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Did You Know Garth Brooks’ Mom Was Also a Country Singer?

Garth Brooks is a country legend — but he’s not the first person in his family to have a career in Nashville.

Brooks’ mom, Colleen McElroy Carroll, was signed to Capitol Records in the 1950s, recording under the name Colleen Carroll. She released a few songs on the label and regularly performed on Ozark Jubilee.

“One time, Jackie Gleason even sang background,” Brooks tells the Saturday Evening Post.

Brooks picked up the guitar in his late teens, and also learned to play the banjo, but his parents had him — and his five siblings — dabbling in music years before that.

“Friday and Saturday nights at the house, Jerry played guitar, Jim played the harmonica, Mike played guitar, Betsy played guitar, and, of course, Dad played guitar,” Brooks tells Playboy. “Mom sang her butt off, Dad sang, Betsy sang, Jerry sang, Jim sang, Mike sang. Kelly and I played the wax comb.”

Still, in high school, music took a backseat to sports. Brooks played baseball and football and was on the track and field team, and he even received a track scholarship to Oklahoma State University. (But, as you know, he found his way back to music after college.)

Brooks’ mom passed away on Aug. 6, 1999, of throat cancer … but not before she got to see her son become one of country music’s biggest names.

Check out the video above — part of Taste of Country‘s You Think You Know Country? series — to learn more about Brooks’ personal life and road to superstardom.

See Garth Brooks + More Country Stars Then and Now

NEXT: Top 10 Garth Brooks Songs

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