When we first started this blog, I had no idea that I'd soon be interviewing one of the best country singers of the 90’s. I’ve been listening to Doug Stone since I was in the cradle and am so honored that I got the opportunity to talk to him! After writing a blog about one of my favorite Doug Stone songs (which you can check out here), we posted it to our social media pages. Doug saw it on our Facebook and commented.
I was so excited that he saw our post, and just kind of threw it out there that we would love to chat with him sometime. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, and was surprised when his agent contacted me asking if I’d like to set up an interview with Doug. I of course jumped at the opportunity! It’s not every day that you get to talk with someone who has sold over 10 MILLION albums and had 8 number one singles on the radio!
A few days later, my phone rang from an Austin, TX area code. When I answered, I heard a man say, “This is Doug Stone” on the other line. He had a cheery tone in his voice and it instantly put me at ease.
After introducing myself and telling Doug a little bit about how The Jukebox Junky came to be, I told him how appreciative I was that he was taking the time out of his day to talk with us. He replied, “Oh, I’m busy just sitting outside watching the sun go down.” I imagine those Austin sunsets are beautiful this time of year!
I’ve always been curious about what Doug Stone’s life was like before he made it to the big stage. He was born in 1956 but didn't sign his first record deal until 1990. When I asked him about the first 30 years of his life, he responded, “I was a diesel mechanic and a carpenter. What it did though, was it got me home a lot. When that old bus would break down, I could fix it. I have worked on that thing all day, and then played that night.” He went on to say that eventually every time he would fix one thing, something else would break. He ended up donating his bus to Cars For Kids and didn’t worry with having a tour bus anymore.
After hearing about Doug’s early years, I made the comment that he was a regular guy who worked hard for many years to achieve his dream. His response to that was really neat to hear. He said, “Well I got lucky. You know, it’s a game of luck really. Luck and perseverance. I mean, I tried and tried and tried. It’s just not the easiest thing to get into, and it’s harder to stay. Cause when a record label’s done with you, they’re not gonna play you on the radio anymore, major radio. So that’s why you guys mean a whole lot to me, you know, cause everything’s changing. You won’t hear my new stuff on major radio, but you might hear it on internet radio, podcasts and stuff like that.”
There are so many amazing artists that don’t get major radio attention. That is one of the great things about Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. You can have almost every artist right at your fingertips. If you haven’t checked out other artists besides just who are on the radio, I highly suggest you change it up and find something new to discover!
If you didn’t already know, Doug is a large advocate for gun rights, and he was named the NRA Country Artist of the Month earlier this year. When sharing his thoughts on guns, Doug stated, “It’s not the gun that kills people. It’s the person pulling the trigger that kills people. I mean they got this thing all mixed up. If you want a gun, you can make one. So it ain’t the gun. You know, it’s the person. The gun ain’t doin' nothin'.”
As a huge fan of country music myself, I was curious to know if he had any close country artists as friends from back in those days. Doug said, “Well you know, I've never really buddied up with anybody. I know a lot of people. I know Mark Chesnutt, he’s a good guy. All the guys that was out in the 90's, I knew them all. We never really buddied up and palled around. I never really done that with anybody. I’ve got my family; that’s my pals.” It's obvious that Doug takes his family life very seriously and doesn’t buy much into the idea that celebrities are supposed to only pal around with each other.
I wanted to know how Doug felt about A Jukebox With A Country Song turning 30 years old. He had a hysterical response to the question. Doug laughed, “Well, it’s like I told my wife the other day. I looked in the mirror in the bathroom and I screamed at her, ‘Hey you better call the police, there’s some old man standing in the bathroom behind me!’ But it was me! But I guess that’s a good thing, we’re getting older. Didn’t die young. I’ve tried to die about 10 times, but I've made it.”
We shared a pretty large laugh after his first comment about needing his wife to call the police. It was hysterical. Doug’s last sentence about trying to die about 10 times refers to the health issues and near death experiences he’s had in his life. From quadruple bypass surgery at 32, to a plane crash, he’s been through a lot. After he made that comment I told him he was like a cat with nine lives. He responded, “Well, you really got one. And when God gets ready for it, you’re outta here. I don’t care if they’ve got 10,000 surgeons standing over top of you. You’re leaving when He’s ready. So that’s why I don’t worry about dying. There for a while, you know, I worried about it when I had the heart surgery. But after quadruple bypass.. You know, I saw a guy going down the road in Nashville. He was in a wheelchair with no legs. And I said ‘I'm alright. I think I can make it.’ You can always find somebody in worse shape than you are. So I just think about that and keep going no matter what happens. Til you fall in the grave. That’s all we’re trying to do anyways- get to the grave.”
Amen to that.
We started talking about Doug’s new album that’s coming out in the fall. It's an acoustic version of all his hits throughout his career. He had been thinking about doing this type of album for years, and then decided now was the time after getting so much great feedback from his recent acoustic shows. I can’t wait to jam to all of Doug’s classics, acoustic style!
My last question for Doug was what I end most interviews with. I ask what they do in their free time. The answer I got was pretty funny. I don’t know what I expected him to say, but I certainly didn’t think he was going to say, “I make pine boxes.” My mind instantly went to his hit song I’d Be Better Off, where he sings I’d be better off in a pine box, on a slow train back to Georgia. I was shocked! Doug said, “I started a woodworking shop because I got bored doing nothing. During the week I’m doing pine boxes to sell on the road. I figured people might enjoy them. They’re cute little things. You can go on the website and look at them.”
Doug makes them himself in his garage, and made 50 just last week! You can check them out here!
I absolutely loved having the chance to chat with someone I’ve been listening to my entire life. It’s kind of surreal! Make sure to follow Doug Stone on Facebook, Instagram (@dougstonemusic), TikTok, Twitter (@dougstonetour), and Youtube! You can also check out his newly redone website at dougstone.com.
What is your favorite Doug Stone song? Let me know below! You can also check out our conversations with other country artists on the “Interviews” tab of our blog. Thanks so much for reading!