Written by Edward Morris – CMT
He and Wife Amy Grant Were Guest Performers at Taylor’s Two Tanglewood Shows
Sure, there were fireworks. But it was the crackle of sweet memories that resonated through Vince Gill’s mind during the recent Fourth of July weekend as he stood onstage, singing with his musical idol, James Taylor.
Gill and his wife, pop and gospel singer Amy Grant, were Taylor’s personally-invited guests at Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass., on July 3-4. Each show drew a sold-out crowd of 18,000 fans.
“It was a magical couple of nights,” says Gill, who, despite his reputation for having recorded with virtually everybody else in the universe, had never worked with Taylor before.
“The first night we went out there [I told him], ‘I’ve got to say thank you for letting me cross this off my bucket list. My big sister brought your first record into the house. I’ll never forget it. I can remember her sitting there in her room and listening to that record even 40-some years later.”
By the latter 1980s Vince Gill had a crazy busy life but somehow, thus far, big time success had eluded him. He was 25 and one of Nashville’s most in-demand session players and singers, he was playing in Emmylou Harris’ band, he had a daughter with Sweethearts of the Rodeo’s Janis Oliver and had released a couple of albums on Buddha Records.
He was charting but nowhere near like contemporaries George Strait, Alabama or The Judds. Among the many projects Gill had been involved with over the years was Rodney Crowell’s country supergroup the Notorious Cherry Bombs and when the band’s keyboard player, Tony Brown, wound up on the production staff at MCA Records years later, he invited Gill over.
Vince Gill was the guest on NPR’s ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me’ over the weekend to discuss everything from why he’s drawn to the sad side of country music to hosting the CMA Awards in the 90s. Laughter flowed and Vince expressed some concern when asked to play a game called “Bwahahahahahaha” in which he answered 3 questions about horror film actor Vincent Price. “I am not the brightest guy,” Vince said. “My junior year in high school was the hardest three years of my life.”
The show’s host, Peter Sagal, spent time before the show getting himself acquainted with Vince’s music. He told Vince he “ended up feeling much more godly, patriotic and sad.” With songs like “Go Rest High On That Mountain” and “Tryin’ To Get Over You,” Vince is certainly known for recording tear jerkers.
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GRAMMY WINNER VINCE GILL ON STAGE TO PLAY “NOT MY JOB”
NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! is bringing the laughs to TPAC’s Jackson Hall on Thursday, June 30 at 7:30PM, and country music star Vince Gill is getting in on the act. Gill will appear on stage with Wait Wait to play its “Not My Job” segment, where famous people are interviewed and quizzed on subjects they generally know nothing about.
Talking to Vince Gill, I feel like I’ve known him my entire life. My interview time with him is like sitting down with him on his porch.
He speaks calmly, with ease and peppers his responses with “oh hell” as if he’s just taken a sip of a cold beer and a little bit splashed on his flannel shirt.
Gill, now 54, is an elder statesman of country music, who prefers the sounds of Ray Price, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty to the new stuff blaring through the speakers these days.
“I really just adore the one thing a lot of people don’t like about country, and that is the twangy, juke joint style and sound, and I can’t get enough of it,” Gill said. Talking to Vince Gill, I feel like I’ve known him my entire life. My interview time with him is like sitting down with him on his porch.