Persistence is the key to success. Not giving up. – Steve Dean
We were having so much fun talking to hit songwriter Steve Dean, we had to divide it into 2 parts. Over the past few years, we’ve learned that when you are interviewing an artist in their own home, you get to know them on a deeper level and that was certainly the case with Steve Dean. Steve raised his children in the house where we recorded this interview and when you walk in the door, it feels that way. Steve and his wife have created a cozy home, where love lives. He’s a family man who is grateful that he gets to write songs every day. Steve is a Grammy nominee who has written 6 #1 songs and country artists consider themselves lucky to sing his songs. In this interview, you’ll hear the stories behind some of his biggest hits including Does Your Memory Ever Sleep At Night for Steve Wariner, Reba’s Walk On, The Oakridge Boys, It Takes A Little Rain and Rodney Atkin’s smash Watching You. Steve also talks about his deep commitment to America’s veterans through a non-profit called FreedomsingsUSA.org. where service men and women take their stories, poems, and memories to create songs that heal with help from hit songwriters like Steve. His writing room may be lined with plaques that signify his success, but in this interview, we learn that Steve values the kind of success that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. It comes straight from the heart.
The competition for songwriters in Nashville is off the charts crazy and there are a lot of great writers coming to town every single day.– Steve Dean
Welcome to part 1 of the country music success story of hit songwriter Steve Dean. This Grammy nominee has written 6 #1 songs including Watching You by Rodney Atkins…the most played song on country radio in 2007. Recorded in Steve’s writing room at his home just outside of Nashville which is filled with guitars, Beatles memorabilia, and BMI awards this episode is full of wisdom for songwriters just getting started. Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, by musical parents, Steve lived in a home where music was always playing. His mother taught him how to play the piano when he was about 5 years old and Steve’s dad gave him his first guitar at 9. Teachers in school noticed how well Steve wrote stories and encouraged him to be an author. After earning a degree in advertising at the University of Arkansas, he got his start selling creative to major advertisers until one day, a colleague said: “why don’t you go to Nashville and find artists who will sing the songs you’re writing?” On February 7, 1980, Steve packed up his Toyota and made his way to Nashville where he started writing hit songs that have earned him a Grammy nomination, countless industry awards, and six #1 hits including Watching You by Rodney Atkins which would go on to become the most played record on country radio in 2007. Through it all, Steve has mentored countless young songwriters including Jacy. If you’re thinking of packing up your car and heading to Nashville, listen to this episode first. The great Steve Dean has a lot to tell you!
It’s not us that makes music. Music makes us. My love for music is what inspires me and that is the secret to my success. It’s the song.– Lorrie Morgan
This episode may be one of the most personal interviews we’ve ever recorded. Born Loretta Lynn Morgan, Lorrie is the daughter of the legendary George Morgan and his beloved wife, Anna. Recorded at Lorrie’s home in a quiet little town outside of Nashville, she welcomed us into her favorite room which overlooks a backyard that was created by her husband Randy and includes a pool, BBQ, birdhouses perched in trees, and a koi pond. You’ll hear Lorrie’s dog Puddin Marie Antoinette bark, and you’ll also hear her cry as she sits in her favorite chair recalling the ups and downs of her incredible career. Mentored by the great Jeannie Seeley, Lorrie shares what it was like to make her debut at only 13 on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. She reflects on life at home with a superstar father, the stories behind her biggest hits, and what she wishes she knew when she first got started. Recorded on the day after her late husband Keith Whitley was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame by Garth Brooks, this interview is a rare look into country music royalty and the heart of a hugely talented woman who was born to sing.
The first time I sang was at Pilgrim Holiness Church. I was 3 years old and there were only 20 people in the pews. I got a lot of pats on the head but the most memorable thing was I heard this voice inside of me say: “this is what you do.”– Sylvia
Recorded in Nashville at the home studio of producer John Mock, this interview with Sylvia is full of stories. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, she grew up in a place called Tall Timbers Trailer Park, just 30 feet from the railroad tracks. Sylvia recalls spending lots of time perched high in a tree, inspired by Patsy Cline, dreaming about becoming a singer someday. She was only 19 when she left for Nashville on the day after Christmas and would spend that first week walking up and down Music Rowe, looking for a job. Sylvia got her start as a receptionist learning all about the music business, but it wouldn’t be long before executives discovered she could really sing. Signed to RCA records, she came on strong with 3 top ten songs including her multi-format hit“Nobody” which climbed to number 1 on the country chart, #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and top 5 at AC radio. “Nobody” became her signature song and was the most played record of 1982, winning Sylvia the Academy of Country Music’s Female Vocalist of the Year award and a Grammy Nomination for“Best Female Vocalist.” In this interview, you’ll hear about her next chapter which includes a rewarding career as a life coach and a new album long in the making called Nature Child: A Dreamer’s Journey. Says Sylvia says: “I truly love to sing. It doesn’t matter if anybody is listening. I just love to sing and that has never changed. I’m carving my own way in life with music and I hope people love it. “ www.sylviamusic.com. Amen, sister. We do love it.
Our goal has always been to take you with us as we go inside the homes and onto the back porches of country music icons as we discover what makes these talented people tick!
-Candy O’Terry & Jacy Dawn Valeras
Welcome to a recap of some of Candy and Jacy’s favorite 2022 interviews. Chockfull of behind-the-scenes stories that didn’t make the final cut, this episode includes Jacy’s terrifying flight from Nashville to Palm Springs, California to visit Candy, what it was like to be served espresso in a room full of guitars at Anthony Resta’s 1920’s hunting lodge/studio in Laurel Canyon and the thrill of interviewing industry heavyweights TK Kimbrell, Mike Borchetta, Julian Raymond and Kim Campbell LIVE from the Rhinestone Stage at the Glen Campbell Museum. Plus, there’s the trip to the craftsman-style home of songwriter/producer and former American Idol judge Kara Dioguardi, the green room meeting during CMA week with actress and singer Rita Wilson(which ended in tears), and the revealing 2-part interview with multi-Grammy winner Pam Tillis who Jacy met in an elevator ten years ago. Download this fun episode for your next car ride. You’re welcome!
In the early days especially, I really did have a fire. I was very self-motivated. I wanted it so bad and I pushed that internal override button and just got on with it. – Pam Tillis
Welcome to part two of our exclusive interview with multi-Grammy winner Pam Tillis. Recorded at the Glen Campbell Museum, this part of our conversation includes the stories behind some of Pam’s greatest hits including Mi Vida Loca, Maybe It Was Memphis, Shake the Sugar Tree, and Don’t Tell Me What To Do. Pam also reveals the vocal performance she is most proud of, and how it felt to stand beside her father on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry to sing their duet, Waiting On The Wind. What makes this episode so special is Pam’s willingness to be“unvarnished” as she shares the details of an iconic career of her own, and as the daughter of the legendary Mel Tillis.
You can’t record a good song. You have to record a great song. I don’t want a song, I want an event. I knew that’s what it would take to get me off the ground.– Pam Tillis
This week, we’re sitting down with Pam Tillis who is not only the daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis but an icon in her own right. Pam is a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry and a 2-time Grammy winner with 6 number-1 hits and 14 top 10 singles. With more than 30 singles charting on Billboard, Pam has sold more than 7 million copies of her studio albums. A 15-time CMA nominee and a 9-time ACM nominee, Pam’s music dominated country radio in the’90sand she remains one of the very best singer/songwriters in Nashville. In this interview, you will get to know the very personal side of Pam who shares details about her“country chaos” childhood, making her way in country music as a demo singer, the art of songwriting, finding the best songs to record, and sage advice about what it takes to succeed in Nashville. Recorded at the Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville, this interview includes a very special reunion for Jacy and Pam who worked together for years. This interview is so packed with Pam’s stories, we’re splitting it in two, so don’t miss our next installment which includes the stories behind her biggest hits and what Pam considers the secret ingredient to her success in country music.
If something fills your soul like music fills mine when I’m singing on stage, the feeling that I feel driving back home is I don’t wanna go back home, I wanna go to the next town and that’s how I’ve always been. -Julie Roberts
Welcome to the story you probably never knew about platinum-selling singer/songwriter Julie Roberts. We jumped in the car for a ride to her home just outside of Nashville expecting to get the scoop on her comeback record: Ain’t In No Hurry and ended up hearing a story steeped in incredible highs and the lowest of lows. From a childhood marked by an abusive alcoholic father to the strength she learned by watching her beloved mother, Julie Robert’s story is all about resilience. Once the receptionist at Mercury Records, Julie burst on the scene as a brand new country artist in 2004 with her smash single: Break Down Here. Despite more than 2 million records sold, Julie’s hopes and dreams were crushed six years later when she lost her Nashville home in the hundred-year flood, was diagnosed with MS, and dropped by Mercury records. In this interview, she shares all these stories and more, including her MS recovery, her happy marriage, and the singular joy she experienced with the birth of her son Jackson through IVF. Recorded in her living room, just a few feet away from a stunning grand piano and vocal microphones ready for rehearsal, Julie Roberts is re-energized by her collaboration with legendary producers, Shooter Jennings and Erin Enderlin. Her album Ain’t In No Hurry is loaded with songs that bring out the best in her soulful, powerhouse voice which has a special way of breathing life into any story song. Joined by Jamey Johnson on Music City’s Killin’ Me and Randy Houser on A Little Crazy’s Kinda Nice, Julie Roberts is playing big at the top of her game. Take a listen as we reveal the heart of a kind woman who sings because she loves it and is just plain happy to be back.
I believe that when you have a dream and a calling is put on your life, no matter what you have to endure to pursue it, God will give you the strength to do it.– Brennley Brown
We’re back at the Glen Campbell Museum for CMA Fan Fest to interview emerging artists from the Rhinestone Stage. When Brennley Brown arrived for soundcheck with her guitar and a smile as big as the room, we knew we were in for a great interview. Raised on a ranch in Apple Valley, California, Brennley’s first performance was at a kindergarten talent show where she sang Faith Hill’s Mississippi Girl, complete with a pink cowboy hat and a pink guitar. She’s been focused on a career as a singer/songwriter in country music ever since. In this interview, she talks about her experience on season 12 of The Voice, her successful voice-over career with Dreamworks, Disney, and Nickelodeon, her mother’s unwavering support, her recent move to Nashville, and the power of her faith. Brennley wows the crowd with her vocals from the Rhinestone Stage including her original song One More Halleleuja and stunning takes on Dolly Parton’s Jolene and Waylon Jennings Good Hearted Woman.
Welcome to a very special episode of our podcast, taped on the Rhinestone Stage at the Glen Campbell Museum…the jewel of Broadway. There is so much talent in Nashville and we wanted to introduce you to some uber-talented emerging artists who are this close to making it big. First up, our interview with Darin and Brooke Aldridge, a married couple who were born to sing together. Darin’s superb musicianship as a guitarist, along with his rock-solid baritone are the perfect combination for Brooke’s angelic voice. Their harmonies and phrasing have set them apart from the rest and fueled the couple’s rise to the top in the world of bluegrass music. In fact, Brooke is a 4-time winner of vocalist of the year from the International Bluegrass Music Association and together they were nominated as vocal group of the year in 2021. Darin and Brooke dreamed of performing at the Grand Ole Opry as children and that wish has come true 35 times and counting! Their song Grand Ole Circle is featured on their latest album This Life We’re Livin’ and you’ll here it in this interview, along with Brooke’s description of what it feels like to step out onto that iconic stage for the very first time.
The Glen Campbell Museum’s Rhinestone Stage was also the perfect place for our interview with Dustin Collins, a rising star from a little town in Kentucky. He’s been honing his craft and getting a ton of experience touring with superstars like Tanya Tucker, Colt Ford and Kane Brown. In this interview, Dustin shares his love of Kentucky bourbon and the fact that at one time, he wanted to work for the department of fish and wildlife, but was told that it was harder to do that than become a country singer! Dustin’s honest, humble style combined with his rock star voice are on full display in his song Workin’ Man. For a look inside the heart and soul of emerging artists on the verge, hit that download button!