The Garth Brooks Story

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Stillwater Update:


Tyler England's new CD is coming out in November. Get the details at tylerengland.com

Dave Gant also has a new project. Check in with Dave at his site hymnsofpraise.com

Originally aired in Summer 1996.

TomRivers: Everyone knows his songs, in fact they know the words by heart. (Fans sing Friends In Low Places in background.) But just who is Garth Brooks?

Hi I'm Tom Rivers and for the next three hours we'll celebrate Fourth of July weekend with the words and music of Garth Brooks. We'll also hear some of country's top stars tell great stories about the Garth Man. We'll even take a trip to FanFair '96. But mostly we'll hear Garth's music, and when we think of Garth the song that most folks think of starts like this. Blame it all on my roots....

Friends In Low Places

TR: That's probably the biggest hit of his career. Garth Brooks with Friends In Low Places. Of course he has friends in a lot of places these days. But The Garth Brooks Story begins in Oklahoma.

GB: Growing up there was real life, growing up there was to be modest and humble and trying to let what you do do the talking and not shoot your mouth off at something you can't compare with.

TR: Back in those days Garth was a student athlete. The music thing was inspired sixteen years ago.

GB: I graduated from high school in 1980. And in between my summer year of that and my first year of college at Oklahoma State, I was traveling with my Dad to the store. A lady came on and said, "here comes a new guy from Texas, I think you're gonna like his sound." It was George Strait, and from that minute on I knew that I wanted to be a George Strait wanna be, and be just like him. Still haven't lost that desire, I think he's a wonderful man. A wonderful man in music or not, to kind of model yourself after.

TR: Nine years later Garth had the chance to carry out that dream, and this was the song he chose to launch his career.

Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)

TR: That was the one that got it all started for Garth Brooks, back in 1989. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old.) About mid-way in the song there's the line about a worn out tape of Chris LeDoux. It just so happened, Chris himself heard it one day on the radio.

Chris LeDoux: It was quite a shock to hear that.

TR: You see no one told Chris that his name was going to be in a song. So Chris set out to meet this Garth Brooks fella.

CL: We finally met about eight months after that song had come out. A promoter put us together on the same bill. At the Cocky Bull in Victorville, California. And Garth for some reason insisted on opening for me, but it was great. One of the things that impressed me about him, he first thing he said to me, "You know Chris using you name in that song, you wouldn't believe how that's helped my career." We hit it off pretty good.

GB: Chris LeDoux no doubt in my mind is like one of the coolest guys I've ever met. Wonderful family man, believes honesty first. I got to do a duet with him, and to hear Chris LeDoux's voice on this cut kind of made it the real thing.

Whatcha Gonna Do With ACowboy

TR: Garth Brooks along with Chris LeDoux, that's Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy. They mentioned Ropin' The Wind in that cut, and we'll get to that album in just a bit. But next Garth Brooks sells....shoes. No kidding, you'll find out more as The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: We're celebrating Fourth of July weekend with The Garth Brooks Story, and here's the first song Garth ever recorded.

Not Counting You

TR: From his first album, Garth Brooks and Not Counting You. That song hit the top of the charts in 1990, but it was written a couple of years earlier. At that time Garth's music career hadn't taken off, so he was making ends meet with a day gig.

GB: My wife and I worked at a boot place up north here in Nashville in Rivergate Mall. I wrote it in between selling boots.

TR:Around that same time, a young Nashville native named Ken Mellons was also selling shoes just across the street. And the two future country stars met.

Ken Mellons: I collect cowboy boots and I went over there one day, and got to talking with him and her. He was saying, "Yeah I'm trying to get something going, I'm from Oklahoma, I'm a singer-songwriter." I said well I am too, so I ended up buying a pair of cowboy boots from him. He gave me his buisness card and I still have it today. I thought that was pretty neat, and a few months later I'm driving down the road and hear him on the radio. Now he's one of the biggest things that ever happened to country music. I guess I can say I met him, you know back when.

TR:Course these days neither Ken Mellons nor Garth Brooks are selling shoes. But all that thinking back reminded me of this Garth Brooks hit.

What She's Doing Now

TR: From the winter of '92, Garth Brooks and What She's Doing Now. If you wonder what Garth's doing now, you know like most of us, he's got the weekend off. His next show is at the end of the month in Cheyenne, Wyoming. With that in mind it's sort of appropriate that we get to Garth's most recent #1 The Beaches Of Cheyenne. Garth says that song didn't end up the way he planned.

GB: Supposed to be real funny. Kind of like cowboys on the beach, kind of, swingin kind of thing. Then it went to a guy on the beach that would come home from a suit and tie job. Ne never had any cowboy talents, but he always wanted to be one. So he just comes home slips off his shoes and goes out and walks on the beach and dreams of Wyoming and stuff. Then out of just a fluke, one time passing through, it came with...every night she walks the beaches of Cheyenne. We looked at each other and said, "This ain't gonna be funny boys."

The Beaches Of Cheyenne

TR: The latest #1 for Garth Brooks, The Beaches Of Cheyenne. I'm Tom Rivers and up ahead, one of Garth's signiture songs plus, Garth goes cajun as we continue with The Garth Brooks Story.


TR: You're listening to the Garth Brooks Story, and wherever you are this holiday weekend maybe it's time to pick up the phone and make a call. Here's Callin' Baton Rouge.

Callin' Baton Rouge

TR: That song was almost a bigger hit in Ireland than it was in the USA. That's Garth Brooks and Callin' Baton Rouge. One thing that has helped make Garth an international star is that his songs hit home in one way or another. The first song that made that clear is the one he considers his signature song, If Tomorrow Never Comes.

GB: There's a song that was written, not only for the two writers wives but for people they had lost in the past. It was also the first, last, and only time I've ever broken down on stage, my wife and I was probably having the toughest time of our marriage ever. In a place called Cape Girardeau, Missouri. And every time I sing that song I think of Cape Girardeau. I just broke down, stopped the band, tried to keep playing but they didn't know what to do. They looked at me like what are we supposed to do, and I asked them to stop. Then I explained to the crowd what was going on, and I asked for a second chance. I still to this day remember looking back and Mike Palmer is our drummer. Looking back and the kid was playing, but his face was just soaking wet. He was crying his eyes out, trying to keep a beat. It was a real emotional moment for all of us. Cause we're all married, and we all go through these things. It might not be the biggest hit I ever had but it'll by far be probably the most emotional song that I'll probably ever do.

If Tomorrow Never Comes

TR: Garth Brooks with his very first #1, a song that got him his record contract, If Tomorrow Never Comes. Garth says whenever he hears it, it reminds him of his wife. Coming up, Mrs. Brooks writes a hit as The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: Here's another #1 song on The Garth Brooks Story.

Two Of A Kind, Workin' On AFull House

TR: From five years ago. Garth Brooks and Two Of A Kind Workin' On A Full House. Of course back then Garth and his wife Sandy were mearly working on a full house. Now there almost there, with two kids and a third on the way. But Garth and Sandy have collaberated on a number of other projects as well, such as an occasional song. Sandy co-wrote, I've Got A Good Thing Going, on Garth's first album. And she had a part in writing his 1993, hit That Summer.

GB: That Summer started out as a single guy and a married woman meeting at a party. The married woman being ignored by who she was with, and they snuck off together. Allen Reynolds told me, "Man, I just don't kind myself pulling for these characters. It doesn't seem innocently cool." I was thinking that he was right. Going home that night in the truck I started singing she has a need to feel the thunder. Sandy started helping me write the chorus and we got the chorus done. Probably one of the neat things that I love about That Summer is that I think the song is very sexy.

That Summer

TR: That one spent two weeks at the top of the charts in the summer of '93, That Summer. Now there's a guy that's been with Garth since they met in college more than fifteen years ago. I'll tell you who he is when The GarthBrooks Story continues.


TR: Back to more of the Garth Brooks Story. I'm Tom Rivers with the AHBA.

American Honkey Tonk Bar Association

TR: A #1, from the fall of '93. Garth Brooks and the American Honkey Tonk Bar Association.

One guy who's spent a lot of time with Garth in American honkey tonks and bars, is Ty England. Ty was Garth's acoustic guitar player, and their friendship dates back to their college days.

GB: We roomed together in 83 and 84, we roomed together at Oklahoma State. And we were sitting up one night, like we always did about 3 in the morning playing guitars. And we made a pact with each other that someday if we got to do this, we were hopefully going to play together. Become our own individual artists and then someday get back together and do duets.

Ty England: So, we would sit in those bunk beds at night and we would talk about, man what if we could be a Jones and Haggard. You know what if that's going to be us someday. And it was a real "what if" to me, it was a "how to" for Garth. And it was just a love of music is what got it all started. And then he moved off to Nashville that first time, and I don't think the doors were open as he had hoped they would be. So he went back to OSUto polish his craft a little bit, and he started a band up. Eventually that band moved to Nashville, and eventually that led to Garth getting his deal. At which time, the very same day that he signed his deal, he called me up. Which was kind of what our pact was all about.

TR: After seven years of being Garth's sidekick Ty England got the chance to move center stage last year. Didn't take him long, his debut song went top ten. I Should Have Asked Her Faster.

I Should Have Asked Her Faster

TR: He's out on his own this summer and should have a new single on the radio any day now. That's Ty England with, Should Have Asked Her Faster.

Ty's just one of the artists who's worked with Garth. Coming up the lady who's been singing with Garth since the beginning. As The Garth Brooks Story continues from Westwood One Entertainment.


TR: I'm Tom Rivers taking The Garth Brooks Story to Fanfair 1996, talking to some of Garth's fans.

Fan1: Garth is great, he's such a friendly guy. We've been standing here for so long, he's spending so much time with all these people. It's great.

TR: Garth signed autographs for almost 24 hours non-stop. No breaks, no pit-stops. A fan fare record.

Fan2: 15 hours, I made her stand here with me. It was worth every single second of it. I would do it again tonight if he was here.

GB: Someone asked me the question "Don't you get scared being surrounded by people when your in the middle of them doing autographs?" I said it's fun. In the middle of those people is when I feel the safest.

Fan3: Hi this is Lisa and Laura, from Chicago, Illinois. And we're here listening to The Garth Brooks Story and we're going to listen to his #1 hit Papa Loved Mama.

Papa Loved Mama

TR: That's a rocker from four years ago. For Garth Brooks that's Papa Loved Mama.

Papa Garth loves Mama Sandy, and he's always quick to credit her for a lot of his sucess.

GB at an awards show: "I'm not much good at it, but when I don't sing I try to be a husband, here's my wife Sandy. You've been a damn good friend to me Sandy. Thanks for standing beside me.

TR: Like most couples, they'll never forget the night they met.

GB: Workin' as a bouncer, she got in a dispute as we call it. I escorted her out of the enviroment. And truth is man from the first look at her, I don't believe in love at first site, but from the very first I was just nailed.

TR: It had their ups and downs, and through it all he says she's been incredibly understanding.

GB: I think everyone should know that the woman has to be, or we wouldn't be together. Sandy's forgivness, and her love, and her understanding has been the key to our marraige's surivial. It's totally doing me a favor, cause, I know what I would be without Sandy and it wouldn't be one tenth of the person I feel I am now.

TR: One example of Sandy's influence came when Garth wrote Somewhere Other Than The Night.

GB: My wife made a statement one night just out of the blue that, really killed me, and I never let her knew it. And it was a statement that "my god we sometimes sit in the same room and I feel so alone." I realized, my god man my mind is so far out there, she can be talking to me and I can't even hear it. It's like, you need to take a break. Home is there for a reason, home needs to be home things, and the road needs to be road things.

Somewhere Other Than The Night

TR: Garth Brooks, and a song from The Chase, Somewhere Other Than The Night.

One of Garth's challenges when he writes songs is to find different ways of saying the same thing. Let's face it, there aren't many ways to say "I love you." But when Garth was writing She's Every Woman, he discovered a few new ones.

GB: Well when you say I love somebody, or I really love who she is, that's a short way of saying she's sun and rain, she's fire and ice, she's a little crazy but you know it's nice. That's the way you say you love somebody. The line that just kills me is "when it comes down to temptation, she's on both sides of the fence." You can't tell anybody that you love them more than that. So to say when it comes down to temptation, she's who I have and she's who I want, as the same woman. That's quite a compliment.

TR: When Garth was in our studio last fall, he gave us his own acoustic version of She's Every Woman

She's Every Woman

TR: Garth Brooks, just his voice and his guitar, doing She's Every Woman.

By the way, that was the fastest rising song in music history. Debuting at #13 and hitting #1 in just five weeks.

Allright, Garth's favorite harmony singer is next, as we continue with The Garth Brooks Story.


TR: The Garth Brooks Story rolls on. Garth always has a cowboy song on his albums, but this one has to be the biggest.

Rodeo

TR: That one hit the top in September of 1991. For Garth Brooks, that's Rodeo. Even thought it became a big hit, Garth said he had another voice in mind in mind for the song.

GB: I went all over this town trying to get it cut. The song was called Miss Rodeo, and it was written for a woman to sing, and no one would sing it. I crawled on my knees to Trisha Yearwood, I said please you got to hear this song. And she goes, "Garth I'm sure it's perfect, I don't understand the song because I'm not from that part of the country." She's from Georgia.

Trisha Yearwood: "You're a lot more familiar with rodeo than I am." I said , "I realy don't want to sing about something that I don't really know about. There aren't any rodeos in Georgia, not very many. So I said, "It seems like if you love this song so much, why don't you think about doing it?" And I don't think he had thought about that. It's funny how the way you hear a song can sometimes cloud you from being able to look at it in another way. I think he did a great job, much better than I could have done. And I think it turned out to be a much better song for him.

TR: The two began a pattern of singing harmonies on each others albums. And Trisha says it's always fun.

Trisha Yearwood: In the studio it's like it always was back before anyone really knew the phenomenom was about to happen. That's the fun part about singing with him is that, we just love to do what we've done ever since we've known each other. Nothing's really changed, the songs are different, it's always go in there and be yourself.

TR: Garth contibuted two songs to Trisha's debut CD, including the top ten duet, Like We Never Had ABroken Heart.

Like We Never Had A Broken Heart

TR: Trisha Yearwood along with Garth Brooks, Like We Never Had A Broken Heart.

Garth is constantly look for new artists to sing with. He's done duets with Martina McBride among others. A few years ago, he heard a voice that caught his ear. Her name was Helen Darling, and Helen will never forget what happened next.

Helen Darling: Garth got my name and number, and called me up. And of course, as is the way Garth is so humble, he apoligizes as I answer the phone for bothering me at home. I said, "Oh golly, yes you were bothering me. Let me tell you you're such a bother. Bother me anytime you want."

TR: Helen sang background vocals on The Red Strokes, and Helen always gets a thrill when she hears it.

HD: I sang on The Red Strokes, and I still love that video, it's exciting to see it and go, "that's me." With Garth it's still overwhelming, even though I know him real well now, it's still overwhelming. He's a dynamic human being.

The Red Strokes

TR: Garth Brooks, from his album In Pieces, that's The Red Strokes. The video of that song won an award a few years ago for "Video of the year." I'm Tom Rivers and coming up, Garth faces an old flame. The result is a hit song, as The Garth Brooks Story Continues.


TR:We're celebrating Fourth of July weekend with The Garth Brooks Story, and one of Garth's personal favorites is Learning To Live Again.

GB: This might be one of the closest songs to me, that's never happened to me, that I've ever done.

Learning To Live Again

TR: That hit #1 in April of '93. Garth Brooks and Learning To Live Again

TR: One of the most frequently asked questions Garth gets, is if his songs are about his own personal life.

GB: I couldn't give you an exact number. If I was guessing, maybe 50% I would think. There's times when you get to be somebody else when you do your music and there's times when you get to be yourself. But honestly once that song goes under Garth Brooks' name, it's mine. It might not be me that I'm talking about, but that songs definately mine.

TR: Of course Garth's never been divorced, so Learning To Live Again didn't come from his own experience. But the best example of a song that came from real life, is his 1990 hit Unanswered Prayers.

GB: Man, Unanswered Prayers was a big part of my heart that went out on that record. A true life thing that happened to Sandy and myself. In October of '89, I saw my old high school flame. And I can say this now at the time I couldn't. For the first two years of my married life, I really thought the girl that was for me was still that girl that was in high school. And now man just the realization that what you have is the best for you, and the best you could ever do in your lifetime. It sure makes you sleep well at night

Unanswered Prayers

TR: That's Garth Brooks, and Unanswered Prayers.

Like most artists, Garth is influenced by world events. Coming up, how two disasters led to hit songs, as The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: It was April 1992, Los Angeles police are acquitted of beating Rodney King, and a city erupts in violence.

Garth was in Los Angeles that day for the Academy of Country Music Awards.

GB: The night the riots hit we watched it all on TV on the bus leaving LA. And as you drove out of LA you could see the buildings on fire. It was pretty scary for all of us, especially a bunch of guys from Oklahoma. Ya know this is intense out here.

TR: And within a few days Garth had written one of his most controversial songs.

We Shall Be Free

TR: Garth Brooks, and a top ten from the fall of 1993, We Shall Be Free.

April 19, 1995. The place is Oklahoma City, near Garth's hometown.

Reporter: I was driving a few blocks away, it looked like a small atomic bomb. It was a mushroom cloud that went up into the air for hundreds of feet. Very black smoke, the concussion shattrered windows in a multiple block radius.

TR: At the time Garth was looking for songs for his Fresh Horses CD, and he heard a song called The Change.

GB: When I heard it, it was easily hands down for me. It was also during the time of the Oklahoma City disaste. Which as soon as I heard the first notes of this song, it just fit so well. So I guess that's why it got real close to me.

TR: Garth used news footage from the disaster in the video for that song, and premired it on the American Music Awards. In the audience, another Oklahoma native, Brooks and Dunn's Ronnie Dunn.

Ronnie Dunn: Very powerful. I couldn't even look, I just looked down. The second it started I just looked at the ground.

GB: Going what Oklahoma went through, and you still go through there, and they still have their arms open wide. They still love and treat everybody that comes in like their welcome. Makes me think that Oklahoma won with what they went up against.

The Change

TR: A recent hit for Garth Brooks, that's The Change. That song was a little controversial, but Garth isn't one to hide from controversy. Coming up, Garth takes on the music of his influences. George Jones, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, and KISS, as The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: Back to The Garth Brooks Story.

GB: You gotta cut what's in your heart, and you gotta be Garth Brooks. And The Fever is Garth Brooks.

The Fever

TR: That song sparked a fire of controversy when it came out last fall. That's The Fever. Garth says he only intended to create something contemporary, for some of the rodeo writers.

GB: I heard The Fever over in Europe, on Aerosmith's album. What they did was they totally re-did the song for us. Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, great writers, great lyricists. We used mostly their music, but the lyric is all from a couple of cowboy buddies of mine back home. That's why we did The Fever, something for the cowboys to listen to and something to get them pumped up that was on the country stations.

TR: The Fever is only one side of Garth's musical personality. Even back when he won his first awards in 1990, he always credited two musical heros.

GB at an awards show: I'd like to thank the heros in my life. If I could take a minute to say the two kings of country for me are George Jones and George Strait. I appreciate what you guys have done.

TR: Ironically, Garth has never recorded duets with either of his heros.

GB: George Jones I could never ever do, I can't even be in the same room with the man. I'm just so overpowered, same way with Strait. So I doubt I would ever, not saying that I've ever even been asked, but I doubt that I could ever do that with them.

TR:The Possum himself, recalled meeting Garth a few years ago.

George Jones: What little bit I've been around, him when we were doing award shows and things together. He's a real shy type person. The first time I met him on one of the award shows, he shyed away from me kept walking by the curtains you know. When I looked over that way, cause I wanted to walk over and say hi to him, eventually I did. He's really a nice guy.

TR: Although Garth hasn't done a duet with Jones, he did add his vocals to the all-star tribute that Jones had in 1992. I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair.

I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair

TR: That's George Jones along with a bunch of country's top singers, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, and of course Garth Brooks. Coming up, more of Garth's musical influences. Plus the fans and Garth himself, pick their all-time favorite Garth Brooks song. As The Garth Brooks Story continues from Westwood One Entertainment.


TR: Garth has gone beyond mere country stardom. He's become an enigma, here's comedian Bill Engvall.

Bill Engvall: We went to the Iowa state fair. They had a six foot statue of Garth Brooks carved out of butter. Somebodys got a little time on their hands. Where do you realize you got that ability for butter carvin'. Does it start at the dinner table? "Hey mama that's a damn fine dog you carved out of the butter there." My question is why, why would you do this? Cause all they're gonna do is just melt it down and nobodys gonna believe it. You'll be at a party somewhere braggin about it, "I carved a six foot statue of Garth Brooks out of butter. 'You liar'." "I sure did, 'well where is it?' Well they uh melted it down. They poured it on that popcorn statue of Alan Jackson."

Ain't Going Down (Til The Sun Comes Up)

TR: One of Garth's five #1 songs in 1993, Ain't Going Down (Til The Sun Comes Up). Garth says Detroit's rock legend Bob Seger influenced that song.

GB: We credited Get Out of Denver for that. A long time ago we had Get Out of Denver for an encore tune for us forever. I really dug just the humungous amount of lyrics that was in it. The fact that the guys never seemed to take a breath.

TR: Garth is also quick to credit the influence of pop singer Billy Joel. Back when Garth was planning his third album, Ropin' The Wind, he took a big chance and recorded Billy Joel's Shameless.

GB: This was a song that I fell in love with off a CDof Billy Joel's. I though, what a great thing to say to a woman. Cause I have very few times where if I want to say something, even if it takes me years I'll find words to say it. I never could have wrote Shameless, even though I wanted to say that forever. So hats off to the writer, a great talent. I think when your music transfers over from genre of music, I think that truly means you are a writer that has no boundaries or no borders. This is definately one of those songs that seemed to do that.

Shameless

TR:Breaking the barriers again. Garth Brooks from 1991, and Shameless. By the way that song was so big for Garth, the original artist Billy Joel, put it out as a pop single a few months later. In a strange twist Garth just recently surpassed Billy in total album sales. Making Garth Brooks the top selling solo artist of all time. Now we can't leave a segment on Garth's musical influences without mentioning the group KISS. Like most children of the 70's Garth was raised on arena rock groups like KISS and Journey. But when two members of KISS asked him to appear on their tribute album, Garth jumped at the chance.

GB:Paul Stanley, and Gene Simmons came back stage at The Forum in LA. So I'm back there and they say, "Hey man were doing a tribute album and we want you to do something." So I'm like uhhhhh OK, and I didn't know what I was getting into. We caught tons of flack for doing it, got a lot of bad letters saying where you going? It ain't going anywhere, I'm just getting to work with some guys that I admire. I got to do Hard Luck Woman, did my best Peter Kris impersonation, sound like Rod Stewart with pnemonia. It was fun for me and that was my tribute to those guys, to say thanks for the influence you've been on me.

Hard Luck Woman

TR: From the KISStribute album, released a couple of years ago, that's Garth Brooks and Hard Luck Woman. Garth says KISSmainly influenced his live show. We'll hear how in just a bit. But next, the storm of controversy over The Thunder Rolls, when The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: Back to more of The Garth Brooks Story, I'm Tom Rivers with more of Garth's fans.

Fan1: Hi, my names Lisa and I'm from Arlin, Texas.

Fan2: Claudia from Jones, Arkansas. We met here, it's neat to meet other Garth Brooks fans here that are as dedicated as everyone is. He's so nice, it seems strange to find people all over the country that feel the same way about him. He's just a super nice guy.

Fan1: He makes you feel like your one of his closest friends and he's known you forever.

Standing Outside The Fire

TR: From In Pieces, Garth Brooks, Standing Outside The Fire. Of course Garth wasn't outside the fire, but he took all of the heat, when he released The Thunder Rolls. Garth wrote the song with Pat Algar, who recalled the inspiration.

Pat Algar: Garth Brooks and I were writing songs at this point. He did not have a record deal. He said that idea, The Thunder Rolls would be a great idea for a cheating song where everytime something bad happens, the thunder comes in. He's very visual in the way he thinks, he just thinks that way.

GB: We wrote the song with just two verses in it, like the original way you hear the song. The wife abuse, its really a broader goal than that. It's about spouse abuse, men and women that abuse their spouses. All lot about child abuse too.

PA:It's such a wild video when I first saw it. I saw it the only week it ran on TV, I happened to be tuning in. Just as the thing went off the TV, my phone rang, it was somebody from the office. They said, "Did you hear about the video?" No but I just saw it, it looks great, "well they just banned it."

GB: Music finds its way to people, and people find its way to music. That's why I think The Thunder is as tough as it is, because it went through hell pretty much. And it still stands there. It's a good day for me when I get to play The Thunder Rolls and I'm very proud of that.

The Thunder Rolls

TR: Garth Brooks, with the song that was banned from TV but was #1 on the radio for three straight weeks. By the way, that video was named the Video of the Year by the Country Music Association, and went on to inspire other videos on the subject of spousal abuse.

GB: Probably one of the greatest awards I think I'll ever have is one you'll never see, and that's the fact that Martina McBride's Independece Day was played on television. Cause I didn't see that much difference between the two. But I think that because of the whole ugliness of what happened the first time, I think it's egotistical to do it, but I'll take pride in thinking that The Thunder Rolls had something to do with that. Cause what Martina McBride was saying, needs to be heard. So hats off to the same network that wouldn't play The Thunder Rolls, but hats off to them for playing Martina McBride.

Independence Day

TR:An appropriate song perhaps this Fourth of July weekend, that's Independence Day. By the way there's another tie in between Garth and Martina. Martina's husband John is also Garth's production director. And while we're on the subject of Garth's live shows, coming up we'll get behind Garth's 1996, concert tour. As The Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: Now more of The Garth Brooks Story. It may seem hard to believe but there was a time when Garth could play some small clubs and bars around the country. He even signed autographs after the shows. But those days are in the past, and Garth pays tribute to those days in this song from Fresh Horses.

The Old Stuff

TR: From Garth's current CD Fresh Horses, that's The Old Stuff. It's the first song on the album, and the first song in his live show.

GB: It seemed the perfect way to start the second phase of our career. So when we cut this, we looked at each other and said, this is got to be what opens the show.

TR: As usual Garth's live show is wild and unpredictable, and that's the way it's always been. Reba McEntire remembered seeing his show back in 1990, when Garth was her opening act.

Reba McEntire: He was so outlandish, so far beyond anything anybody did on stage back then. I was watching him and everybody's watching him saying what is this guy doing out here. I looked at them and I said, he's gonna be a big star. People like that, something new, something different. He's going to be big.

TR: Garth broke a lot of ground in his first TV special in 1991. The highlight was his live performance of Friends In Low Places.

GB: The people in the audio truck summed it up best. They said, " Well we thought we had some crowd noise before that song, we just decided to turn the crowd mics off. Cause it was too damn loud." It's wonderful, man it's wonderful to see people just letting it go for three or four minutes. Just having fun, and just being the person that they've always wanted to be. Hell they're up there center mic stage, and it's them it's them that sang it, it ain't me. I can't hear myself, they're all just singing the words, and they take over the song and it's theirs.

Live version of Friends In Low Places

TR: From Garth's 1991, TV special, This Is Garth Brooks. That's the live version of Friends In Low Places. By the way, if you've always wanted a Garth Live album, we've got big news. Garth has been recording some of his shows this year, and he hopes to release his first ever live album before the end of the year. You can bet that song with the special third verse will be on it. Allright, now Garth has a new song that's on the radio and we'll get to it next. As the Garth Brooks Story continues.


TR: Garth Brooks has fans around the world, of all races, religions, and ages. This fan is only 11 years old. (fan sings The River in backgroud)

GB: What I would like to see as the most important element of our records is the realness. People walking away going, "Allright I know something about Garth Brooks. In fact I know enough, and though I've never met him, to say whether I like him or not. Simply because of his music, I see what he stands for."

The River

TR:One of the most popular songs with Garth's fans, that's The River. Garth's always been a dreamer but just anout all of his dreams have been fufilled, personally as well as professionally. Last summer he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Walk of Fame official: On behalf of the Hollywood chamber of commerce, Garth Brooks I'm pleased to welcome you to the Walk of Fame.

TR: He's won dozens of awards and honors, but there's one that still stands out.

GB: The greatest professional achievement music wise, hands down is becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It has been and probably will be all my life. That's a family honor, it's an award they don't have to give. And even though I can't predict the future, I can't see one higher than that.

TR: And what does the future hold for Garth himself?

GB: I think the biggest growth area is probably growing up to realize that, I'm only to be who I am. I can't be somebody I'm not. I am happy with who I am, I'm not satisfied, I'm just happy with who I am. And realize that Garth Brooks is, all I'm ever going to be. Now I got to work on making Garth Brooks, all Garth Brooks can be.

TR:In the meantime, Garth's got a new single just hitting the airwaves. Here it is.

It's Midnight Cinderella

TR: That's the new one from Garth's CD Fresh Horses, It's Midnight Cinderella. I'm Tom Rivers, and coming up we'll give Garth fans and Garth himself a chance at naming their favorite Garth Brooks song of all time. That's as the Garth Brooks special continues.


TR: When it comes to picking their favorite Garth Brooks song these fans usually agree on one.

Fan1: Hi, I'm Marlena from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia and my favorite Garth Brooks song is The Dance. Because it really does have to do with what life is all about. If you wanted to change what was going to happen the end of your life, you have to change everything else that went before it. It's not worth it, it definatly isn't.

Fan2: My name is Becky and I'm from St. Marys, West Virginia and my favorite Garth Brooks song is The Dance. Because it comes from his heart.

Fan3: If I had to pick one song, The Dance. Because it says, sure there's things go wrong in your life, but you have to put up with some of that to get to the good.

GB: It's a song that says, "Yeah, I could have missed the pain, but I'd to miss the dance." It's a song about life. It's a song called The Dance.

The Dance

TR: The Garth Brooks Story, was written and produced by George Atchibees. We've had help from Kevin Delany, Pam Green, and Ed Salamon. Special thanks to Garth Brooks, his staff, and the folks at his record label Capitol Records. The story's not over yet but it's been a great beginning. I'm Tom Rivers and The Garth Brooks Story has been a production of Westwood One Entertainment.

Converted to text by Brandon Wiesner, with special thanks to Charlene Bayne.


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