Singer/songwriter Tim Malchak was best known for his musical partnership with Dwight Rucker; together, they were the first black/white duo in country music history to have a chart single. Malchak was born in Binghamton, New York, and joined his first band in the fifth grade. He began singing folk songs in college and moved to Southern California in the late '70s, where he found work as an opening act for Commander Cody and Spyro Gyra. He returned to New York in 1982, where he met health-food restaurant owner Rucker, who had played jazz fusion during the early 1970s and also tried his luck as a pop singer. Soon after teaming up, the duo received an opening slot for Michael Martin Murphey. In 1983, they went to Nashville and signed with Revolver Records, where they had two minor hits, "Just Like That" and "Why Didn't I Think of That." That year they moved to Alpine Records, the label established by their co-producer, Johnny Ruten Schroer. Their Alpine debut, "I Could Love You in a Heartbeat," made the Top 70, and the ensuing video spawned considerable interest. The duo scored two more minor hits the following year, but then broke up.
Malchak remained with Alpine, and his self-penned solo debut single "Easy Does It" made the Top 70 in 1987. The following year, he hit the Top 40 twice with the original "Colorado Moon" (the title cut of his first album) and "Restless Angel." Malchak had two Top 50 hits in 1988 before switching to Universal just after releasing his second album, American Man. The following year he released a very similar album, Different Circles, and had two minor hits with "Not Like This" and "If You Had a Heart."