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Before They Were Famous: Neal McCoy

Neal McCoy
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Neal McCoy sold his last pair of shoes 32 years ago, long before his career as a country artist had taken off. He met his wife at the shoe store where he worked, he says, telling Taste of Country that she came in with her mother. “And I just thought ‘Oh my gosh, who is this girl. She’s the prettiest girl in the world.'” McCoy had no troubles chatting with customers and doing what it takes to close a sale.

“It’s just about being able to talk and flirt and lie,” he says. “If you work on commission, which I did, I would lie to those women. I mean anything for the sale. I know that’s terrible to admit now. If the shoe was too small I told ’em it’d stretch. If it was too big I told ’em just wear it a little while it’ll form to your foot. I mean I told ’em anything to try to get that sale. I was trying to support me and a new wife.”

Next: Kenny Chesney

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