Josh Weathers' Two-Year-Old Whitney Houston Cover Just Got Thousands of YouTube Views, and Now National Talk Shows are Calling
In July 2011, Fort Worth musician Josh Weathers dedicated a cover of Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" to his mother. It is world-class diva quality. Kessler Artistic Director Jeff Liles recorded it, and posted it on YouTube. This Tuesday, more than two years later, reddit user silverslayer posted a link to the video along with the comment, "Guy covers 'I Will Always Love You,' and absolutely kills it."
Courtesy of Josh Weathers
Hundreds of thousands of people have watched the video since then, and on Wednesday, Weathers was taking several calls he wouldn't have if silverslayer had just posted another clip from Conan instead. Calls from managers and booking agents and very big, very well known national television talk shows and, yes, journalists.
"I don't even know what to think about all this," he says. He's currently pulling into a garage to get his truck inspected and its oil changed. Also at this moment, the Huffington Post is publishing a blog post about him. "In two weeks if it slows down, no one's going to give a crap."
As of this writing on Wednesday night, the initial reddit post has 2,595 upvotes and 696 comments. The YouTube video itself started the week with nothing special, view-count wise. On Tuesday at 4 p.m. it was up to 20,000 views. It's now over 275,000.
This isn't Weathers' first brush with virality. Maybe you've seen the video of Sarah Churman, who was born deaf, hear herself breathe for the first time after getting a cochlear implant. She initially uploaded the video in order to share the moment with a few close friends, including Weathers' wife. Weathers and Churman's husband were working in the Churman's barn in 2011 when she drove up and said, "CNN just called me."
That video now has over 18 million views. Churman appeared on Ellen, got a book deal and now tours the world, telling people about her experience. "It's just changed her life completely. I know the power behind it," says Weathers.
YouTube statistics have actual career-making potential for musicians, too - just ask Karmin or Mac Lethal. And maybe Weathers will land on some talk show, playing his Whitney Houston cover in that remarkable falsetto ("I could swear I was wearing underwear just a few minutes ago," says maybe the least prurient of those 696 reddit comments). Then maybe he'll wind up with some cash to record an album, and a tour, and off we go.
Or maybe a few months from now he'll just be driving his truck with its new oil to another gig at someplace like The Wine Crawl in Burleson, Texas (that's November 9, in case you'd like to mark your calendar). He doesn't seem to be that concerned either way.