As Labor Day approaches, country stars are remembering the jobs they had before they found success in the music industry. Eric Church had a lot of ‘awful jobs’ along the way but none was worse than an overnight gig at the Shop At Home Network right after he moved to Nashville.
“I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8 a.m.,” he said. “Anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4 a.m. and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this. I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it.”
For Billy Currington, it was manual labor that he didn’t much care for. He started landscaping when he was 12 and roofing houses when he was 16. He then moved to Nashville, where he worked in a pawn shop and then turned to pouring concrete.
“The concrete job was my least favorite of all – six years of that, and I couldn’t take it no more,” he said. “After that job, that was my turning point. Either I’m going to do something else for a living or quit and try to really focus on music and get this record deal.”
David Nail’s first job was working at Dairy Queen. The mother of one of his best friends purchased a franchise and gave him a part-time job, but it didn’t work out well for David.
“Kathy Jeffers, her mother tends to tell people it was a ‘mutual separation,’ but I can vividly remember her saying that they were going to lose money if they continued to let me work, because I was eating more food than I was selling,” he said. “But, it was a great two days that I spent there, and I had many a Dilly Bar.”