Zac Brown and His Dad Share Their Favorite Tunes
With Father's Day right around the corner, Zac Brown and his dad, Jim, have teamed up with iTunes to present their Celebrity Playlist Podcast. The Browns bring fans 10 of their all-time favorite tunes with the sentimental stories behind why each song was a staple in their household when Zac was growing up.
Below are highlights from the podcast. Click here to listen.
Dolly Parton, 'Coat of Many Colors'
Zac: This is a great family song.
Jim: It tells a story about how proud you can be of very little things, and how other people don't appreciate the same things you do ... You used to sing it all the time when you were a little guy. You were learning how to play your guitar, which you have accomplished pretty well! [laughs]
Zac: I'm still learning!
Dan Fogelberg, 'Leader of the Band'
Zac: This is one of my favorite songs, and until I write a better "dad" song, this is it. He wrote it about his life as a musician ... how his dad always loved him with a thundering, velvet hand and let him do what he wanted to do, although sometimes it wasn't necessarily the easiest way to go.
Jim: It makes me cry.
Zac: Yes! And this is the song I dedicate to my dad, until I write one that's better than that. It's going to be a hard one to beat, though.
Chuck Berry, 'Memphis Tennessee'
Zac: This is one of the solos that Dad played on the guitar.
Jim: That was a lot of fun. We used to play that kind of stuff on Saturday nights. We would turn the house into a place where everybody could dance. We played 'Memphis Tennessee' and 'Detroit City' and a whole bunch of ones like that. 'Memphis' was always a favorite one. We could always fill a dance floor with that one.
Elvis Presley, 'Old Shep'
Zac: This is a song that I remember is one of the first ones you ever sang to me ... sitting around playing and pickin' a guitar around the fire...
Jim: We got a lot of tears from the fam.
Zac: We all grew up with dogs, and we all grew up with guitars. When my dad would sing 'Old Shep,' somebody was always tearing up.
Porter Wagoner, 'A Satisfied Mind'
Jim: It has a lot to do with life, your expectations, and that you can work through everything as long as you have a satisfied mind. You can handle the problems. That whole song speaks of that.
Zac: I remember you singing that when I was younger. You would talk about your buddies who you would get together with and sing that in harmony. Most great songs come back around. After I heard you talk about it, Jeff Buckley recorded it. He did a version of it that was really neat, too.
George Jones, 'He Stopped Loving Her Today'
Jim: This is probably one of the best all-time country songs that's ever been around.
Zac: So me and Dad are in agreement. If it's not the best, it's one of the top five best country songs that's ever been written.
Jim: It's a story about a guy who just loves a woman so much and loved her til he died. He stopped loving her the day he died.
Zac: She didn't love him! [laughs]
Jim: Yeah, she didn't love him; she left him, and he could never let it go. That song tells a sad, sad story, but a great story.
Zac: I love in the song that you don't know why he stopped loving her. It describes how he was all infatuated with her, and you don't know until the chorus. It just totally hits you by surprise. It's a hell of a song.
Nickel Creek, 'The Fox'
Zac: I remember Dad playing this song on the guitar and singing along to it when I was younger.
Jim: This was one of the fun songs that I went to a couple of the kindergarten classes and sang it for the kids as they were having recess.
Zac: It says that the earliest version of this song appears to have been a Middle English poem, dating from the fifteenth century, so it's been around for a long time. It's a folk version, but one of my favorite groups playing that song, 'The Fox,' is Nickel Creek.
Johnny Cash, 'I Walk the Line'
Zac: I remember when we used to sit around and play guitar, one of the ones that Dad used to know and play was 'I Walk the Line' by Johnny Cash. I remember musically listening, it was one of the first songs that you hear the alternating bass line going on the guitar which was kind of signature Johnny Cash anyway.
Jim: We used to have those sessions around the campfire, and we played a lot of the old stuff. That was always one that was right in the middle of the mix.
Zac: This is such a great western story. Ray Charles you can say was R&B, and you could say that Willie Nelson was country, but both of them took it to about as far as you could take it. Willie's still taking it today. What a hero, man. What a warrior for music.
Jim: He has been through everything, but is still rolling around.
Zac: Nobody's done more than him. Ever. It's impossible. You can't dedicate your life more to music than he has. We're going to close out the playlist with one of our favorite stories and kind of a tragedy song as well, but it's a song of undying love.