How the Song Blake Shelton Wrote With His Mom Turned Into an Empire
Perhaps moms do know best. For Blake Shelton, his big break came with a song called "Austin," which he released in 2001. For Shelton's mom, Dorothy Shackleford, it was a Christmas song they wrote together called "Time for Me to Come Home."
The song was a part of Shelton's Christmas album Cheers, It's Christmas, which came out in 2012 ... but that wasn't the end of it. Since then, the song has taken on a life of its own.
While recording From Apple Music With Love alongside his wife, Gwen Stefani, Shelton shared the story of how the song came to be, explaining that his mother had dabbled in songwriting throughout her son's country career. She would often suggest themes or topics for Shelton to write about, and eventually, the "Come Back as a Country Boy" singer found a project he could include her on.
"And so, finally, when I was making my Christmas album, I said, 'Mum, let's me and you write a song together, and you can sing it with me on my album. And there's your Lucille Ball moment. You can finally have your moment to be famous.'"
"Time for Me to Come Home" is a simple song about a man receiving a call from his mother reminding him to come home for Christmas. It's a theme we can all relate to.
Shelton could have never predicted what happened next.
"We had no idea it was going to end up turning into a book deal for my mum," he says, and you can almost hear him shaking his head. "And then from the book, it became basically this series of movies."
Shackleford wrote the novel alongside Travis Thrasher, and it was published in 2013.
There have also been four Hallmark Channel Christmas movies inspired by the song, with each of the titles slightly altered to tell a new story. The first movie, Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas, was released in 2018. That was followed by Time for You to Come Home for Christmas in 2019 and Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas in 2020. 2021 saw the release of Time for Them to Come Home for Christmas.
Shelton has served as executive producer on all four of the films, while Shackleford is credited as one of the writers.
"It's amazing what they're able to do over there, but it's been a cool experience to have that with my mum," the singer reflects.