Ronnie Dunn Talks Going Solo, Meeting Johnny Cash, And What Maya Angelou Thinks Of His Work

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credit: Ronnie Dunn on CBS This Morning (screen capture)

credit: Ronnie Dunn on CBS This Morning (screen capture)

Ronnie Dunn appeared on CBS This Morning today (May 24) to discuss his country music career with co-hosts Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill. A former member of the duo Brooks & Dunn, Ronnie just released a ‘special edition’ of his 2011 self-titled solo album this week.

Among the topics covered were his longtime partnership with Kix Brooks, how it feels to work on his own, how his wife met Johnny Cash long before he ever did, and the fact that Maya Angelou is a fan of his work. (“She’ll get deep on you,” Ronnie says.)

Gayle King: “How does it feel all by your lonesome?”

Ronnie Dunn: “It’s kinda wild. The other guy did all the talking most of the time.”

Watch the CBS This Morning interview:

Ronnie Dunn on CBS This Morning (screen capture)

Ronnie Dunn on CBS This Morning (screen capture)

King: “I heard you say that you waited your whole life to produce and work on this album?”

Dunn: “To explain that, Kix and I both came to [Nashville] looking for solo deals years ago. He was working for someone at Arista Records when I first moved there. The label head introduced us, and we thought were were going to be songwriters together. I thought he was being brought in to write for me, and he thought I was being brought in to write for him.”

“After we wrote three or four, went in the studio and recorded them, came back and played them for the guy, he said, you want a job as a duo?”

King: ”Maya Angelou loves country music and really loves Brooks & Dunn, and she wrote about you once, saying that the thing that’s so great about you guys is that you really understand and share the human condition.”

Dunn: ”When Maya says something like that, you’ve really got to take a step back and take inventory. She’ll get deep on you.”

King: ”You parted on really good terms?”

Dunn: ”We did, we’re still really good friends. I’ll text him and he’ll call me.”

King: “You have a tie to Johnny Cash? He was your landlord?”

Dunn: “He was when we first moved to town. My wife [Janine] had been friends with John and June for years. Do you remember the car John sang about in “One Piece at a Time”? Well, my wife’s [former] husband who’d passed away had built this car one piece at a time, and took it to John. And they obviously struck up a friendship over that. So she had known John and June way before I came along.”

Watch the entire CBS This Morning interview.

Ronnie Dunn’s self-titled solo album was re-released this week in a new version that includes all 12 of the original songs plus two previously unreleased bonus tracks. Titled Ronnie Dunn – Special Edition, it is sold only through Cracker Barrel stores and online at crackerbarrel.com, and portions of the proceeds from the sales of the album will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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