Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, And More Recall Their Jobs Before Music

Before they were successful country artists, they were receptionists, cashiers, and even salesmen. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? In…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

September 5, 2022


11:15 am

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Darius Rucker; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Carrie Underwood; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Eric Church: Photo by Getty Images for ACM

Before they were successful country artists, they were receptionists, cashiers, and even salesmen. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

In honor of Labor Day, artists like Kip Moore, Caylee Hammock and Carrie Underwood reminisced on some of their first jobs and the lessons they learned as they were introduced into the working world. This holiday weekend also signifies that the end of summer is near, and for some of these artists, that meant they would finally be getting a break from their jobs out in the southern heat. 

We have compiled a list of some of the best and worst jobs these artists have experienced before getting to live out their dreams in Nashville.

Nate Smith 

My first job was working on an alfalfa field. I moved pipes in the mornings to make sure that everything got properly watered. 

Kip Moore; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Kip Moore; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kip Moore 

I’d have to say my worst job ever was laying sod in the South Georgia heat. There’s nothing worse than that, especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. 

Maren Morris 

The first job I ever had was a receptionist for my parent’s hair salon. And they still have that hair salon in Arlington, Texas. It’s called Maren Carson salon. That was my first ever job. I had to answer phones, I had to book hairdressers schedules, I had to book and cancel appointments, I had to keep track of the register. So it was like a good entry way into the customer service industry. It taught me a lot.

Jordan Davis, Photo by David Bradley
Jordan Davis, Photo by David Bradley

Jordan Davis 

[My] worst job was probably whenever I got out of school, I started working for an environmental group in Baton Rouge, and I was doing actual environmental work at first. I went to my boss probably about four months in and told him that I was going to move to Nashville and write songs. Luckily enough, he let me stay on, but I became the weedeater guy for the landscaping side of the business. I seriously weed-eated eight hours a day. 

Caylee Hammack 

My worst job was working in a nursery, actually. I love kids so I thought I’d be really good at it, but when you’re the new person coming in, you have to change all the diapers first. So, I was changing 45 diapers a day and it got to the point where everything smelled like baby poop. It literally drove me crazy. 

Eric Church 

I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8am. And anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this…I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it.

Darius Rucker 

I was fifteen and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at 15, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza. So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza. 

Carrie Underwood 

My first job was at a gas station, and that was a lot of fun actually. While I was working at the gas station, I took another job at a hotel down the street. There was nobody else working there. I had one day of training and then the next day I came in, and the lady that had worked there the longest and was training me just didn’t show. So, the second day at work I was now in charge ‘cause I was now the senior member that was working at the hotel. So, I feel like that one was really challenging to figure my way through it, but I did. My best job is definitely what I do now.

Jon Pardi; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Jon Pardi; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Jon Pardi
The worst job I ever had was at Hometown Grocery Store. I didn’t want to work, I was 15, and I did not want to work at the grocery store. Bagging was fun, but they sent me down the aisles to pull up cans and turn ‘em around and face ‘em, and I would just get so bored!

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.