Country music singer-songwriter Rodney Atkins — “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “These Are My People” and “Farmer’s Daughter” — teamed up with Crown Royal and NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth to sign cards and send care packages to servicemen and servicewomen during the Your Name Here 400 program Nov 4. Atkins will perform and incorporate a selected officer’s name in one of his songs during the Daytona International Speedway in February 2011, when the winner is revealed. Country Music Pride snagged a few moments of Atkins’ time to ask him about his involvement with Crown Royal, and why he feels it’s important to support our troops.
CMP: How did you get involved with Crown Royal?
RA: I first met Crown Royal in college. Actually, the Crown Royal folks just asked, and I was honored to work with them. They’ve been doing this event for a couple of years and I thought it was a huge, original and fun way to show support for the military.
CMP: What did you stuff in your bag?
RA: All the bags were the same as Crown Royal has secured all the snacks (popcorn and candy), toiletries and phone cards to be included. I filled out a few postcards and added some of my guitar picks.
CMP: Will you be involved in the choosing of the serviceman/woman to be named in April?
RA: After nominations are received, Crown Royal will narrow it down to five finalists, and I will include one of their names in a song to announce the winner at Daytona International Speedway, in February 2011. It could be any of my songs — maybe “Going Through Hell” or “These Are My People.” It will be a great surprise, and I look forward to working it all out. I won’t know who the winner is until the day of the announcement.
CMP: Did you get to ride in Matt Kenseth’s car?
RA: Nope. Not yet, but if I can get somebody to distract him, I’m going for it.
CMP: Are you a big NASCAR fan?
RA: Yeah. I’m a NASCAR fan and have been to a few races.
CMP: Why do you think it’s important to support the troops overseas?
RA: They give their all for our country, and it’s important that we here in the U.S. always let them know we are thinking about them and support what they give up for our freedoms every day. It’s incredible to think what their families give up, too.
CMP: When you sing about patriotism, does an event like this symbolize what you’re singing about in “It’s America”?
RA: Yeah. This song, along with “These are my People,” are exactly what this program is all about.
Nominations for Crown Royal’s Your Name Here 400 program will be accepted from now until Nov. 30, and can be submitted to www.nascar.com/crownroyal.