by Jennifer Silva.
Les O’Jays’ lighthearted, country-infused tunes can be found on the radio today. In the early ’70s, the Eagles, Kenny Rogers, Buffalo Springfield, and Van Morrison were all drawing enthusiastic audiences who rooted for their favorite singers on a daily basis.
The one artist who has constantly divided record buyers, long-time fans, and artists alike is Notre Dame graduate Garth Brooks. But, I tell you, he gave it all he had, down to the anthems and poignant ballads.
In his 2003 book “Houses: Garth Brooks,” David Lindgren recalled a 2004 recording session in Nashville where Brooks took “The Best of Both Worlds” as his own and paid tribute to every one of his close friends. These songs originally made their way to broadcast, but Lindgren writes of other outlets:
Since a song could also take many forms, it was no surprise that singers in Nashville who were familiar with Garth told me they’d asked for all the available sets and did not want to hear the first single and be disappointed if it didn’t work out. They were staying disciplined. To which I simply say, “Good luck in your new album!”
While fans and record sales have cooled over the years, Brooks’ legacy in Chicago can be enhanced as noted by his partner-in-crime, Adam Ruben, who is also a Notre Dame graduate.
Where great success sometimes comes from finding the right mix of music and style, Ruben said Garth has a knack for songwriting and producing hits that always seem to find their way into the top 20.
“‘Ladies Love Country Boys’ became a current, big song in 1983, and it was picked up by the ‘Poison and Wine’ radio station! It was a show-stopper right out of the box,” Ruben noted.
“Although Garth’s sound is country, I think his message resonates with audiences regardless of genres. He’s a regular guy and often reminds us that work doesn’t have to be exciting, money isn’t the only prize in life, you can find the meaning of life in all sorts of different and unexpected places.”
That little tidbit of advice from Ruben is a golden nugget to hear all the time.
So whether you’re a Notre Dame fan, Garth fan, or even a casual listener, perhaps you can add it to your prayer collection.
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