In 1998, Mark Wills nearly had his first No. 1 hit with “Don’t Laugh at Me.”
This song ended up peaking at No. 2. But don’t fret, his very next single “Wish You Were Here” would reach the top of the charts.
The song was written by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin. One day Seskin was playing around on his guitar and his wife liked what she heard and asked him what he was singing/writing. He had no idea, so in jest asked her what she thought he was singing about. She replied along the lines of “a homeless man standing on the corner saying don’t laugh at me.”
And this the song was born.
When Seskin got together with Shamblin they got to talking about the song as it relates to their own kids, family members, and personal experiences. It ended up taking on a life of its own becoming the central theme to the song.
To this day, Seskin goes to over 100 schools a year talking to kids about bullying.
The song would end up being nominated for Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Music Video of the Year at the 1998 CMA Awards.