If not for Josh Turner, country music fans might have never known Russell Dickerson. It’s Turner who Dickerson says inspired him to pursue a career in country music, even though he loved music of all genres.
“I was in bands,” Dickerson tells Thomas Rhett, as part of Rhett’s Where We Started Radio, on Apple Music Country. “We were just [in] rock bands, metal bands, and I just wanted to play music. I didn’t care what it was. But I remember seeing the CMT special. I was at MTSU at the time and I saw this CMT special with Josh Turner. He’s at Belmont, right at the foot of Music Row, and he’s talking about his career path and writing songs, and I just start crying. Tears are streaming down my face because it struck such a deep desire of mine.”
Dickerson learned guitar so he could play with his youth group at church, and also enjoyed music by a diverse group of artists, but didn’t fully realize until that moment that he wanted to pursue a career in country music.
“I knew that I wanted to play music, write music,” Dickerson says. “[To] perform was the biggest. I just wanted to be on stage. When we go see bands and stuff, I wanted to be that guy where you just hold the mic out and everybody’s screaming your songs. Seeing that special, it just struck a chord. And I was like, that’s it. That’s when I literally went straight downstairs, filled out my application for Belmont, had to audition for the school of music and stuff. So I did all that, got in … There’s so many amazing artists and songwriters and singers around that you just kind of get thrown into that scene.”
Dickerson might have initially liked all kinds of music, but it was country music that he was raised on growing up in Union City, Tennessee.
“My foundation is country music,” Dickerson says. “I was born in a small town; country music was everywhere. My first time performing in front of people at school was Garth Brooks, “Standing Outside the Fire.” Headset mic and everything … That’s how I started, that’s how I’m [gonna] finish. So that foundation was always there, but then when I was 10 years old, we moved to Nashville. And bigger city vibes in the school systems, everybody listens to everything.’
Dickerson wraps up his headlining All Yours, All Night Tour with a sold-out show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Friday, March 25. He will spend a few weeks at home before heading out with Tim McGraw on McGraw Tour 2022.
“I will happily open for Tim McGraw any day of the year,” Dickerson tells Everything Nash. “He literally — on my phone, it said like ‘Unknown Caller,’ or ‘No Caller ID.’ And I’m like, ‘What’s up?’ And he said, ‘Hey, it’s McGraw.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, there’s only one McGraw.’ He said, ‘Man, I just wanted to personally invite you on tour with me.’ And I literally, my one dream tour, my one bucket list tour is Tim McGraw. If there’s one country artist that I’ve listened to the most hours of, it’s Tim McGraw.”
Find all of Dickerson’s upcoming shows at RussellDickerson.com.