Appreciating all that makes America special

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks,

No one - no one - has sold more country albums than Garth Brooks. No one. Uploaded by

It’s unusual for anyone to quit while at the very top of their profession. Sandy Koufax did it in baseball. Barry Sanders did it in football. I’m sure there are other examples, but the only person I can think of who did it in the music business was Garth Brooks. Said he wanted to spend more time with his family, which is what people usually say when they’re resigning in disgrace.

Garth Brooks,

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But before his decision to leave the business in 2001, Garth Brooks was huge. People had a sense of how popular he was, but the numbers are staggering. Only Elvis and the Beatles have sold more albums. Let that sink in a moment. He was named “Artist of the 90s” by the American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. That last organization also gave him its initial Crystal Milestone Award, honoring him as the top-selling country music artist of all time.

One quirky thing about Brooks is his refusal to allow his songs to be sold by iTunes and his videos to be available on YouTube. He contends that iTunes exists to sell iPods, and that its emphasis on singles destroys the artist’s integrity when the artist is making an album, a collective statement. I think he’s wrong, that people discover albums when they are purchasing singles. We can agree to disagree, and there’s only one difference – he’s richer than Croesus, and I’m not.

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  1. We were recently in Nashville and we reminded that he once signed autographs for 23 straight hours (no breaks) during the annual fan festival. All the other booths closed up but he wanted to stay until the last person left happy. That’s how to please a fan. 

  2. My wife and I went to see the Statler Brothers in the latter 1980s and their primary warm-up act was Garth Brooks, whom pretty much no one had ever heard of at that time. The audience was in awe by the end of his performance..