Vocal ability, good songs, a little bit of showmanship — some of the traits that can be important for a career as a country artist are obvious.
One that’s not so apparent goes back to the old adage “loose lips sink ships.” The ability to maintain a secret has some important ramifications, and it’s a challenge to artists at every range of a career, whether you’re a newcomer like Tyler Dickerson or a well-established star like Roy Clark.
After recently releasing his first single, “Tell Your Sister I’m Single,” Tyler got a huge career boost when he was offered a chance to be an opening act on Brooks & Dunn’s final concert tour, the Last Rodeo. He naturally said yes, but then was told not to say anything more. The duo still had details to pin down and didn’t want information leaked to the public.
“I wasn’t allowed to tell my mom, my dad, no one,” Tyler told Stark Country. “This is probably one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to me in my career — and I couldn’t tell anyone!”
Now as he prepares for the April 23 launch, Tyler can talk about it all he wants. But he’s discovered he’s been prevented from doing something else he used to take for granted.
“I can’t sleep at night,” he admitted. “All I do is think about [the tour], and I can’t wait to do it.”
That’s just one tour in what Tyler hopes will be a lengthy career. Imagine receiving the highest possible honor for a lifetime of work and being forced to keep your mouth shut. That’s what Roy Clark encountered when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year. The news came in an unexpected phone call from the Country Music Association. He was joining a select group that includes such legendary figures as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline.
“You go, ‘Oh!’” Roy says of the surprise. “And they also say, ‘It is a secret. Do not even tell your wife until it [gets] announced at a press conference.’”
The former “Hee Haw” host made his living in part because of his ability to reel off one-liners and weave stories. Not spinning the news went against every natural instinct, but Roy lived up to it. As did the other two artists who were announced as Hall of Famers the same day.
“That was the hardest thing, not sayin’ anything to anybody,” Roy notes. “I didn’t know that Barbara Mandrell and Charlie McCoy were also gonna be inducted along with me, and neither did they know [about me]. So when we all arrived at the Hall of Fame and Museum, [we] walked into a room and looked at one another and said, ‘Oh! You!’”
This year’s new Hall of Fame members include Don Williams, Ferlin Husky, songwriter-producer Billy Sherrill and Roy’s former employer, Jimmy Dean. The date of the medallion ceremony in which they’ll officially be inducted currently remains… a secret.