Tim McGraw Reflects on Touching Conversation with His Mother Before Pursuing Country Music

by Suzanne Halliburton

Tim McGraw launched his own radio show on Apple Music this week. He’s devoting it to the influences in his life and the stories behind them.

His mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Ann D’Agostino, played a big part in it. He recalled one specific conversation he had with her, a chat that helped launch his career.

McGraw called it a blessing. But first, the background:

Tim McGraw Wanted To Be A Lawyer

When McGraw had the conversation with his mother, he was a student at Northeast Louisiana, now known as the University of Louisiana-Monroe. His plan was to be a lawyer. That’s what his mother wanted him to be. It was both of their dreams.

But McGraw discovered a love of music, after pawning his high school ring to buy his first guitar. He wanted to move to Nashville. He needed to have a hard conversation with his mother.

“Sold everything I had,” he said. “Sold my car, my water skiis. I had two shotguns. I sold everything I had.

“Had about $3,000 after selling everything, which was quite a bit of money, I thought. Bought a Greyhound bus ticket. I had to call my mom, which really made me nervous. I knew how bad she wanted me to go to school, how much she wanted me to succeed.

Phone Call Led to a Surprise Response From His Mother

McGraw continued:

“She knew how bad I wanted to be a lawyer, more so how bad she wanted me to be a lawyer. And it took me a while to call her. And when I finally got the nerve to call my mom and tell her I was going to move to Nashville and (he was) expecting the wrath of God in a lot of ways.

“My Mom, the first words out of her mouth were “I’m surprised you haven’t done it already.” And then she said, “Tim, you should do it, because if you don’t do it, then you’ll always wonder if you could’ve made it.”

“But a 21-year-old kid who just sold everything was supposed to be a lawyer, for my mom to say go ahead and move to Nashville and give it a shot,” he said, “that was the biggest incentive, the biggest blessing I ever could have got from anyone.”

The anecdote McGraw recalled served as introduction to this song on his radio show.

You can check out McGraw’s Beyond the Influence radio show here.