The term “hat act” used to be a pejorative in the country music world. As lots of hatted-up performers emerged in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, wags considered them posers, and opined they wouldn’t last.
Clint Black was among the first of the so-called hat acts, but he had a long run of success. Trace Adkins broke out in the mid-’90s, headgear in place. So did Canadian singer Terri Clark.
Nobody’s making fun these days. This trio is calling its tour “Hits. Hats. History.” The show rolls into Salem Civic Center on Friday.
Black is celebrating 30 years since the release of his career-launching album, “Killin’ Time.” That disc spawned four No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts — the title track, “A Better Man,” “Walkin’ Away” and “Nothing’s News.” That began a run of six million-selling albums, and plenty of singles, that decade.
Adkins had hits in the ’90s with “Songs About Me,” “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing” and “I Left Something Turned On at Home,” while “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “You’re Gonna Miss This” had big success in the 2000s.
First-on-the-bill Clark’s very roots are headgear-related — she’s from Medicine Hat, Alberta. “Better Things to Do,” “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” “I Just Wanna Be Mad” and “Girls Lie Too” fueled about a decade of hits.
Visit roanoke.com/entertainment/music for our email Q&A with Black.