Country Artists Share Their “Labors” Prior to Country Music

Labor Day is a national holiday to honor working men and women, and the Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. Thanks to their record labels, some of our favorite country singers share with us some of their jobs prior to making it big as recording artists.

 

Tucker Beathard says he worked on a farm bailing hay. Even though it was hard work, he says earning that money was “the most rewarding feeling.”

Dierks Bentley mastered multiple skills while working at a pizza place when he was fifteen. He cleaned floors, washed dishes….AND made pizza!

The summers that he was 12 and 13, Luke Bryan says he worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, Georgia, stocking and cleaning up the produce – all under the table. Then when he was fifteen, he worked at K-Mart for a couple months, before reverting back to Rubos, and then working for his father – “Driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green!”

Eric Church says he took an overnight at the Shop at Home Network, but says there was aspects about it that made him a bit nervous. “Anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am, and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation.”

Billy Currington says he was a landscaper and a roofer….then he worked in a pawn shop after moving to Nashville. He says working in concrete was his least favorite, but that was the turning point that made him really focus on music.

Growing up on a farm in Colorado, Clare Dunn is no stranger to hard work, and she thinks that driving a tractor for up to twelve hours a day – with nothing but a radio for companionship developed her love for country music.

Ryan Follese was a bus boy at a Japanese hibachi grill when he was in high school, a job he describes as “terrible.” He has a black belt in martial arts, and taught private lessons. But he gained an impressive education in the music business working as a tape copy boy at his father’s publishing company (his father is Keith Follese, who wrote Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That”).

Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum claims to have had a series of “crummy jobs” in his lifetime, including knocking out asbestos walls, lawn care, and working as a bag boy at a golf course.

David Nail‘s first job was working at a friend’s mother’s Dairy Queen franchise….for all of two days. David says “I can vividly remember her saying that they were going to lose money if they continued to let me work there, because I was eating more food than I was selling.”

Jon Pardi recalls working as a bagger at the Hometown Grocery Store was fun, but when he got sent down the aisles to make sure all the canned goods were facing the same way, he would get bored.

Kip Moore says laying sod in the south Georgia heat was his worst job ever, “especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned, and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, and you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”

Fanny packs earned Eric Paslay his first “official” paycheck. He worked at a screen printing place that printed on fanny packs and other bags. The clients were an “eye doctors that, some company if you bought supplies through them, they’d put your logo on fanny packs for your customers to put in a drawer somewhere. Fanny packs are cool, if you like ‘em. You know, we’d like time ourselves to see how many fanny packs you could print.”

It took Canaan Smith a while to get the hang of having a job. He says he worked in some sort of candy/chocolate store, but thought they would call him when they needed to come in; it never occurred to him to look at the schedule! So when he just didn’t show a couple of times, naturally, they fired him.

Happy Labor Day!

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