One of the coolest things about my job in radio is getting to go backstage at concerts to meet artists.
Such was the case Saturday night when Luke Bryan played the Amphitheater at the Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Waiting in the meet and greet line with my daughter, Maddie, was like waiting to go on the best ride at the fair. The squeals of delight emanating from the room ahead of us were almost palpable. The continued giggles and glow on the faces of the girls as they exited the “ride” were even better: “O my GOD, he is SO cute!” “AAAAAHHHHHHH! That was SO AWESOME!” and so on.
When it was our turn, it was immediately obvious what all the fuss was about. Cute, yes, but Luke Bryan made that experience. I didn’t tell him I was from a radio station at first, just introduced myself and Maddie. He welcomed Maddie to her first concert, telling her he was honored she chose to come to see him. He asked us a couple of questions while he signed our cards and posed for pictures. He made us feel special.
As we were shaking hands and leaving, I told him where I worked and he stopped short. He grabbed both of my hands, shaking them vigorously, and thanked me profusely for playing his songs and supporting him.
I was taken aback, rendered speechless. I think I uttered some lame, “You’re welcome… uh, have a great show…” and we parted ways.
I walked out of there still processing; he was thanking me? You’ve got it backwards, dude. I should be thanking you. Thanking you for providing exceptional music. Thanking you for writing songs everyone can relate to. Thanking you for sharing your talent.
Then it hit me: this wasn’t the first time I heard a country artist say “Thank you.” They do it all the time. Blake Shelton just hit #1 (again) and his first Tweet (because you know he HAD to) was to thank his fans and radio for all their support.
Blake Shelton @blakeshelton
Guess what… “Drink On It” has become my 11th #1 single!!!! Thank y’all for requesting it and radio for playing it!!!!
Country artists “walk the talk” of the songs they sing: lovin’ God, mama, and country and being hospitable and humble. When Luke and others thank radio for playing their songs,or to fans for buying their album or concert tickets, they honestly mean it. They’re doing what their mama’s taught ‘em: be grateful and humble and say, “Thank you.”