This week’s co-host is the new CMA Entertainer of the Year Eric Church. He told Lon, “It’s been a great week, I don’t know if it’s sunk in totally yet, but it’s been a lot of fun for me and the family.” It looked like you were surprised. “I was shocked. Surprised is the wrong word. for me it was always just a trophy. But for the people who work so hard to make those shows happen, and the fans, that’s what it always mattered the most to me for.”
You said you were shocked, so who’s name were you expecting to hear? “I thought it was between Carrie & Luke Combs. Carrie is someone who has been deserving of that award for years, and she’ll win it multiple times. I thought it would go there. I’ve said forever it won’t change anything I do. So for me, there’s nothing you can do, you’re just kind of along for the ride at that point in time.”
Lon asked if there was any point where he thought he might be the winner: “There was someone with the CMA who came over right before the commercial break, and she goes, ‘If you win, take the trophy with you.’ I was like OK, yeah right. I got a better chance stealing it right now before you go live. Then she left. That was the first moment that I kinda thought maybe. Then I talked myself out of it.”
Was there a ‘What?’ moment? “You could see it. I was socked. My wife had to pull me back for a kiss. In that category, I was the last person that thought that was the name they were gonna say. It was very surprising and shocking to me.”
How did you celebrate? “We went back home. not a whole lot you could do that night. We went home, had some Jack, hung out, ate, and talked about the night. It’s the way 2020 is. We sat at a table at the awards with Luke Combs and his wife Nicole. At one point, Jon Pardi came over and I had my brand of Jack Daniels under the table, and we did a toast. So to have Jon & Luke, who’re guys who will win these awards some day, it was neat.”
What was the mood in the room that night? “I think everybody was grateful we were together. It was good we were able to get together in the safest way possible and put on an awards show. Just to be face to face with other people was positive. We wish we could have celebrated a different way, but I personally was glad we got to celebrate at all.”
Lon also asked about Eric’s moving performance at the ACMs in September, and the personal story of how Eric got that vision to happen. Plus Eric spells out when he might release his next album.
There’s also this story about Morgan Wallen: “I got a chance to play golf with him a month ago. Our tee time was 11, he got there at 3:30. That’s my kind of guy! This was right after the Saturday Night Live thing happened. He was still talking about it. I told him, ‘You know you screwed up, but a lot of people play Saturday Night Live, and very few get thrown off. That’s pretty cool! You’re too dangerous for those cats.'”
Eric also has great stories this week about Jon Pardi, Luke Combs, Keith Urban, and more.
NEXT WEEK: Chris Lane