Country Legend Gary Chapman Speaks with Rocking God’s House!

Josh Bechler Writer for Rocking God's HouseIt’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since Gary Chapman has been in the spotlight. He is an amazing multi-award winning singer-songwriter, as well as radio and television personality. Gary Chapman’s role as host on TNN’s popular Prime Time Country series where he served as Country Music’s answer to Jay Leno was actually a huge influence on me and my decision to become an entertainer in my adult life. He is recently noted for making his return into music with his album The Truth (MerfMusic Group) released in November 2013. It hosts a plethora of talented artists such as Alison Krauss, John Rich, Tanya Tucker, and Rebecca Lynn Howard, and it also features a session with Chapman’s wife Cassie and his daughter Sarah.

Gary is also enjoying a stint as co-host on SIRIUS XM’s Blue Collar Radio, the official radio home of the “Blue Collar Comedy” brand. He has been on four times in the past month subbing for host and comedian Reno Collier when he has other obligations.

The month of February also will garner the triumphant return of Gary to television. On February 24th at 10:00pm EST, Gary and wife Cassie Chapman will be stars on the new TNT upcoming reality series, Private Lives of Nashville Wives. According to the TNT website the show is “a new unscripted series set in and around the capital of the high-stakes country music business. The series will follow a group of accomplished, opinionated and driven women as they deal with professional challenges, family issues and social relationships.”

Gary has been a part of a little bit of everything in recent months — busy with promotions of the album on television and radio including the Mike Huckabee Show, Bill Martinez Live, The Curtis Report, Drew Marshall Show, On Air with Tony Sweet, CCM classic, and WSM Radio RFD-TV’s Larry’s Country Diner just to name a few. He is also gearing up for a tour and plans on visiting a city somewhere near you. For more information visit the official website.

Can you talk about the new show Private Lives of Nashville Wives?

They call it a docu-drama. It is certainly based on things that really happen. It is really more centered around my wife and her friends. It’s six Nashville couples, and TNT will follow us around. I have seen the first episode — it is really fun actually.

Since your family is Christian, will the show focus on that?

You will never know until you see the edit. To tell you yes or no would be a mistake. I know it will be difficult to edit God out of the way we live.

What was it like collaborating with your wife and daughter on your new album?

It was great. Cassie and I in particular, we cross with each other’s career lines with some regularity, just because we like to be together. Imagine that [laughs]. When it makes sense we collaborate together. She has a great voice, but it’s like pulling teeth to get her in the studio. She has a really cool voice, and it just made sense to have her in the studio. We recorded a song called “About A Baby.” We have a fabulous new child, and it just really made sense. My 21-year-old daughter has a really cool voice — Sarah. I don’t know if she will pursue singing as a profession or not but she has a really neat voice and it was great to have her sing on something with me.

Well you ever host another show like Prime Time Country?

You know, it is just discussed with such regularity that I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t happen at some point. But to do a nightly show is probably not something I would entertain because it is so difficult schedule-wise. But I would like to do a weekly version. The town of Nashville really needs it. When The Nashville Network disappeared, nothing really ever took its place. So for an older artist who still has a good song that doesn’t get any national television exposure, it is very difficult. And for the brand new artist who doesn’t yet have a connection with a label it is also very difficult. CMT and GAC are the domain and are almost exclusive for major label signings. To really keep the life-cycle healthy you need to feed both ends of it and the middle and we aren’t doing that right in Nashville right now. Hopefully it will happen sometime.

Are you still doing “A HYMN A WEEK?”

Oh yeah. We’ve built an amazing community. We have 40,992 people on our Facebook page. [at the time of this interview] And they absolutely love the old hymns. You know those songs didn’t make it all this time because they are lame. They stick around because they are great. I am not a giant fan of most modern worship music. It’s not on pace, and it all kind of sounds the same to me and I get bored easily. And hymns have an incredible way of standing the test of time. We started “A Hymn a Week” to honor my mom and dad. My dad lived here with my wife and me until he died Easter Sunday morning right at sunrise in 2009. It was actually great — a great, great horrible experience. The one thing that really brought me comfort was playing the songs that he taught me 50 years ago or so, whatever it was. After he died, we thought those songs did something [special] and we should keep doing them. So we set up a couple of cameras and did them. We have done 160 or so of them. We have placed them up on the website. There is a subscription site where people want to support it. It [was] honestly to help get through mourning, for the most part. It is just a really cool thing. And because it is for my mom and dad, I guard the thing like a mother hen — as well as the people who seek comfort in it. It is a really cool, great place to be — a place where people can come for comfort and to be vulnerable. It is amazing the stuff that happens on that page.

Is your Blue Collar Radio hosting gig a permanent thing?

I don’t know. I am friends with the people who invited me there. I am on there tomorrow. I am close friends with Reno Collier the comedian who hosts one of the shows and lately when he is on tour I have been filling in on various shows. We do a show called “Chewing The Fat” where people call in and talk about just anything and everything, and it is so much stinking fun. It is not permanent as of yet but I am glad to be on the show pretty regular.
Are you getting ready to tour?

Yes, we are putting together a tour now. We have the TNT show premier in a few weeks, and that is going to take a lot of time and promotion. But I expect around April or May I will be gearing up for a full tour in support of my new album.