Vince Gill's Tribute to Merle, Touring With The Eagles, and Holidays at Home

The legendary musician joins us on Biscuits & Jam to talk about music, memory, and holidays at home in Oklahoma City.

Vince Gill
Photo: John Shearer

In this week's episode, Sid Evans talks to Vince Gill about his childhood in Oklahoma City, why certain foods remind him of certain family members, and his moving tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Plus, how his versatile talents have allowed him to make his mark in bluegrass, country music, and rock and roll.

Episode 21: Nov 3, 2020

Having grown up in Oklahoma City, Vince Gill has a resume that's as acclaimed and diverse as they come. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007, Gill has also made his mark on bluegrass and even rock and roll now as a touring member of the Eagles. He's won nearly half of the 44 Grammys he's been nominated for over his career, and along with his talented wife, singer/songwriter Amy Grant, their annual run of Christmas shows at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium is often sold out months in advance. On this episode, Gill talks about how Christmas at home presents its own challenges.

On His First Memory Involving Music

"My first conscious memory of any music at all was seeing my big, heavyset grandma play the piano… she had these arms that would go back and forth, that stride piano playing. And that was my first conscious memory of ever hearing music, and she was playing the hymn 'How Great Thou Art.'"

On the Cook in the Family

"Definitely my mom…She made cinnamon toast a lot of mornings… I go to this place in Nashville called Noshville for breakfast, and my buddy Sherman is the cook there. And he has about five or six things he knows that I love. And when he sees me come in, he just makes me something. It's the best feeling in the world. I always get cinnamon toast because it reminds me of my mom. There's a lot about food that reminds me of things. That takes me back. I find a lot of comfort in food."

On the Holidays

"Thanksgiving is still easily my favorite meal. I remember as a kid, we'd always go to my grandparents' farm in Kansas, and my grandmother, Granny Lucy, made the most amazing yeast rolls.. They're still my favorite thing ever. No other yeast rolls have ever come close. And I would give anything to have a big plate of those yeast rolls, I'd put a little butter, a little salt on there, and that's about as good as it gets."

On the Christmas Show With Amy Grant

"Well, I think I see myself and most people see me as the village idiot, you know, up there, keeping it light, making it fun. And Amy has the side to her that's much more about what the season really is and how much it means to her. She loves and adores that time of year. And so I just ride her coattails, playing guitar, and making her laugh."

On Bluegrass

"What I liked about bluegrass was how necessary everybody in the band is to making it work. Everybody has to really carry their weight, and when you get four or five guys that all play that way, and get it right, it's mighty….And I think because of that, it taught me democracy in music, taught me how important it was for all the parts to be equal."

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, will sit 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 interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are available.

Get a transcript of the full interview with Vince Gill.

Visit our Podcast Primer for information on how to download and listen to a podcast.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles