The Story of a Central Texas Couple Became a Hit Song 19 Years Ago
I was amazed when it turned out one of my favorite songs of the 1990s turned out to be about a real couple from Central Texas.
It was my friend Chris Cummings who told me about it. We were playing "name that song" on a trip back from Austin when the song 'The Way' from Austin's own Fastball came on the radio. I knew it, of course, but was ignorant about its origin.
Chris told me it was about a couple from Salado who just disappeared one day and were later found to have driven off a cliff. I was floored. It had only happened 4 years before I moved to Texas.
I remember sitting in my apartment in Minot, North Dakota listening to the Fastball CD. I just seemed to be unable to stop listening to that song. I read the lyrics and thought, wow, that band's got some kind of good imagination. Then I moved here and found out, nope, based on a true story.
Well, it's been 19 years since the song topped the charts for 7 weeks, and Austin's KVUE did a fantastic job telling the story about Lela and Raymond Howard, the real inspiration for 'The Way'.