Scotty McCreery Announces “Go Big or Go Home” Book Tour
THE 14-CITY TREK CELEBRATING HIS FIRST BOOK WILL END WITH A SPECIAL HOMETOWN EVENT.
Scotty and Jack Harris Editor of apncountrymusic Scotty McCreery has announced a book tour to coincide with the release of his first book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, which comes out May 3.
Scotty will visit booksellers in 14 cities during the trip including New York City, Bloomington, Minn., and Fort Worth, Texas. At each stop he’ll sign autographs and meet with fans before wrapping the tour up in his hometown of Garner, N.C., on “Scotty McCreery Day.” This event will be held on the campus of the Scotty’s church, where he plans to take part in a Q&A session and perform a brief acoustic set.
Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream tells the complete story of Scotty’s rise to fame from a regular kid to a platinum-selling country phenom. From behind the scenes details of his American Idol experience to being robbed at gunpoint and parting ways with his record label, the book holds nothing back.
In a special interview with Nash Country Weekly that will soon be made available, Scotty acknowledged that at 22 years old, writing a biographical book seemed premature. But so much has happened to him in such a short time, he says, he eventually came around to the idea. Plus, this isn’t the first time he’s been asked to do it.
“They actually came to me at about 18 or 19 [years old] and said, ‘Do you want to write a book?’” Scotty says. “I said ‘You know, I don’t think I’ve got enough to go in those pages.’ But for right now, I’ve gone through enough where I was like ‘I think I’ve got some stories here.’ And it wasn’t all high stories, I’ve had plenty of lows in just the five years I’ve gone through. Part of the book is about picking yourself up by the bootstraps and keeping on going. The other part is how to live with the highs, and I’ve had enough of a variance over the last few years that I was like ‘Man, we’ve got some cool stories to tell.’ Hopefully it can help folks and it’s an enojoyable read to people.”
Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream comes out May 3 and retails for $24.99.
By: Chris Parton
Editor: Jack Harris
|Scotty’s Complete Tour Dates|
211 East Ridgewood Ave.
Ridgewood, N.J. 07450
|7:00–9:00 p.m. ET|
|4||Barnes & Noble
160 E 54th Street (at 3rd Avenue)
New York, N.Y. 10022
|12:30-2:30 p.m. ET|
|4||Barnes & Noble
Country Glen Center
91 Old Country Road
Carle Place, N.Y. 11514
|7:00-9:00 p.m. ET|
|6||Mall of America, the Rotunda/Event Common Space
60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, Minn. 55425
|3:00-5:00 p.m. CT|
|9||Fort Worth Walmart Superstore
8520 North Beach
Fort Worth, Texas 76244
|6:00-8:00 p.m. CT|
|10||Fort Hood Clear Creek Main Post Exchange
4250 Clear Creek Blvd.
Fort Hood, Texas 76544
*Must have military clearance to attend
|11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. CT|
|10||Books-A-Million at Grapevine Mills
3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy.
Grapevine, Texas 76051
|6:00-8:00 p.m. CT|
2301 S. King Dr.
Chicago, Ill. 60616
*This event is exclusive to Book Expo America, and patrons must have a badge to get into signing
|3:00–4:00 p.m. CT|
|11||Barnes & Noble Skokie Old Orchard
55 Old Orchard Center
Skokie, Ill. 60077
|6:00-8:00 p.m. CT|
|12||Franklin LifeWay Christian Store at Cool Springs Crossing
1725 Galleria Blvd.
Franklin, Tenn. 37067
|11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. CT|
|12||Knoxville West LifeWay Christian Store
10990 Parkside Drive
Knoxville, Tenn. 37934
|6:00-8:00 p.m. ET|
|13||Barnes & Noble at Asheville Mall
3 South Tunnel Road
Asheville, N.C. 28805
|12:00-2:00 p.m. ET|
|13||Charlotte Books-A-Million at Concord Mills
8301 Concord Mills Road
Concord, N.C. 28027
|7:00-9:00 p.m. ET|
4201 W Wendover Ave.
Greensboro, N.C. 27407
* For Costco Wholesale members only
|9:30-11:30 a.m. ET|
|14||First Baptist Church of Garner
Christian Life Center
601 St Mary’s St.
Garner, N.C. 27529
Interview: Mark Herndon publishes book about his time with the band Alabama
Mark and Editor Jack Harris of APNcountrymusic
The Rowdy was excited to talk to the man who had played drums with the band Alabama for 25 years. The idea that he wrote about his time on the road and shared memories from that time couldn’t be anything but interesting. The book, “The High Road: Memories From a Long Trip,” tell of the experiences, fun, and follies that this infamous drummer enjoyed and at other times endured. He hopes for some this will be a cautionary tale and for others, it may teach some life lessons without having to live with the scars.
The Rowdy (Rowdy): Hi Mark, how are you doing?
Mark Herndon (MF): Good, I just landed.
Rowdy: You wrote this book and the name of the book is “The High Road: Memories From a Long Trip.” Did you actually play drums for Alabama for 25 years?
MH: I did.
Rowdy: That’s a long time.
MH: Yeah. My original vocation was aviation. The music blossomed before the aviation thing did but I kept both hats on through my careers. With the band touring for a number of years, I kept the flying thing going when the band owned an airplane.
Rowdy: Oh, were you actually the pilot and you flew the band around?
MH: Yes. We had a two-pilot crew but I was one of them and I would fly during the day and play drums at night. It was an interesting life.
Rowdy: That sounds very interesting. Your national release is on April 1, 2016, so that is a little less than 2 months away.
MH: Yes we just launched a website and I am getting all my media ducks in a row. I am doing interviews such as yours and we have some high hopes on this release. It’s shaping up to be a real good thing. What is interesting is that it was not planned this way but the way the timetable works out, the release date for the book is April 1 which was in fact my first day with the band in 1979. So April Fool Day comes into play once again.
Rowdy: Were you the drummer in place and playing when the band got signed a record deal, right?
MH: The band got their musical start in Myrtle Beach. There was a little tiny hole in the wall place down there called ‘The Bowery.’ It is just a beach front dive basically. We played in there and I joined them in 1979. Prior to that, they had been there for about 4 summers with various other drummers and I had met those guys 6 months prior. There is an anecdotal story in the book regarding this, how I met them, how I came to finally meet them again and how their then-current drummer had left them high and dry. They called me and I showed up, right place at the right time, and I spent several summers playing in ‘The Bowery,’ down there in Myrtle Beach. It was an interesting little gig because at the time I was just a kid, I was about 23 years old and I thought that I had arrived at that point. There I was at that age and single and playing in a band at the beach. For somebody that age, what else is there? It was great.
Rowdy: That is not a bad position to be in.
MH: No, it was lots of fun and we were the house band down there so we were there from March all the way to about September 1 around Labor Day weekend. Then we would work on the road a little bit playing bars and clubs. That wasn’t too much fun, but I would look forward to being back at the beach.
Rowdy: Is it true that Alabama got their start by playing the New Faces Show at CRS?
MH: Yes, another so-called coincidence. (Laughter) The stars are aligning again. Absolutely, that was the first big break and that is in the book as well. That’s a story unto itself. I delve into that a little bit as the timeline marches on.
Rowdy: That would certainly give encouragement to the newcomers that are playing CRS this year, and next as so many wonder if they are wasting their time.
MH: As long as you are trying hard, you are not wasting your time. We certainly tried and it did bear fruit. I don’t think there was a harder working band in show business in the day. I hope that the book is somewhat instructive to young people getting into the business about possible misconceptions in their mind about how easy it is going to be because it not going to be easy. Now granted, it has changed a lot since the early days like 1980 which is when I believe we played the New Faces Show. The principals are still there. It does require a lot of hard work and dedication.
Rowdy: Do you remember if that was the first time that the band played CRS?
MH: That was the first and only time.
Rowdy: So Alabama hit it the first time around?
MH: I can’t remember everything, but the way I remember it, in those days you had one shot. If you got to CRS and you did well, then you got a label interested in your product and you made the team. I don’t recall any second or third time coming back to CRS in those days. Of course there are so many more people reaching for that brass ring nowadays that this may have changed somewhat.
Rowdy: Not only that, but if you got signed with RCA, there was no reason for a return trip.
MH: Yes, exactly.
Rowdy: So you were on the road with them for over two decades and then what happened?
MH: Tell you in one interview what happened in two decades?
Rowdy: No, at some point the band decided to stop playing. Is that when you decided to go back into aviation which is where you are working today?
MH: Well I was forced to go back into it. I am lucky I had that to fall back on. I mention in the book a couple of times how useful it is for a musician to have something else that they can fall back on because the music business is fickle. Now the reason I was forced, after 25 years on the road the band commenced the American Farewell Tour in 2003. It spanned 2003 and most of 2004. That was the way that they wanted to “end it all.” Get out on the top and be done. Not long after that there was a dispute over some contractual items and they filed a lawsuit against me based on that dispute. I touch on my take of the whole thing and how it felt to be in my shoes during that particular period of time. I think there is something in there for the readers that might be curious. I think there is something in there for any detractors that I may have and people like you who are in the media that might need a little clarity as to who sued who. I have heard a lot of people ask me why did I sue them and I have had to tell them that is not the case at all. It came to me and it was quite a shock. It settled out of court and all that has to remain private. I go into my side of the story in the book. It was public record and huge news.
Rowdy: Yes, it was huge news but you are right, most people think you sued them.
MH: That gives me a little more justification for setting the record straight.
We went on to talk off the record about some of his crazy times on the road and how fast 25 years flew by for this man. One thing is for sure, this book with a title full of innuendos “The High Road: Memories from a Long Trip,” is a must read. Make sure and take advantage of the really cool pre-sale order Mark Herndon is making on his website and order your copy today.
Actually, it’s about Hank Jr. at his rowdiest, rocking best. What a far cry from his last outing, 2012’s Old School New Rules, where he sounded tired and often plainly disinterested. Here, Hank is explosive, energized and even revitalized, likely because he’s written and found tunes that stoked his fire again.
The album kicks off with a cover of Neil Young’s “Are You Ready for the Country,” and a splendid one at that, with vocal backup from Eric Church. The two performed the song on the recent CMA Awards telecast, drawing raves from all sides.
Hank covers himself on the final track, “Born to Boogie,” a rocker that’s nearly 30 years old (and Hank’s last No. 1 single, in 1987) but still sounds as feisty and balls-to-the-wall today. Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert and Brad Paisley lend ample “Boogie” support in a nice, contemporary nod to the godfather of country rock.
Of the originals, the title tune, penned by Hank Jr. himself, waxes nostalgic for his childhood (without wallowing in it) with occasional references to his dad, Hank Sr. By far, it’s the most country offering on the record, and Hank Jr. is in fine voice.
“Those Days Are Gone” might remind fans of “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” at least in theme. No David Allan Coe on the radio / Those days are gone, Hank Jr. laments, and we can all subscribe to that view.
Not everything works, however. “The Party’s On” seems a bit contrived and out-of-place for a guy in his mid-60s, while “God and Guns” (and yes, the all-pervasive “they” are trying to take both away) preaches to the already-convinced choir. Several songs also end with a voiceover or exhortation from Hank in an effort to sound “live” or improvised, but they’re too canned to come off either way.
Overall, though, this is the Hank Jr. we’ve been waiting to hear for years, and it’s a welcome return.