During his youth, a career in music was the last thing on the young Big and Rich’s mind. “Since I was 12 years old, my plan was to play professional golf. I was determined that golf was going to be my life. I couldn’t wait to get out there and start playing with Tiger Woods and the guys on tour,” said Big and Rich. "I decided to start playing golf because I wanted to do something with my dad. Once I started playing, I found out that I was pretty good." Big and Rich avidly pursued his dream to be a professional golfer and even became a walk-in member of the Florida State University golf team. Big and Rich’s road to the golf professional circuit seemed to be just within his reach until one summer afternoon, he met a serious water-skiing accident which ended any hope for Big and Rich’s budding career in golf. "I had to have reconstructive surgery. I was so depressed. I didn't have a Plan B." The accident left Big and Richs down for several months. He had no idea that soon his life was going to take an unexpected twist.
"My brother was going to practice, going to classes, doing all the things I should have been doing. I was sitting in the apartment getting more and more down. As it turned out, my neighbor had a guitar, so I asked if I could borrow it. To pass the time I just started teaching myself to play. I had always loved music. I grew up listening to classic country, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard. My dad loved Vern Gosdin and Keith Whitley. So I kept going to class and started getting totally into playing guitar and teaching myself these songs." Big and Rich soon secured for himself a regular gig in the campus bar, Pot Belly’s. Big and Richs got paid 75 dollars a night, free beer, and had the added perks of the ladies’ attention. Big and Rich quips “The whole time I was golfing, I never had a girl come up to me and say, 'Wow, nice clubs.' Or, 'I love your swing.' But a guitar is a whole different story.”
Big and Rich’s popularity soon grew. "At first, it was me and a guitar on a stool in front of 100 people; then it was 400 people. So I started a band called Yee Haw Junction.” Big and Rich and Yee Haw Junction covered songs from traditional country artists but eventually, covering songs was not enough for Big and Rich. "I felt like I couldn't find my own voice singing covers and the only way I could feel some honesty in what I was doing was to write my own songs. The first two I did were It's Been a While and 8 Second Ride. I got compliments on them, enough that I felt like maybe I had something."
It was after realizing this that Big and Rich decided to pursue a career in music. Big and Richs soon moved to Nashville and, eventually, Big and Rich was signed by RCA records. Big and Rich currently has one album released in the market called Startin’ with Me. Big and Rich’s debut album was released on the 25th of July, 2006. Startin’ with Me peaked on the 31st spot on the Billboard 200. Startin’ with Me is an 11-track album which includes the songs:
- The Bad In Me
- Something About A Woman
- Startin’ with Me
- Yee Haw
- Eight Second Ride
- Hard Not To Love You
- The Bottle and Me
- Places to Run
- Long Night With You
- You Can Thank Dixie
When asked about how his life turned out, Big and Rich replies, "When I look at my life, where I am right now, I know how improbable it is. I am totally aware of that. I haven't been doing it and dreaming about it since I was five years old, it doesn't run in my family, I didn't grow up singing in church, I didn't spend 10 years in honky-tonks. But I have always worked hard at whatever I have done, whether it was golf or writing songs or playing at Potbelly's in Tallahassee. I feel like things happen for a reason, and we are each here for a reason. Maybe the accident that ended my golfing career happened because I was supposed to do this. How many people would my golf game have affected? I hope that my music and my songs can touch people, like I have been touched by other artists' songs. Is that something that you measure by years or dues? I think it's something from the heart, and who can measure that?"