Labor Day 2011: Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan + More Recall Pre-Fame Jobs
Labor Day 2011 is on the horizon, and the spirit of hard work has got some of country music's biggest stars recalling jobs that they had before they hit it big -- and trust us, not all of their pre-fame jobs were a walk in the park. See what Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and more had to say about their past work experience, as well as how they feel about what they're doing now, in honor of this year's Labor Day.
"At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, Georgia. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce. They paid me under the table …I peeled off all of the brown lettuce," Bryan remembers. "Let’s see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn’t really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though -- you’d get an hour-long on the blue light special."
With Labor Day coming in just a few days, Darius Rucker had a similarly dizzying job experience when he was a teenager. "I was 15, and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at 14, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza," he says, according to Capitol/EMI Nashville. "So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza.”
Songwriting newcomer Eric Paslay, who penned Jake Owen's 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night,' had to suffer through the hot 110-degree Texas summers at his first job. "My first official job was working at a screen printing place in Texas during the summer in a metal building that had no AC. We printed on fanny packs -- really cool -- and these other little bags. And it was 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."
Lady A's Charles Kelley had his fair share of sun exposure when he did lawn care one summer, but thankfully, it led him to where he is today. "Oh, man, I do not miss that. Just glad those days are over," he admits. "I get out here and play music for a living. It’s a lot more fun. But yeah, I used to do that, and I used to work as a bag boy at a golf course once. I did that for a couple of summers. I had a lot of crummy jobs."
Keith Urban echoes Kelley's sentiment -- that performing for dedicated fans for a living is the best job out there. "Seeing people connect to the music is the absolute, hands down, the biggest reward for me. Especially when you go to a place you’ve never been to before, and there’s all these people. I mean lots of people out there that you’ve never met a single one of them, and they’re singing to every word, and you realize that it’s not just a pretty melody, they get your songs. It’s amazing. It’s a great feeling.”
Alan Jackson tips his hat to Labor Day and the hard workin' country folk out there by writing songs about truly working for a living, because he can relate. "I’ve always written songs and recorded songs, other people’s songs, about workin’ people, and workin’, the workin’ life ’cause I mean, that’s where I’m from," Jackson says. "I mean, I worked … I’d already had jobs and worked as a grown person before I ever even thought about bein’ in the music business, so I come from that background, and although I hadn’t had a job in a long time [laughs], I still remember a lot about it, you know, and I remember what the lifestyle is, and I still appreciate that."
Happy Labor Day 2011 from Taste of Country! Enjoy your time off from work if you get it, because you deserve it!