20 Questions With Tracy Byrd

If you listen to country radio, it’s clear that Tracy Byrd knows “The Truth About Men.” But what’s the truth about the Texas-born country star? Keep reading to find out about the last CD he purchased, the album he hasn’t thought about making and what he had to throw out of his bus refrigerator.

1. What was your first paying job?
My first paying gig was I played at a club in Orange, Texas, called the Texas Longhorn Club. It was just me and my guitar and I opened for Jo-El Sonnier. It was back when he was having hits, I guess back in the late ’80s. And I opened up for him and got paid $75.

2. What is the first thing you notice when you first meet someone? Such as personality, hair, etc.
Usually I look at their eyes when I meet somebody. You can tell so much about a person’s eyes. Not just the color of them, but you see in them and behind them.

3. What has been your favorite thing to do on Father’s Day so far?
My favorite thing on Father’s Day is … it seems like the last several years, we’re always on vacation in Destin, Fla. So, just wake up my kids and they always got me a new Tommy Bahama shirt for Father’s Day every year. So I always look forward to that.

4. What’s your favorite season of the year?
My favorite season would have to be fall for me, ’cause I just love the smell in the air, I love the leaves turning and also that signals the beginning of hunting season. And I love to hunt.

5. What do you and your band do on the road to kill time between shows?
Well, between shows we’ll play a lot of golf during the day, even on the show days. And we love just sitting around and listening to music. You know, get away from our own music and listen to a lot of other things.

6. If you were to record a duet with a female artist, who would you choose?
I think I would love to sing with Lee Ann Womack because she’s one of my favorite female singers out there. I love the country music and I love what she does with it.

7. What is your favorite kind of fish to go fishing for?
I love bass fishing probably the most. I do a lot of saltwater fishing these days and fish for speckled trout and redfish. But I still think I love a good bass fishing trip more than anything.

8. If someone were to write a song called “The Truth About Women,” what would the lyrics absolutely have to include?
(laughs) It would absolutely have to include the fact that the truth about women is that they love to shop. They love to complain. No, that’s just a joke. You know, it would probably be just the reverse of what “The Truth About Men” is. ‘Course we don’t like to go out shopping and women do. It seems like that’s the way that women and men are. They’re opposites.

9. Have you ever swallowed a bug while singing?
I have swallowed a bug a couple of times. We get out on these summer festivals, hot summertime, and we’re playing at night and outdoors and there’s always … especially with all the lights on stage … all the bugs seem to attract to the lights and to the stage. I have sucked a few mosquitoes and moths and other things into my mouth, and it’s not a pleasant experience.

10. Did you ever pass up the opportunity to record a song and then regret it later because another artist made it famous?
Well, I haven’t not recorded one. I did actually record one for my first album, and I didn’t like the way that it came out, so I decided to wait. I was going to re-record it for my second album and in the meantime — in the two-and-a-half years between albums — it came out and was a No. 1 record for Tracy Lawrence. It was called “Alibis.”

11. Are you ever going to make a gospel album?
Well, I haven’t really put a whole lot of thought into that. I love gospel music and one of these days it might be something I’d do. If I did, I think it would be similar to what Randy Travis has done. I’d like to have some new songs and just have a couple of old standards, but do new, really country sounding gospel songs.

12. What’s the last CD you purchased?
The last CD that I purchased was George Strait, Honkytonkville. I just bought that one. That’s a great album. I love it.

13. Do you have any animals at home, and what are they?
We have four dogs. Two Labs, then a big ol’ mutt dog that we picked up off the side of the road and then we’ve got a little Yorkshire terrier. And then we’ve got a cat.

14. Do you ever ride horses, and if so, what kind do you ride?
Yeah, I ride horses sometimes. Quarter horses. In fact, I’ll be riding in Bob Kingsley’s Celebrity Cutting in Fort Worth in December. And my daughter is also riding them a lot, too.

15. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I’m a pretty easygoing guy. There are not a whole lot of things that irritate me. I’d say the only thing that really irritates me is being kept awake. Like when I’m on the bus and I’m trying to sleep and there’s a lot of noise going on up front. I get a little perturbed about that.

16. What’s your worst bad habit?
I got a lot of ‘em! (Laughs) It’s hard to pick which one’s worse. I don’t know. I probably drink a little too much beer. That’s probably my worst bad habit. But that’s not that bad for you. (laughs)

17. What is in the refrigerator on your bus?
I just looked at it. I cleaned it out actually. We had some beer in there, you know Cokes, Diet Cokes. There were a bunch of old sandwiches that we got about three shows back that I had to throw out; they weren’t smelling too good. And you know, our mustard, our mayonnaise, our Tabasco and hot sauce. We’ve got about four kinds of hot sauce in there because me and most of the crew, we love hot sauce on just about anything we eat. Some of that food you get on the road, you’ve got to smother in hot sauce just to get it down.

18. What is the hardest thing about starting out in the business?
Well, the hardest thing is just getting momentum going. Getting that first hit record and then following it up. I would say harder than the first hit record is the second one. Following up your success is probably the hardest part.

19. What is the hardest thing about staying in the business?
The third record, the fourth record, the fifth record, the sixth record — every one of them. It’s not what’s your next hit. It’s what’s your latest hit.

20. What is the truth about Tracy Byrd that no one else knows?
That’s a tough one. Probably that I’m a little bit messy as far as the way I keep my bus. My bus driver knows that and my wife knows that. I leave things where they lay pretty much.