Diamond Rio is an American country and Christian country music band. The band was founded in 1982 as an attraction for the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville and was known as the Grizzly River Boys the Tennessee River Boys, it was founded by Matt Davenport, Danny Gregg, Ty Herndon, the last of whom became a solo artist in the mid-1990s. After undergoing several membership changes in its initial years, the band has consisted of the same six members since 1989: Marty Roe, Gene Johnson, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Dan Truman, Dana Williams. After assuming the name Diamond Rio, the band was signed to Arista Nashville and debuted in 1991 with the single "Meet in the Middle", which made them the first band to send a debut single to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The band charted 32 more singles between and 2006, including four more that reached No. 1: "How Your Love Makes Me Feel", "One More Day", "Beautiful Mess", "I Believe". Diamond Rio has recorded nine studio albums, four Greatest Hits compilations, an album of Christmas music.
Three of the band's albums have achieved RIAA platinum certification in the United States. In addition, Diamond Rio has received four Group of the Year awards from the Country Music Association, two Top Vocal Group awards from the Academy of Country Music, one Grammy Award; the band is known for its vocal harmonies, varied instrumentation, near-exclusive use of only its own membership on recordings instead of session musicians. Their sound was defined by mainstream country and rock influences, but albums drew more influence from Christian country music and country pop. In 1982, Matt Davenport and Danny Gregg founded a band at Opryland USA, a former country music-based amusement park in Nashville, Tennessee; the band was first named the Grizzly River Boys, after a new river rafting ride at the park, but changed names to the Tennessee River Boys due to its members disliking the original name. Intended to promote the park through a one-time television special, the band proved popular enough that it became one of many regular performers there.
Davenport, Ty Herndon alternated as lead vocalists, with Davenport playing bass guitar and Gregg on rhythm guitar. The group "swapped lead voices, told jokes, balanced old-school country concert shtick with a contemporary sound." Herndon left the group in 1983 to compete on the talent show Star Search, became a solo artist for Epic Records between 1995 and the early 2000s. Herndon was temporarily replaced by Anthony Crawford and Virgil True before his role was taken over by Marty Roe, who had toured nationally with the Christian band Windsong, worked in the park by doing impersonations of Larry Gatlin. Following Herndon's departure, DeLonibus and Mummert quit as well, with Dan Truman and Jimmy "J. J." Whiteside taking their places. Beard quit shortly afterward and became a session musician, former Mel McDaniel sideman Jimmy Olander took his place; the band, through the assistance of Bill Anderson's drummer Len "Snuffy" Miller, submitted demos to various Nashville record labels with no success.
By 1985, the Tennessee River Boys had quit working at Opryland. According to Roe, while the band enjoyed playing at the park, they felt that their status as a theme park attraction discredited them as "real musicians" to those in the Nashville community. For the next few years, they played at small venues such as high school auditoriums, worked no more than four concerts a month, they competed on Star Search, but were eliminated in the first round. Frustrated by the sporadic touring schedules, Whiteside quit the group and was replaced by Brian Prout, who performed in Hot Walker Band and Heartbreak Mountain. Around 1986, Deal and Gregg both left the group, the latter due to health complications from a serious illness he had developed as a teenager, they chose to operate as a quintet, with Davenport as the sole lead vocalist and Roe and Prout singing harmony. Johnson debuted at a concert in Clewiston, Florida, in May 1987. At this point, the band members supplemented their incomes with outside jobs: Johnson continued to work in carpentry, as he had done before joining the band, while Olander and Roe mowed lawns, Prout drove tour buses.
In 1988, the band caught the attention of Keith Stegall, a singer-songwriter who would become known for his work as Alan Jackson's record producer. Stegall produced demos for the Tennessee River Boys, but noted that Davenport could not record the lead vocal and bass parts at the same time, as they would be difficult to separate in the control room; as a result, Stegall had Roe sing a "scratch" vocal track live with the other musicians, which would be replaced by Davenport's voice in post-production. Upon hearing Roe sing the "scratch" track, Stegall convinced the other members that Roe should be the lead vocalist instead. Due to his discomfort outside the lead role and his wife's dissatisfaction with his career, Davenport quit in late 1988, becoming the last founding member to leave; the group had to find a replacement, as they were scheduled to appear on the talk show N
Terri Lynn Clark is a Canadian country music artist who has had success in both Canada and the United States. Signed to Mercury Records in 1995, she released her self-titled debut that year. Both it and its two follow-ups, 1996's Just the Same and 1998's How I Feel, were certified platinum in both countries, produced several Top Ten country hits, her fourth album, 2000's Fearless, though certified gold in Canada, was not as successful in the U. S. producing no Top 10 hits. Pain to Kill from 2003 restored her chart momentum in the U. S. with "I Just Wanna Be Mad" and "I Wanna Do It All", while a 2004 greatest hits album produced the Number One "Girls Lie Too". A non-album single, "The World Needs a Drink", the 2005 album Life Goes On were her last releases for Mercury before she signed to BNA Records in 2007. There, she released the singles "Dirty Girl" and "In My Next Life". Although the latter went to Number One in Canada, she has not released an album for BNA. Clark's albums have accounted for more than twenty singles, including six Number Ones.
"If I Were You", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", "Emotional Girl" and "In My Next Life" all topped the country charts in Canada, "Girls Lie Too" reached Number One only in the U. S. and "You're Easy on the Eyes" was a Number One in both countries. Clark was born Terri Lynn Sauson on August 5, 1968, in Montreal, Canada, her family settled in Medicine Hat, where she was raised. She is the third of four children: she has a younger brother and two older sisters and Tina. Clark's grandparents and Betty Gauthier, were both noted Canadian country musicians, having opened for artists such as George Jones and Johnny Cash. Clark's mother, had belonged to the Canadian folk scene, her parents divorced when she was young and her mother remarried, with Terri taking on her stepfather's last name. By high school, Clark had grown to love country music and worked at a local Chinese restaurant to save money to move to Nashville, Tennessee. In 1987, after graduating high school at Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat, she moved from there to Nashville, where she got her start playing at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, a honky-tonk bar across the alley from the Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
At the time, country music executives were not interested in traditional country, but record producer and singer Keith Stegall gave her advice to not give up. In 1994, Stegall became an executive at PolyGram/Mercury Records in Nashville and signed Clark to a record deal. In 1995, Clark issued her first single, "Better Things to Do." The song managed to reach the top five in Canada. Her debut album, Terri Clark, followed shortly after. Clark had a hand in co-writing 11 of the album's 12 tracks. Terri Clark featured the singles "When Boy Meets Girl," "If I Were You," and "Suddenly Single." "If I Were You" became Clark's first No. 1 in Canada in June 1996. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States on April 5, 1996 and Platinum on July 29, 1997. In 1996, Clark's second studio album, Just the Same, was issued following the album's first single, "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," a cover of the 1976 Warren Zevon song; the song and its second single, "Emotional Girl," reached number one in Canada with both songs reaching the top ten in the United States.
During late 1996, Clark was awarded Single of the Year for "Better Things to Do" and Album of the Year for Terri Clark by the Canadian Country Music Association. By 1997 she would be awarded the Fans' Choice Award, an award she would win six more times between 2001 and 2007, Female Artist of the Year, award she would claim in 2004 and 2005. In March 1998, Clark visited Calgary, Canada to film her first television special, Terri Clark: Coming Home, which premiered March 27 on CBC in Canada. During the special Clark was visited by Canadian country singers Paul Brandt and George Fox. Clark's third studio album, How I Feel, was issued in May 1998; the album's lead single, "Now That I Found You," reached the top five in both the United States and Canada. It was the album's second single. 1, the song reached No. 1 in Canada. "You're Easy on the Eyes" became a minor Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. To promote the new album, Clark was added as the opening act for Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn 1998 tour.
Fearless, Clark's fourth studio album, was issued in September 2000. During the album's production, Clark started writing more personal songs with a new team of co-writers and hired a new producer to deliver a set of songs with a more acoustic feel than that of her previous work; the album's first single, "A Little Gasoline", was a late addition to the album because Mercury executives felt Clark needed to balance her new material with something that had a more familiar feel to it. The song reached the top ten in Canada, only reaching No. 13 in the United States. On May 2, 2001, Clark was pulled over by police for speeding in Nashville; the officer, who pulled Clark over, had suspected that she had consumed alcohol and asked her to do sobriety test, after which Clark refused and was charged with a DUI and implied consent. Clark apologized for the incident through a statement, issued to press by her publicist. In August, Clark pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving and was fined $350 plus court costs, placed on six months' supervised probation and ordered to take an alcohol education course.
After a management change in December 2001, Clark began work on her fifth studio album, Pain to Kill. The album was issued in January 2003, followed after the release of the album's first single, "I Just Wanna Be Mad"; the song, written by Kelley Lovel
Emmylou Harris is an American singer and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, her work and recordings include work as a solo artist, a bandleader, an interpreter of other composers' works, a singer-songwriter, a backing vocalist and duet partner. She has worked with numerous artists. Harris is from a career military family, her father, Walter Harris, was a Marine Corps officer, her mother, was a wartime military wife. Her father was reported missing in action in Korea in 1952 and spent ten months as a prisoner of war. Born in Birmingham, Harris spent her childhood in North Carolina and Woodbridge, where she graduated from Gar-Field Senior High School as class valedictorian, she won a drama scholarship to the UNCG School of Music and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she began to study music, learn the songs of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on guitar.
She dropped out of college to pursue her musical aspirations, moved to New York City, working as a waitress to support herself while performing folk songs in Greenwich Village coffeehouses during the 1960s folk music boom. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird. Harris and Slocum soon divorced, Harris and her newborn daughter Hallie moved in with her parents in Clarksville, Maryland, a suburb near Washington, D. C. Harris soon returned to performing as part of a trio with Tom Guidera. In 1971, members of the country rock group the Flying Burrito Brothers saw. Instead, Hillman recommended her to Gram Parsons, looking for a female vocalist to collaborate with on his first solo album, GP. Harris toured as a member of Parsons's band, the Fallen Angels, in 1973, the pair shone during vocal harmonies and duets; that year and Harris worked on a studio album, Grievous Angel. Parsons died in his motel room near what is now Joshua Tree National Park on September 19, 1973, from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol.
Parsons's Grievous Angel was released posthumously in 1974, three more tracks from his sessions with Harris were included on another posthumous Parsons album, Sleepless Nights, in 1976. One more album of recorded material from that period was packaged as Live 1973, but was not released until 1982. Warner Brothers A&R representative Mary Martin introduced Harris to Canadian producer Brian Ahern, who produced her major label debut album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975 on Reprise Records; the album was eclectic by Nashville standards, including cover versions of the Beatles' "For No One", Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down" and the Louvin Brothers' "If I Could Only Win Your Love". It featured "Bluebird Wine", a composition by a young Texas songwriter, Rodney Crowell, the first in a long line of songwriters whose talents Harris has championed; the record was one of the most expensive country records produced at the time, featuring the talents of James Burton, Glen Hardin, Ron Tutt, Ray Pohlman, Bill Payne, as well as two tracks that were cut with the Angel Band.
Two singles were released: "Too Far Gone", which charted at No. 73, Harris's first big hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love", a duet with Herb Pedersen, which peaked at No. 4. Executives of Warner Bros. Records told Harris they would agree to record her if she would "get a hot band". Harris did so, enlisting guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin, both of whom had played with Elvis Presley as well as Parsons. Burton was a renowned guitarist, starting in Ricky Nelson's band in the 1950s, Hardin had been a member of the Crickets. Other Hot Band members were drummer John Ware, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, bassist Emory Gordy, Jr. with whom Harris had worked while performing with Parsons. Singer-songwriter Crowell was enlisted as a rhythm duet partner. Harris's first tour schedule dovetailed around Presley's, owing to Burton and Hardin's continuing commitments to Presley's band; the Hot Band lived up to its name, with most of the members moving on with fresh talent replacing them as they went on to solo careers of their own.
Elite Hotel, released in December 1975, established that the buzz created by Pieces of the Sky was well-founded. Unusual for country albums at the time, which revolved around a hit single, Harris's albums borrowed their approach from the album-oriented rock market. In terms of quality and artistic merit, tracks like "Sin City", "Wheels", "Till I Gain Control Again", which weren't singles stood against tracks like "Together Again", "Sweet Dreams", "One of These Days", which were. Elite Hotel was a No. 1 country album and did sufficiently well as a crossover success with the rock audience. Harris appealed to those who disapproved of the country market's pull toward crossover pop singles. Elite Hotel won a Grammy in 1976 for Female. Harris's reputation for guest work continued, she contributed to albums by Linda Ronstadt, Guy Clark and Neil Young, she was tapped by Bob Dylan to perform on his Desi
Origins of rock and roll
Rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States in the early to mid-1950s. It derived most directly from the rhythm and blues music of the 1940s, which itself developed from earlier blues, boogie woogie and swing music, was influenced by gospel and western, traditional folk music. Rock and roll in turn provided the main basis for the music that, since the mid-1960s, has been known as rock music; the phrase "rocking and rolling" described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but it was used by the early 20th century, both to describe a spiritual fervor and as a sexual analogy. Various gospel and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more – but still intermittently – in the late 1930s and 1940s, principally on recordings and in reviews of what became known as "rhythm and blues" music aimed at black audiences. In 1951, Cleveland-based disc jockey Alan Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the term "rock and roll" to describe it. Various recordings that date back to the 1940s have been named as the first roll record.
The alliterative phrase "rocking and rolling" was used by mariners at least as early as the 17th century to describe the combined "rocking" and "rolling" motion of a ship on the ocean. Examples include an 1821 reference, "... prevent her from rocking and rolling...", an 1835 reference to a ship "... rocking and rolling on both beam-ends". As the term referred to movement forwards and from side to side, it acquired sexual connotations from early on; the hymn "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep", with words written in the 1830s by Emma Willard and tune by Joseph Philip Knight, was recorded several times around the start of the 20th century by the Original Bison City Quartet before 1894, the Standard Quartette in 1895, John W. Myers at about the same time, Gus Reed in 1908. By that time, the specific phrase "rocking and rolling" was used by African Americans in spirituals with a religious connotation. A comic song titled "Rock and Roll Me" was performed by Johnny Gardner of the Moore's Troubadours theatrical group during a performance in Australia in 1886, one newspaper critic wrote that Gardner "made himself so amusing that the large audience rocked and rolled with laughter."
The earliest known recordings of the phrase were in several versions of "The Camp Meeting Jubilee", by both the Edison Male Quartet and the Columbia Quartette, recorded between 1896 and 1900. It contained the lyrics "Keep on rockin' an' rolling in your arms/ Rockin' an' rolling in your arms/ Rockin' an' rolling in your arms/ In the arms of Moses." "Rocking" was used to describe the spiritual rapture felt by worshippers at certain religious events, to refer to the rhythm found in the accompanying music. At around the same time, the terminology was used in secular contexts, for example to describe the motion of railroad trains, it has been suggested that it was used by men building railroads, who would sing to keep the pace, swinging their hammers down to drill a hole into the rock, the men who held the steel spikes would "rock" the spike back and forth to clear rock or "roll", twisting it to improve the "bite" of the drill. "Rocking" and "rolling" were used, both separately and together, in a sexual context.
By the early 20th century the words were used together in secular black slang with a double meaning, ostensibly referring to dancing and partying, but with the subtextual meaning of sex. In 1922, blues singer Trixie Smith recorded "My Man Rocks Me," first featuring the two words in a secular context. Although it was played with a backbeat and was one of the first "around the clock" lyrics, this slow minor-key blues was by no means "rock and roll" in the sense. However, the terms "rocking", "rocking and rolling", were used through the 1920s and 1930s but not by black secular musicians, to refer to either dancing or sex, or both. In 1927, blues singer Blind Blake used the couplet "Now we gonna do the old country rock / First thing we do, swing your partners" in "West Coast Blues", which in turn formed the basis of "Old Country Rock" by William Moore the following year. In 1927, traditional country musician Uncle Dave Macon, with his group the Fruit Jar Drinkers, recorded "Sail Away Ladies" with a refrain of "Don't she rock, daddy-o", "Rock About My Saro Jane".
Duke Ellington recorded "Rockin' in Rhythm" in 1928, Robinson's Knights of Rest recorded "Rocking and Rolling" in 1930. In 1932, the phrase "rock and roll" was heard in the Hal Roach film Asleep in the Feet. In 1934, the Boswell Sisters had a pop hit with "Rock and Roll" from the film Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round, where the term was used to describe the motion of a ship at sea. In 1935, Henry "Red" Allen recorded "Get Rhythm in Your Feet and Music in Your Soul" which included the lyric "If Satan starts to hound you, commence to rock and roll / Get rhythm in your feet..." The lyrics were written by the prolific composer J. Russel Robinson with Bill Livingston. Allen's recording was a "race" record on the Vocalion label, but the tune was covered by white musicians, notably Benny Goodman with singer Helen Ward. Other notable recordings using the words, both released in 1938, were "Rock It for Me" by Chick Webb, a swing number with Ella Fitzgerald on vocals featuring the lyrics "... Won't you satisfy my soul, With the rock and roll?".
Larry Wayne Gatlin is an American country and Southern gospel singer and songwriter. As part of a trio with his younger brothers Steve and Rudy, he achieved considerable success within the country music genre, performing on 33 top-40 singles; as their fame grew, the band became known as the Gatlin Brothers. Larry Gatlin is known for his rich falsetto singing style and for the unique pop-inflected songs he wrote and recorded in the 1970s and 1980s; some of Gatlin's biggest hits include "Broken Lady", "All the Gold in California", "Houston", "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby", "Talkin' to the Moon". During this time, country music trended towards slick pop music arrangements in a style that came to be known as Countrypolitan. Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers came to prominence and enjoyed their greatest success during this period with hit singles that showcased the brothers' three-part harmonies and Larry's poetic lyrics. Gatlin was born in Seminole in Gaines County, next to the New Mexico border.
His father was an oilfield worker, the family lived in several locations while he was a youth, including Abilene and Odessa. He was reared listening to country and Southern gospel music, his brothers and Rudy, he have performed together since childhood. They sometimes performed on local radio stations, on television shows, they recorded a Gospel music album for the Gospel label Sword and Shield. The brothers managed to beat out the legendary Roy Orbison in a local talent contest. In 1964, Gatlin was a quarterback at Odessa High School. After graduation in 1966, Gatlin was eligible to serve in the military during the Vietnam War; as a wide receiver on the football team, he caught a touchdown pass in a 1968 game in which his team, the Cougars, scored 100 points. He auditioned for and joined the Gospel music group The Imperials; the Imperials went on to perform in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 1971 at Jimmy Dean's Las Vegas Revue. While walking through the showroom, he caught country singer Dottie West's attention, who thought he looked like Mickey Newbury.
West soon was impressed with his songwriting skills. She was so impressed, in fact, that she recorded two of Gatlin's compositions, "You're the Other Half of Me" and "Once You Were Mine". West passed one of Gatlin's demonstration tapes around Nashville and arranged for him to relocate there, purchasing a plane ticket for him—a story he related on the 11/12/2009 episode of Larry's Country Diner on RFD-TV. West recorded other compositions by Gatlin that would become hits for him, including "Broken Lady", put on West's 1978 album, Dottie. With West's help, Gatlin found work in Nashville as a background singer for Kris Kristofferson. In 1973, Gatlin landed a solo recording contract with Monument Records. In 1973, Gatlin released The Pilgrim. Two singles were released from the album: "Sweet Becky Walker" and "Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall", though both failed to chart; the latter was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1976. In 1974 came the release of a new album, Rain/Rainbow, a new song "Delta Dirt".
The album and single proved more successful. "Delta Dirt" was a top-20 country hit, peaking at number 14. The song was Gatlin's only entry on the pop charts, when it reached number 84. In 1975, Gatlin had his first major hit with his composition "Broken Lady", which reached number five on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1976. Gatlin won a Grammy Award for the song in 1977 for Best Country Song. A new album, High Time, was released in 1976. Gatlin is credited on guitar on Willie Nelson's 1976 album The Troublemaker. Brothers Steve and Rudy made their first appearance on Larry's 1976 album Larry Gatlin with Family & Friends, they were featured on some of Gatlin's other hits during the late 1970s, notably "I Don't Wanna Cry", "Love Is Just a Game", "Statues Without Hearts". In 1978, Gatlin scored his first number-one hit with "I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love." Gatlin continued his success as a solo artist until 1978, when he released his last solo album, Oh Brother, which featured the top-10 hits "I've Done Enough Dyin' Today" and "Night Time Magic", the latter of which made an entry into the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
Both songs spotlighted Gatlin's soaring falsetto. In 1977, Gatlin joined entrepreneur Larry Schmittou and other country music stars, such as Conway Twitty, Jerry Reed, Cal Smith, as investors in the Nashville Sounds, a minor league baseball team of the Double-A Southern League that began play in 1978. In 1979, when Gatlin signed with Columbia Records, he decided to have his brothers billed on his singles and on his albums; that year, their name was "Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers". In October, they released the album Straight Ahead, it spawned the classic single "All the Gold in California", which became their biggest hit together, reaching number one on the Hot Country Songs list. This was Gatlin's second number-one hit and led to his being awarded "Top Male Vocalist of the Year" by the Academy of Country Music that year. On June 6, 1980, Straight Ahead was certified gold; the group's next big hit came in early 1980, with "Take Me To Your Lovin' Place", which peaked at number five in 1981.
They continued their hit success, having top-1
The Notting Hillbillies
The Notting Hillbillies was a country rock project formed by British singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler in May 1986. The group consisted of Knopfler, Steve Phillips, Brendan Croker, Guy Fletcher, Paul Franklin, Marcus Cliffe, Ed Bicknell, they gave their first performance at a small club in Leeds, followed up with a tour. The Notting Hillbillies recorded just one album, Missing... Presumed Having a Good Time, released on Vertigo in the UK in 1990, before returning to concentrate on their primary musical outlets; the Notting Hillbillies reunited several times for charity gigs. In May 1997 the Hillbillies went on an 11 show tour in the UK; the Town & Country Club in Leeds on 3 July 1993 only featured the Knopfler-Croker-Philips trio. The set list included the only known live performances of two Dire Straits songs: "Ticket To Heaven" and "How Long"; the Notting Hillbillies had performed "When It Comes to You" in 1990, before it was recorded and issued by Dire Straits on their final album On Every Street, in 1991.
At the height of their fame, the Notting Hillbillies were the musical guest on the 19 May 1990 episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Candice Bergen. The concert at The City Hall in Newcastle on 6 July 1993 featured Alan Clark on keyboards, his only appearance with the band. Ed Bicknell and Marcus Cliffe were present; this was the last time. In 1993, two shows were performed, both without Guy Fletcher. Mark Knopfler – guitar, vocals Steve Phillips – guitar, vocals Brendan Croker – guitar, vocals Guy Fletcher – keyboards, vocals Paul Franklin – pedal steel Marcus Cliffe – bass Ed Bicknell – drums
Troyal Garth Brooks is an American singer and songwriter. His integration of rock and roll elements into the country genre has earned him immense popularity in the United States. Brooks has had great success on the country single and album charts, with multi-platinum recordings and record-breaking live performances, while crossing over into the mainstream pop arena. According to the RIAA, he is the best-selling solo albums artist in the United States with 148 million domestic units sold, ahead of Elvis Presley, is second only to The Beatles in total album sales overall, he is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 170 million records. As of 2019, Brooks is now the only artist in music history to have released seven albums that achieved diamond status in the United States. Since 1989, Brooks has released 22 records in all, which include: 12 studio albums, two live albums, three compilation albums, three Christmas albums and four box sets, along with 77 singles.
He won several awards in his career, including two Grammy Awards, 17 American Music Awards and the RIAA Award for best-selling solo albums artist of the century in the U. S. Troubled by conflicts between career and family, Brooks retired from recording and performing from 2001 until 2005. During this time, he sold millions of albums through an exclusive distribution deal with Walmart and sporadically released new singles. In 2005, Brooks started a partial comeback, giving select performances and releasing two compilation albums. In 2009, he began Garth at Wynn, a periodic weekend concert residency at Las Vegas' Encore Theatre from December 2009 to January 2014. Following the conclusion of the residency, Brooks announced his signing with Sony Music Nashville in July 2014. In September 2014, he began his comeback world tour, with wife and musician Trisha Yearwood, which culminated in 2017, his most recent album, was released in November 2016. Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 21, 2012.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. Troyal Garth Brooks was born on February 1962, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was the youngest child of Troyal Raymond Brooks, Jr. a draftsman for an oil company, Colleen McElroy Carroll, a 1950s-era country singer of Irish ancestry who recorded on the Capitol Records label and appeared on Ozark Jubilee. This was the second marriage for each of his parents, giving Brooks four older half-siblings; the couple had two children together and Garth. At their home in Yukon, the family hosted weekly talent nights. All of the children were required to participate, either by doing skits. Brooks learned to play both banjo; as a child, Brooks sang in casual family settings, but his primary focus was athletics. In high school, he ran track and field, he received a track scholarship to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he competed in the javelin. Brooks graduated in 1984 with a degree in advertising, his roommate, Ty England played guitar in his road band until going solo in 1995.
In 1985, Brooks began his professional music career and playing guitar in Oklahoma clubs and bars, most notably Wild Willie's Saloon in Stillwater. Through his elder siblings, Brooks was exposed to a wide range of music. Although he listened to some country music that of George Jones, Brooks was most fond of rock music, citing James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, Townes Van Zandt as major influences. In 1981, after hearing "Unwound", the debut single of George Strait, Brooks decided that he was more interested in playing country music. In 1985, entertainment attorney Rod Phelps drove from Dallas to listen to Brooks. Phelps liked what he offered to produce Brooks' first demo. With Phelps' encouragement, including a list of Phelps' contacts in Nashville and some of his credit cards, Brooks traveled to Nashville to pursue a recording contract. Phelps continued to urge Brooks to return to Nashville. In 1987, Brooks and wife Sandy Mahl moved to Nashville, Brooks began making contacts in the music industry.
Garth Brooks' eponymous first album was a chart success. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, reached No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart. Most of the album was traditionalist country, influenced in part by George Strait; the first single, "Much Too Young", was a country top 10 success. It was followed by Brooks' first number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart, "If Tomorrow Never Comes". "Not Counting You" reached No. 2, "The Dance" reached No. 1. Brooks has claimed that out of all the songs he has recorded, "The Dance" remains his favorite. In 1989, Brooks embarked as opening act for Kenny Rogers. Brooks' second album, No Fences, was released in 1990 and spent 23 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, became Brooks' highest-selling album, with domestic shipments of 17 million. It contained what would become Brooks' signature song, the blue collar anthem "Friends in Low Places", as well as other popular singles, "The Thunder Rolls" and "Unanswered Prayers".
Each of these songs