In a candid interview with CBS This Morning, the country music superstar revealed details to Gayle King about his decades-spanning career. This includes his early endeavors, the time he had to step away from fame, and the worries and intimidation he had when he came back to the industry several years ago.
The youngest among six children, Garth Brooks, grew up in a music-loving family. His father helped him learn to play the guitar, while his mother was a bigger music influence. She regularly performed on Ozark Jubilee – a 1950s television program featuring the top stars of country music. She also released a few songs for Capitol Records.
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Soon enough, Brooks moved to Nashville to do what he would love to do. However, this early venture into the heart of country music was short-lived – coming back home to Oklahoma after only one day.
Brooks said he thought Nashville would all be “straw hats and gooseneck trailers,” yet it turned out “everything’s suit and ties.” It was a business he wasn’t ready for.
In 1986, Brooks got hitched with his college girlfriend, Sandy Mahl. She went along with Brooks back to Nashville a year later for another attempt to make it big in Nashville. And as if the stars have aligned, Brooks landed a record deal in less than a year where he was signed to Capitol Records.
Brooks released his first record – a self-titled album – in 1989, and it was a chart success. He was joined by country music singer-guitarist Ty England and their partnership turned out to be one of the most rewarding in country music. They would tour in support of Brooks’ debut album, establishing an easy-going onstage teasing that later on turned into a trademark of Brooks’ live shows.
While Garth Brooks songs were selling well, listeners and critics had not foreseen what was about to come. In 1990, the country singer released No Fences, and it became a blockbuster that sold over seventeen million copies on the strength of tracks like “Friends in Low Places.” Meanwhile, the speed with which he sold-out concerts was similarly remarkable. But the greatest sign of Brooks’ exceptional rise to superstardom definitely happened when both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music named him Entertainer of the Year.
However, Brooks told Gayle King that he “probably didn’t handle” fame as well as he could have. His massive amount of success took a toll on his marriage with Mahl, plus Garth Brooks daughters are coming into the mix.
In the middle of their candid conversation, King asked the “The Dance” singer what he felt when he came back to the country music scene after being away for fourteen years.
Surprisingly, Brooks’ revealed that he found himself “scared to death.”
Luckily “the people were so sweet” when he made his comeback. “Garth, they let you back in,” King said, to which Brooks responded, “Oh my God, did they ever.”
“Country is the best place to be,” he added. “Because, one, you have the most loyal audience there could possibly be, and they will wait for you.”
Indeed, The Oklahoma native has become one of the most successful artists over his long career in the industry. Garth Brooks is the best-selling solo artist in United States history, and he has won almost every award that you can imagine. He’s been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Musicians Hall of Fame, among others. Recently, Brooks is putting in an additional honor to his long list of achievements — being included among the five artists hailed by the Kennedy Center for their roles and influences to American culture.
We’re definitely looking forward to hearing more songs from Garth Brooks for the years to come.