dancing and the energy Neal McCoy and a troupe of volunteer extras were giving the camera for a video of the home-grown country singer's new single, "A-OK."

"Everybody look at the camera," McCoy called to about 25 young people who had just danced with him from the rear of his tour bus and along Tyler Street to a spot directly in front of the camera on a 20-foot boom. "The camera's going to shoot up, and y'all shoot up, too."

For that shot, while dancers' moms and Tyler Street retailers watched from the sidewalk, the extras bunched behind McCoy and leapt upward at the lyric, "like a rocket," before each glided into freestyle hoofing while the song sailed along.

The overcast skies above McCoy's home town might not have been optimum for the upbeat song - at one point the sun peeked out and McCoy begged, "Oh, the sun's out. Come out, be nice."

The song is sunny enough. From its carefree, whistling intro to an encouraging refrain, "If you're uptight, better let it unwind," to the join-in hook when everyone spells "A-OK" with their arms and legs, the single is as upbeat as a puppy playing with a ball.

"I like to say it's a three-minute smile. Who couldn't use that?" McCoy said between shots, after noting the country is ready for some good vibrations.

The song is out now, part of an album due out March 6. He said he named his 12th album, coincidentally appearing in 2012, "Twelve," though that's not how it's spelled - it's "XII," with the number, 12, below the Roman numerals, "for all the rednecks who don't know Roman numerals."

Everyone seemed to get the A-OK, though.

"He's really cool, he's funny," said video extra Kilie McNabb, 14. Her fellow Hallsville Bobcat Belle, Cassie Shoesmith, agreed: "He acts really crazy, gets your attention."

Aside from chilly temperatures, the young dancers had endured for three hours by 11 a.m., McNabb said the greatest challenge to her Christmas break role was the rigors of movie-making.

"It's over and over," she said. "It's fun. It's turning into a workout."

Her temporary taskmaster understood.

"It takes a lot of energy," McCoy said. "And these things can take some time."

Still, there was an element of rest for McCoy beyond the laid-back song driving him to jump up and down in downtown Longview. He said he'd been "running a bunch" on the road when the suits at Blaster Records let him know it was time to make a video.

"They wanted me to come shoot in Nashville," McCoy said. "I said, 'Boy, it would be great if I could do it in my hometown.' I'd like to help the community and help folks find out more about Longview."



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