Darius Rucker, Don McLean Among Music City Walk of Fame Inductees

Darius Rucker joined Don McLean, guitarist Duane Eddy and former record label executive Joe Galante in being inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame. Rucker, who was inducted by Ric Flair, reflected on his upbringing, and the surprising influence it had on his music career.

“When I was a kid, music wasn’t rock and roll, or R&B or country,” Rucker said. “Music was music.  It was all coming out of that big Hi-Fi we had, and I just listened to whatever I wanted to. I wouldn’t be standing here if my mom didn’t let me be me. My mom, she would fight with my brothers, she would fight with my cousins. She would fight with anybody who told me to turn that white boy music off.”

Rucker’s first foray into music was as the lead singer of the rock group, Hootie & the Blowfish, before launching a second career as a country music singer.

“I’m just a kid from South Carolina who believed in himself. I got lucky, twice,” the Grand Ole Opry member said. “I sit back and I look at this stage, and the icons who are up here … I guess it’s just the way we were raised, that I feel humbled. I’m shocked that I’m here. I’m shocked that I’m getting this.”

McLean was inducted by Connie Valens, sister of the late Ritchie Valens, whose death inspired McLean’s “American Pie” single.

“The thing that knocked me out when I was starting was the guitar,” McLean said. “A bunch of these guys on this stage feel exactly the same way. The guitar, it was a whole thing. And the guitar eventually blew away all the orchestras. It became a guitar world, and that’s the world we live in. The music comes from us, because we all learned how to play, and we started making music ourselves. It’s a whole different thing.

“I can’t be taught anything,” he added. “It’s real hard for me to learn stuff. I gotta figure it out my own way.”

Steve Wariner inducted Eddy, praising his musicality, and his influence on guitar players all over the world.

“When God passed out coolness, Duane Eddy went through the line twice,”


Vince Gill inducted Galante, an invitation that Gill admitted surprised him, since although it was Galante who gave him his first record deal at RCA, Gill didn’t have a hit until he left the label.

The Music City Walk of Fame is located on Demonbreun Street between 4th and 5th Avenues South. The Music City Walk of Fame is free and open to the public, except during special events. Other former inductees into the Music City Walk of Fame include John PrinePatsy ClineDierks BentleyConnie Smith, Kenny RogersReba McEntire, Faith HillTim McGrawTrace AdkinsAlan Jackson, Little Richard, Keith Urban, among others.