Rascal Flatts: Truly a Class Act
When I was a kid I used to listen to radio stations in far off places like St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville. Growing up in the-middle-of-nowhere-Mississippi lends itself to the idea of wanting be somewhere else. I used to dream every time I would hear the DJs voice of being that guy on the radio that made dreams come true for caller 7. This is a cool job, I love doing what I do because every day I get the chance to make someone smile. This past Sunday night I, because of my connection with 97,3 The Dawg, had the opportunity of a lifetime, little did I know it would be so special for me too.
The first time I met Gary, Jay and Joe Don of Rascal Flatts was in the old Emerald Studios on Nashville's famed Music Row. The boys had released Prayin For Daylight and were working on their second single when we had them in the studio for our on location Fan Fair broadcast. The conversation was basic industry small talk and why the heck did you choose the name Rascal Flatts? I remember thinking to myself as they left the studio there is something different about these guys. Nashville has always been a "what are you doing for me now" kind of place. The music business doesn't even bother with "what have you done for me lately", still I had a sense that I would still be talking about and playing Rascal Flatts on the radio for many years to come.
I don't know if it was a year later or two years later, we were in our same studio doing our CMA broadcast Nashville and in walks the boys. They had been to the top of the mountain, they had number one songs, gold records and a lot of reasons to be less than pleased with the early morning hours of our radio show. Still they walked in with a warm smile, a friendly handshake and a genuine attitude of being grateful for our time. This is what makes Country Music so special, the connection between artist, radio, audience and fans runs deep. It's as if we are all one really large extended family and family tends to take care family if you know what I mean.
Sunday night at the New Orleans arena, Rascal Flatts took the stage with the same energy and passion they displayed over a decade ago when we first got to know them. There was Gary with his amazing vocals, Jay with his wit, candor and playful attitude and there was Joe Don, musically amazing and shaking his money maker to the delight of a lot the ladies in the audience. They invited my young friend Jacee Badeaux on stage to sing, one of their biggest hits,Bless the Broken Road. It was their song but they gave it to Jacee to perform. Why? You would have to ask them to know for sure but my guess is because once upon a time there were three young men who had a dream of making people smile by singing on a stage. They recognized that dream in Jacee and did what just came naturally to them, they did the "right thing".
Congratulations on wrapping up a great tour and an amazing decade guys, thank you for the many great records ( I'm old I still call them records) you send us to play on the radio. Thank you for being who you always were, I am so happy for your great success, I am even happier that you guys are exactly what I had hoped you would become. Thank you for my special evening and for reminding me that dreams are still worth dreaming and if you dare to dream them they will always come true.