John Rich was part of two of the biggest groups in modern country music. Back in the early nineties, Rich helped to found the hit-making group Lonestar. Then, in the new millennium, he joined Big Kenny to form Big & Rich. On the latest episode of The Road You Leave Behind with Marty Smith, he fills in all the spaces in-between his upbringing and his time at the top of the charts.
John Rich didn’t just spend time in two of country music’s hottest groups. He also has three solo albums. One of those, 2009’s Son of a Preacher Man hit the top-five on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. His talents don’t end on the stage and in the studio either, Rich has been involved in several reality TV shows. He has hosted three seasons of CMT’s Gone Country and served as a judge on Nashville Star. Rich was the winner of the 2011 season of Celebrity Apprentice, raising over a million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In short, John Rich has left an incredibly interesting road behind him and he’s nowhere near done walking it.
Highlights From John Rich’s Conversation with Marty Smith
If you’ve listened to The Road You Leave Behind with Marty Smith before, you know that there’s never a dull moment. Marty has a way of getting the best possible stories from his guests. John Rich is no exception to this. Here are just a few examples of what you can look forward to in the latest installment of the show.
John Rich was born in western Tennessee. However, he was raised in Amarillo, Texas. While talking about his early years, Rich says that Amarillo is “flat as a board and the wind blows forty miles an hour.” That’s on a calm day. Amarillo is in America’s famed tornado alley. So, for a few months out of the year, the weather can get pretty wild. He goes on to say that he’s the perfect cliché because he “grew up in a double-wide trailer in tornado alley.”
John Rich moved back to Tennessee in high school. That’s where he first realized that he could have a career in the music business. The encounter that set his feet on that path came from a casual conversation. He asked one of his buddies at school what his dad did for a living. That kid’s dad drove Ricky Skaggs’ tour bus. He had been doing so for over a decade. So, Skaggs would come over for Christmas. He was a friend of the family. This totally blew Rich’s young mind.
He landed his first job in the music business because his high school buddies urged him to go to an audition. If you want to know where he went and what he sang for the audition as well as how that took him to the top, check out the full episode.
You’ll also find out what fueled his fire as a songwriter, how he got kicked out of Lonestar, what it was like being on Celebrity Apprentice and so much more. You don’t want to miss this one.