Darius Rucker Talks Okra Soup, Growing Up in South Carolina, and More on Biscuits & Jam

The legendary musician joins us on Biscuits & Jam to talk Charleston, Okra Soup, and more.

Darius Rucker
Photo: David McClister

In this week's episode, Sid Evans talks to country star Darius Rucker about growing up in South Carolina, reuniting with Hootie & the Blowfish, and how his mom's career as a nurse influenced his own philanthropy.

Episode 14: September 21, 2020

Darius Rucker is that rare entertainer who has landed two trailblazing careers in one lifetime. His band Hootie & the Blowfish topped the charts throughout the mid-90's with hits like "Let Her Cry," "Only Wanna Be With You," and "Hold My Hand." And their debut album "Cracked Rear View" has sold over 14 million copies, making it one of the 20 biggest albums of all time. Then, starting in 2009, his presence as a country star exploded as he became only the second black artist to ever win a CMA award, and the first black artist to reach number one on Billboard's country charts in a quarter century.

On the Cooks in His Family

"Both my mom and my grandma cooked. Any my sisters when I got older. You know, cooking was– I wouldn't say a prerequisite, but everybody cooked. Everybody in the house learned how to do something because cooking was such an integral part of the day."

On His Favorite Meal

"My favorite meal was always Okra soup. It was just okra made with tomatoes and a bunch of vegetables and some ham hocks and all that Southern stuff. It's still my favorite meal. My sisters make it for me every now and then. I love it."

On Singing Around the Holidays

"There was always music playing on the stereo. We were a pretty musical family, so we'd sit around and sing and laugh and play cards or do whatever you're doing to entertain yourself... Just having a really good time. It was always singing and laughing in our family. Always."

On His Mother

"My mom was a nurse. She worked really hard trying to feed six kids, working doubles. She was always there for us. When she came home, no matter how tired she was, if you wanted some time or attention, she was always there to give it to you. And you know, she was great, but she worked her butt off for us… Compassion is something that she really instilled in us, as well as empathy for other folks. She wanted to help her friends. She wanted to help my friends. You know, she was always that helper."

On the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville

"I think it's going to be a great place for people who love music to come experience the side of music that comes from African Americans. This one is a testament to the struggles that African Americans have made to make it in music. And I love being a part of that. And I'm really excited for it."

About Biscuits & Jam

In the South, talking about food is personal. It's a way of sharing your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living, sits down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they've been shaped by Southern culture. Sid will take us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Stitcher.

Get a transcript of the full interview with Darius Rucker.

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