The “Dad” role in a music career.
By Marc-Alan Barnette
On Father’s Day, 2016, I’d like to send a “shout out” to all those Fathers, step Fathers, Foster Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, or just “Father Figures” that play such a huge role in people who do and try to do music.
I was lucky. My Dad, Grady Ross Barnette, (or “GRB”) as we called him, was incredibly supportive in my formative, and even current career. He had been a singer himself in my early years, the late 50’s and early 60’s, as a Gospel Quartet singer, singing with his own group, the “RHYTHM MASTERS” and later sitting in with many, including the original OAK RIDGE BOYS, leading my friend Rusty Golden to call him “The Pete Best of the Oak’s” by being replaced by Rusty’s Dad, Bill Golden. Was a great move on their part.
My Dad always loved music, and lived vicariously through me. We, along with another great Father, RON MUIR, wrote my first cut, “THAT’S WHERE IT HURTS” that was recorded by SHELBY LYNNE on her SUNRISE album, and featured in the WILLIE NELSON/KRIS KRISTOFFERSON CBS TV Movie, “ANOTHER PAIR OF ACES”. For me, it was one of my three thousand plus songs, but the only one he wrote. And he used to say “I don’t know what’s so hard about writing songs.”
But he also lived in Nashville for a while, supported me through our collector car business, always provided a place for us to rehearse, helped with money for recordings, those extra travel expenses, instruments, once kicking in to sponsor a battle of the bands, and even once getting a club for us to play for a short while. He was also a great businessman which was why we were only in the club FOR A SHORT WHILE.
But he was always there. My favorite advice was always “Find what you love to do, then figure out how to make it pay you.” He always did that and passed it on to me. I now pass it on to my kids, Logan and Taelor.
But dealing as I do with Fathers who try to help their kids find their way by teaching them elements of writing, business, driving them on auditions, helping in the shows, paying those endless bills, giving the support when things don’t do well, and waiting in the wings when they do, and those people stride to the podium accepting their huge awards, turn to the cameras before millions of people and mouth the words, “THANKS MOM!”
To all you Men, THANKS DAD!!!! We love and appreciate you!!!!