Who doesn’t love Garth Brooks?! This country singer just turned 50 yesterday, cheers to him! Thanks to our friends at http://www.tasteofcountry.com, here are some things about Garth, you probably did not know! Enjoy!
10. His First Wife Was a Songwriter, Too
Sandy Mahl — who was married to Garth Brooks from 1986-2000 — is a credited writer on ‘I’ve Got a Good Thing Going’ from Brooks’ self-titled debut album, as well as his 1993 hit ‘That Summer.’ In fact, she gave him some good advice when he’d come to a standstill with the latter song, turning the main character into a much more sympathetic soul, not just a lost woman. Perhaps her greatest creation was their three daughters, however.
9. He’s a Movie Buff
Garth Brooks is more of a watcher than a reader. He has an appreciation for great cinema and includes ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ as one of his favorite movies. This photo, taken in June 2011 at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards, was no doubt a big moment for the country music singer, as actor Morgan Freeman is the star of the prison-break movie from 1994.
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
8. He Won’t Put His Music on iTunes Until …
After the Beatles released their music to the digital retailer, Garth Brooks was left as just about the last man standing who won’t allow access to his catalog. He doesn’t like the single sale format and wants iTunes to sell his albums as they were recorded, in their entirety.”Let’s take ‘No Fences,'” Brooks says. “For us, that has ‘Friends in Low Places and ‘(The) Thunder Rolls’ on it. But it also has a song called ‘Wolves’ on it that’s way too not commercial for radio but changes people’s lives when they hear it. Well, I think that’s important too. So the whole thing comes out as a piece, I want as a piece.” Price point is another issue, as Brooks doesn’t want to be told how much to charge for his music.
7. Trisha Yearwood Sings on 77 Garth Brooks Songs
Garth Brooks says he’s recorded over 100 songs, and his wife Trisha Yearwood sings on over three-quarters of them. The couple spent a lot of time together before finally getting together following his divorce from his first wife in 2000. He’ll continually refer to her as Ms. Yearwood, he insists she’s the most talented singer in his house and he refuses to sing a love duet with any other woman but her. Even after the last of his daughters graduate high school, it’s unlikely he’ll hit the road like he once did. Brooks admits he can’t be away from his wife for that long.
6. He Got a Track and Field Scholarship
The future Grand Ole Opry inductee once dreamed of athletic success before college and then Nashville called him away. “I had a vision of every athletic heroism in the world,” he told the LA Times in 1992, “from hitting a home run in the World Series to the winning touchdown pass, but as far as music, I never knew what to expect.” It ended up being his skills with the javelin that paid his tuition at Oklahoma State University, as he got a scholarship to his homestate school. Garth Brooks graduated with a degree in advertising in 1984.
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
5. He Was Selling Cowboy Boots When He Wrote His First Hit
Mid-’90s hitmaker Ken Mellons tells the story of meeting Garth Brooks when both were struggling boot salesmen in Nashville. “He gave me his business card, and I still have it today. I thought that was pretty neat, and a few months later I’m driving down the road and hear him on the radio. Now he’s one of the biggest things that ever happened to country music. I guess I can say I met him, you know, back when.” Between customers, Brooks wrote the lyrics to ‘Not Counting You,’ a Top 5 hit from 1990.
4. He Wanted Money for His Charity, Not a Job
Garth Brooks was hoping to get in touch with Steve Wynn to convince him to donate to his Teammates for Kids charity. Wynn was hoping to reach out to the country singer to get him to play a regular show at his new hotel. Guess who was more persuasive? The legend says he wasn’t looking to come out of retirement, but when the casino and hotel owner started talking about a private airplane to fly him in and out of Las Vegas every night, he started listening. He’ll literally go from his daughter’s soccer game to the stage without changing shirts.
3. He Helped Martina McBride, Twice
It’s well known that Martina McBride got her start selling T-shirts on Garth Brooks‘ tour, but perhaps what’s not as clear is how the superstar helped her later on. His video for ‘The Thunder Rolls’ was banned one week after it aired. Years later, McBride’s video for ‘Independence Day’ aired without incident. “I didn’t see that much difference between the two,” he says. “But I think that because of the whole ugliness of what happened the first time, I think it’s egotistical to do it, but I’ll take pride in thinking that ‘The Thunder Rolls’ had something to do with that … Hats off to the same network that wouldn’t play ‘The Thunder Rolls,’ but hats off to them for playing Martina McBride.”
2. He Begged Trisha Yearwood to Record ‘Rodeo’
Garth Brooks admitted in a radio interview that the song was originally called ‘Miss Rodeo,’ and he went all around Nashville trying to get a female artist to cut it. “I crawled on my knees to Trisha Yearwood. I said, ‘Please, you got to hear this song.’ And she goes, ‘Garth, I’m sure it’s perfect. I don’t understand the song because I’m not from that part of the country.’ She’s from Georgia.” Brooks took it himself and turned it into a Top 5 hit that is still played regularly on country radio today.
1. If He Wasn’t a Successful Musician, He Could’ve Been a Successful Criminal
During an interview with Larry King, Garth Brooks was asked what he’d be doing if Nashville wasn’t receptive to his style. The superstar admitted he lives on the dark side, and the line between famous and infamous is very thin. Fans see that dark side in his music. “I like that world. I like — you know, there’s a great line in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ when he says, ‘I’m in a bad mood and I’d like to enjoy it for a little while,’ you know? That’s what you do with music. You get in that dark thing and you write that dark side.” King suggested crime as a surprising profession for the singer, who didn’t go as far as to object.