Buddy Jewell dishes on Nashville Star and working in Music City

Fans fell in love with Buddy Jewell on Nashville Star crowning him their favorite in 2002.  Success was a long time cominʼ for the entertainer who battled rejection for many years on Music Row. That rejection immediately turned into overnight success, and winning the show secured Buddy a record deal. The entertainerʼs first album was certified gold and scored him two top five hits with “Help Pour Out the Rain” and “Sweet Southern Comfort.” These days, the country music singer continues to record music, tour, and the man can make almost anyone laugh. Take a peek.

CMP: Whatʼs your guilty pleasure?
Buddy: My wife and I love to tivo things, and we were watching The Bachelorette last night.  It was a two hour episode.

CMP: You blame your wife for watching The Bachelorette!  Nice try…
Buddy: Absolutely, itʼs all her fault. I watch it because it makes me look good. Itʼs like watching a chic flick with her.

CMP: At least you can do it in the comfort of her own home.
Buddy: Exactly.

CMP: What do you think your loyal fans love about you?
Buddy: Well, I know the two in Pittsburgh like my cooking … Iʼm just kiddin’. Iʼm amazed every time I walk on stage and thereʼs a house full of people to see me.  I hope itʼs because they like me as a person. Iʼm a people person and I enjoy getting to know them. Nashville Star gave me an enormous fan base, and it just shows the power of television. I was blessed to win that show and to walk away from it.

CMP: You admit you dealt with a lot of rejection. What was the hardest rejection you were ever faced with in Music City?
Buddy: Nashville has this cookie-cutter mentality. So much of it today is about marketability, product and packaging. I got so many times, ʻWell, he doesnʼt look like a star. Heʼs took fat, too old.ʼ  I ran into a lot of that. Thatʼs typical for Nashville and the music industry in general. But, I think we spend too much time worrying about the things we donʼt have and we donʼt take enough time looking at what we do have.

CMP: If you could snap your fingers and make something happen in your career, what would that be right now?
Buddy: I wouldn’tʼ say Iʼd want another big record deal. Eventually everyone loses their record deal. Even Johnny Cash lost his record deal. I would want the ability to get my music played on radio stations that count. Thatʼs what I would want.

CMP: Speaking of Johnny Cash, if he were alive what would you like to ask him?
Buddy: You know that famous picture of him flipping the bird.  I would ask him, ʻOk Johnny who was that for?ʼ Iʼd like to know the story behind Johnny Cash and the finger.

CMP: You are a country boy through and through. Could you ever imagine living in a big city like New York?
Buddy: Iʼve been five or six times. I would need a neck brace from looking up at skyscrapers all the time. I would adapt, but I might give other people culture shock, perhaps.

CMP: The hat would do that, perhaps.
Buddy: The funny thing about the hat is that I used to not wear a cowboy hat. I used to have a mullet and people said I looked like Travis Tritt. So, I started wearing a cowboy hat years ago. One of my friends told me that hat made me look like a drugstore cowboy. So, one of the guys on Nashville Star happened to own a hat store in Texas. He said heʼd get his brother to send a hat up here for me.  They shipped up this great hat, and thatʼs how the hat was born.

CMP: The signature hat!
Buddy: It is.  No one else in country music wears one like it.

CMP: You have a daughter [Lacey] and the boys must be coming around these days. Whatʼs your dating advice to her?
Buddy: I always say donʼt date a guy that can outrun your dad that way I can catch him to kick his butt if I had to. I just tell her regardless of how sweet he is and how cute he is theyʼre after one thing. I know they are because I was the same way. We are open with our kids about sex. We donʼt walk around naked, but we are open and honest. Hopefully, itʼs working.

CMP: What amount of tenacity and determination and luck does it take to make it in life, ya think?
Buddy: Iʼm a firm believer that God puts things in our path and has stuff mapped out for us. I also believe if you sit on the couch you never get out there on that path.  There has to be determination. I believe things happen for a reason and people come into our lives for a reason. I believe you and I met for a reason.


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