Nashville’s Lower Broadway is filled with lively bars and honky-tonks, booming with music even in the middle of the day. One of the newest additions is Garth Brooks’ Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk, named after his popular country song from 1990. During a recent visit from “Sunday Morning,” Brooks humbly stated that he wanted to make sure the bar was a welcome addition to the area, as “Friends In Low Places” holds a significant place in country music history.
Pauley inquired about the distinctions between a bar and a honky-tonk.
“A bar is typically frequented by locals, similar to what you may have seen on ‘Cheers’,” Brooks explained. “A honky-tonk usually has a larger dance floor and is designed to resemble a dance hall.”
The 61-year-old Oklahoman was a new name in town some 30 years ago, on the road to becoming the best-selling solo recording artist of all time – 157 million albums and counting. “If you’re lucky enough to get to sell some records in this town, you owe this town,” he said. “How can I pay back? Well, if you come down here on Lower Broadway and there’s not a Friends In Low Places, are you kidding me?”
that caused a reaction among certain individuals.
Pauley stated, “You will be providing beer to everyone, regardless of type.” Is this considered controversial?
“In my opinion, instead of creating divisions on this planet at this time, we should focus on promoting unity and love. What alternative do we have?”
“However, there are some fans who are wondering, ‘Is Garth Brooks on our side or theirs?'”
“I believe in love,” stated Brooks. “You can choose to join this ship or not, but love is abundant enough for all of us. It is said that the most difficult question in the world is, ‘Why are we here?’ But the answer is simple – we are here for each other. That is why there are more than just one of us here. I embrace this idea and I also appreciate our differences, as they add excitement to our journey.”
In 1992, Brooks and Pauley met for “Dateline NBC,” recalling their initial encounter 30 years prior. At the time, Brooks had achieved great success in the music industry but was dissatisfied with certain aspects. He shared with Pauley that his fans and love for them were the only things keeping him in the business, as he had contemplated leaving a year and a half prior.
Today, Pauley mentioned that you were once a man who had everything under control, but you were considering giving it all up and quitting.
“100%,” said Brooks.
“I never thought you would actually do it. Are you being serious?”
“Oh, very serious.”
He did not, however, seven years later Brooks was honored with the title of Artist of the Decade.
Afterwards, he accomplished it.
In the year 2000, he and his wife Sandy were separating, and he made the decision to become a stay-at-home father to their three daughters. He stated, “That’s when my life truly started. I used to think the ’90s were great, but they don’t compare to the joy of being a dad in the 2000s.”
Inspired by his own childhood in Yukon, Oklahoma, the youngest of Raymond and Colleen’s six kids – one girl and five boys, who shared a bedroom.
Pauley commented, “Your childhood home seems to be like a clown car in terms of its size and chaotic atmosphere.”
“It was crazy,” he stated. “Our family was a mix. It was a wonderful thing. My mom had three children and my dad had one. When they joined together, they had two more. However, we never referred to each other as half- or step-siblings.”
“Is there a lot of music?”
“He mentioned a large amount of music,” he stated. “Life is enhanced with the addition of music.”
And every kind of music: “James Taylor and Creedence, Janice Joplin. Dad was listening to Haggard Jones, Buck Owens. Mom was listening to Belafonte, Mahalia Jackson. And then on my own, I discovered George Strait. That day changed everything for me.”
“You heard, what?”
I am unfamiliar with this concept. When you hear a familiar and trustworthy voice singing, it brings a smile to your face. And when you pick up a guitar and play a tune, your whole body responds positively and enjoys the music. It becomes almost like a natural part of your being and you find yourself singing constantly.
Brooks joined Yearwood’s tour as a surprise guest)
After his youngest daughter left for college, Brooks returned to touring, joining country music artist Trisha Yearwood’s tour as a surprise guest.
They tied the knot in the year 2005.
The fans remained present, more numerous than before.
He has decreased his workload by taking on a Las Vegas residency, but is embarking on a new radio project. As the Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky-Tonk prepares to open, Garth Brooks is reflecting on how far he has come.
“He said that I may be interviewing the most fortunate and greatly favored person on this earth. My kids are in good health and making progress, Ms. Yearwood is content (I hope!), and with music, people are coming together to rejoice, grieve, and unite. How could it possibly get any better than that?”
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This story was created by Kay Lim and edited by Ed Givnish.
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