OFFSTAGE: Rascal Flatts: “Surrounded by Music From the Get-Go”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Every artist’s journey into Nashville has to start somewhere, right? And for Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, it started with his mom and dad. Hearing them play music together, he says on the Rascal Flatts: All Access and Uncovered DVD, was his earliest memory of music. “That’s how they met, actually. My mom was a singer, and my dad had been playing in bands with my mom’s brother,” DeMarcus says. “My dad married my mom, and so I was sorta surrounded by music from the get-go. Born right into it.” And bandmate Joe Don Rooney had that same kind of upbringing, watching his dad play in bands and always making time for music. He says he was about 11 or 12 when he fell in love with music. “Music was the thing I most wanted to do. I realized then that I’m gonna do this the rest of my life whether I go broke or if I can make it,” Rooney says. And that segment of the video comes with a pretty thorough look through the band’s childhood photos, so you can see DeMarcus playing a ukulele, Rooney looking cool in aviator shades and Gary LeVox in a soccer uniform, a football uniform and the quintessential white tuxedo tailcoat as a teenager.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.