Tim McGraw Didn’t Let Doubt Win

First Producer Said “I Don’t Think This Is for You”

I would love to meet the man who told a young Tim McGraw over dinner one night, “You know, you’re a nice guy, but I don’t think this is for you.” “This” was McGraw’s first attempt at recording music, and this producer told him that he should consider finding another part of this business to work in.

“At first, I believed him,” McGraw says in a new interview for Oprah Winfrey’s new seven-night series Belief. “I questioned myself and whether I should do this anymore. I didn’t want to do anything else. I couldn’t imagine what else I would do.”

That’s when McGraw took some of his own advice: do not let the doubt win.

His record label had stopped paying attention to him, and he recalls thinking he was on the verge of losing his record deal.

“I was on my own. I got all these musicians together and I said, ’Look, I want to do a show down at this place called Diamond-N-the-Ruff.’ It was a little bar that was in downtown Nashville,” McGraw said, adding that at the time, he only had about $150 left to his name.

After learning a bunch of songs, things finally clicked for McGraw when his long-time producer Byron Gallimore saw that show and said he wanted to work together. They’ve been making records ever since.

“That’s how I really started getting my confidence back,” he admits. “You have to make yourself push through. I wasn’t going to let the doubt overcome the belief that I had and what I could do.”

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