IDOL, but not all country singers get that lucky. They sell out stadiums
and greet fans who wait for hours just to shake their hands, but before
stardom, these determined singers had to pay their dues, and they say
those honky-tonk gigs were just what the needed to get where they are
"We all kind of had our own treck into Nashville," says
Rascal Flatt's Joe Don Rooney. "And paid our dues along the way coming
to Nashville, and then we got our start down at the Printer's Alley, the
fiddling steal guitar bar. We did Monday and Tuesday nights whenever we
were on the road."
Chris Young spent spring break trying to get folks at book stores to look up from their books.
like 'Okay, well I'm going to go into this and kind of steal their
attention.'," says Young. "I think I was supposed to play 45 minutes and
I got about 28-29 minutes in and it was like 'Alright, this is going to
be my last song.' It was literally the first time they clapped."
Keith Urban's memorable moment came when the audience consisted of a party of 1.
played in arizona one time and I was with the band and nobody showed
up," says Urban. "Not one person. So, we had plenty of those
The show went on anyway.
"Actually one guy
showed up right before we were gonna play and payed his $5 cover
charge," says Urban. "So, we just gave his $5 back and we sat and hung
out with him all night."
For those like Jake Owen, who hits the
road with Urban this summer, reality hits when he sees buddies in the
audience who've been with him since his start.
"He saw me play my
first show in Tallahassee and it was just him and my brother that
showed up," says Owen. "I could have played in my kitchen for that
matter, but they came to the bar and watched me play and he's here
tonight. He's like 'Dude, I can't believe I'm here. You're gonna jump up
and play with Keith tonight. Dude I was watching when there was no
one.' I mean, we couldn't pay people to watch me play and then now
that's...we've come a long way."
Another country singer with
humble beginnings: Chuck Wicks. The STEALING CINDERELLA singer was once a
valet at Flemmings on West End.
Friday, June 24 2011, 02:40 AM CDT