Garth Brooks has to be one of the most open and tender-hearted stars in country music. Besides being insanely generous with both his time and money, his love for his daughters, his wife Trisha Yearwood and country music in general oozes from his pores.
And sometimes, it oozes from his tear ducts.
Garth is in Nashville working on new music, but he’s also in town preparing for his first show at the city’s historic Ryman Auditorium. And the magnitude of it all is not wasted on one of country music’s biggest superstars.
In a special edition of his Facebook Live series, “Inside Studio G,” Garth takes viewers into the Ryman, but instead of shooting from the stage, he takes his folks up into the balcony level of the “house,” where the audience sits. As he comments on the room and the way the sunshine is pouring through the venue’s stained glass windows, Garth’s voice begins to break, and although he is beaming, he apologizes saying, “I’m so sorry. I’ve just never have been here, never got to play.”
What Garth means, though, is that he has never played his own show, his own music on the Ryman stage. He was part of a tribute to Loretta Lynn when she received her Lifetime Achievement award from the Grammys, but he sang a Conway Twitty song.
It sounds like the reason Garth hasn’t played the Ryman before was because he didn’t feel worthy. He talks about the greats who have played the sacred stage before him, like Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy Cline, and then he refers to the new Opry House as “my Opry” and “home to me.” His voice falters again as he admits, “It scares me to step foot in here.”
Garth also recalls attending the funeral of legendary songwriter Harlan Howard some 14 years ago with Trisha, who was friends with the writer. He admits that he was crying for a lot of different reasons, “I respect Harlan to death, but sitting in the Ryman for the first time was a huge emotional thing for me.”
The night of Thursday, Sept. 8 is going to start out rough for Garth when he takes the coveted stage for the first time to do his show and play his music, and we feel confident he won’t be holding back any tears. In fact, it wouldn’t be the real Garth if he didn’t. But, we also know that once he gets the show rolling, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both him and that auditorium.