Listening to radio station KMML-FM in Amarillo, Texas as a youngster, John Rich dreamed of being on country radio and playing the Grand Ole Opry. He followed the dream to Nashville, where he got a job at a show at the Opryland theme park. There he met part of the core of the band Lonestar, which he helped launch, writing some of their early hits. After parting ways from the group, he had a short-lived solo deal, then teamed up with friends for a Tuesday night jam that spawned the Muzik Mafia, the most eclectic collection of entertainers and artists ever to hit the city. Big & Rich (comprised of Big Kenny and himself), Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, James Otto, Two-Foot Fred and painter Rachel Kice were among those who emerged from that incredible scene, and their influence is still being felt across the musical and artistic landscape.
Rich has carved niches for himself in a variety of creative endeavors. He co-produced Big & Rich's Horse Of A Different Color, Wilson's first two albums, and albums for Cowboy Troy and James Otto. His songwriting output includes Wilson's "Redneck Woman," "Here For The Party" and "When I Think About Cheating," and songs recorded by Martina McBride, Clay Walker and Aaron Tippin, among many others.
"The only thing I ever cared to do with my life, from the time I was five or six years old, is make country music," he says. "That's why I write as much as I do. It's why I'm constantly looking for new artists to work with. I'm constantly producing new records. I'm always on tour. It's all I care to do. Country music is not a hobby for me. It's my DNA."
Son of a Preacher Man