Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

How Reba McEntire Got Her Start in the Music Industry

How Reba McEntire Got Her Start in the Music Industry

It was 1974. Reba McEntire’s father encouraged her to take on the opportunity to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the National Finals Rodeo, which would take place in Oklahoma City. And so she did. Reba contacted rodeo announcer and family friend Clem McSpadden to help her get the gig. Little did she know that it would be the performance that would change her life forever. 

RELATED: 10 Reba McEntire Songs You Should Be Streaming Right Now!

Reba McEntire was the third of four children who was raised on her family’s 8,000-acre ranch in Chockie, Oklahoma. But they frequently traveled to watch their father, a World Champion Steer Roper, compete at rodeos. And with their mother, who was an aspiring country music singer, meant that long car trips were spent singing and harmonizing. Soon enough, they did catch the music bug. Young Reba started performing in school, and she also learned the piano and the guitar. Reba, alongside her sister Susie and brother Pake, soon became The Singing McEntires with Reba at the helm, playing the guitar and even writing songs. One of those was called “The Ballad of John McEntire,” a song that commemorated their grandfather’s achievements, which was then pressed by a local label and was released in small numbers throughout the region. The trio had their heyday before they parted ways when Pake graduated high school. 

After Reba finished high school, she then enrolled at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where she majored in elementary education with a minor in music, a nod to both her mother’s footsteps and aspirations. Upon earning her Bachelor’s degree, she continued to help out on their ranch. One thing about Reba was that she loved barrel racing as much as she did singing. And so, she would often party and watch barrel racing with her buddies at the rodeo. One time, her dad told her that if she was gonna go and watch at the rodeo then she should get a job as well. At first, she was confused at what job her dad was telling her about until he told her that she should go and sing the national anthem. 

During one of her performances, Reba impressed country artist Red Steagall who was also performing at the show. When Reba, her mother, and her siblings later joined him at a hotel party, Reba performed an acapella version of Dolly Parton’s song titled “Joshua.” Steagall contacted them after he got back to Nashville, and while he couldn’t take all three siblings as per the request of Reba’s mother, Jacqueline, he said that he could take in Reba. 

At first, Reba was not entirely sure about pursuing a professional music career, but one conversation with her mother struck through her. Jacqueline told Reba that if she didn’t want to go to Nashville, they didn’t have to, but she was living all of her dreams through her. It changed her mind, and she went on to record a demo and secure a Nashville contract with PolyGram/Mercury Records

And the rest is history. 

Latest Stories

Charley Pride + Did You Think to Pray

Did You Think to Pray?: A Timeless Gospel Song by Charley Pride

In 1971, Charley Pride took a big step in his career when he released his first gospel song, “Did You Think to Pray,” as part of his album of the ...

Alabama + Tennessee River

“Tennessee River”: The Song That Launched Alabama’s Country Reign

In 1980, the American country music band Alabama released the chart-topping song titled “Tennessee River” as part of their album, My Home’s in Alabama. Upon the song’s release, it immediately ...

Waylon Jennings' Controversial Exit from We Are The World Recording Session

“No Good Ol’ Boy Sings in Swahili”: Waylon Jennings’ Exit from “We Are the World”

In January 1985, a supergroup of 46 of the biggest music artists of the time, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Billy Joel, as well as country stars Ray Charles, ...

Zach Bryan + Pink Skies

Zach Bryan’s “Pink Skies” Explores Loss and Love

Country music singer-songwriter Zach Bryan released “Pink Skies” as part of his album of the same title. It immediately became the talk of the town because of the (definitely not ...

Hank Williams - Hey Good Lookin'

Hank Williams’ Relatable Charm in “Hey, Good Lookin’” 

When Hank Williams arrived in 1949 in Nashville, he didn’t wait long to become one of the biggest stars in country music. A year later until 1951, he enjoyed the ...

Cavendish Beach Musical Festival 2024

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2024Festival Duration:July 5-7, 2024Venue:Route 6 Ranch in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, CanadaPerformers Include:Brothers Osborne, Tyler Childers, Zac Brown Band, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here ...

Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic 2024

Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic 2024Festival Duration:July 4, 2024Venue:Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, New JerseyPerformers Include:Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and moreTicket Information:Get Your ...

Travis Tritt + Help Me Hold On

Travis Tritt Begs His Lover For One More Chance In “Help Me Hold On”

Country singer Travis Tritt scored his first number-one hit with his second release from his 1990 debut album Country Club titled “Help Me Hold On.” He co-wrote it with accomplished ...

Carrie Underwood Falls Off Stage on Tail End of South Carolina Concert

Carrie Underwood Rocks Carolina Country Music Fest Despite Rain

Country singer Carrie Underwood graced the last day stage of the Carolina Country Music Fest 2024 in Myrtle Beach and delivered one hell of a performance despite the massive downpour. ...

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Seeks Annulment on Grounds of Fraud

Billy Ray Cyrus Files for Divorce from Firerose, Cites Fraud

American country singer Billy Ray Cyrus reached a breaking point with Australian singer Firerose just after seven months of marriage. According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press, Billy ...