John Rich’s new song Shut Up About Politics tops Country download chart – By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

John Rich’s new song Shut Up About Politics tops Country
download chart

By Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

When does John Rich find time to sleep? He
is currently running numerous parallel ventures, any one of which would be a
full-time career for most people.

solo recording career, his association with Big Kenny as the hit-making duo Big
and Rich, rolling out the Redneck Riviera brand (including his restaurant on
Nashville’s Lower Broad), fundraising for the charity Folds of Honor, starting
up the all-American-made Redneck Riviera Whiskey, and now a Special Reserve
blend named for his dear old Granny… But wait, there’s more! As they say in the
informercials. John also has the No. 1 song on the Country download charts with
a quirky story behind it.

We sat down to catch up with John at his
unique Nashville home, aptly named Mount Richmore, and we were joined by
John’s 87-year-old grandmother who is affectionally known as Granny Rich.

Yes, the same Granny Rich who is the
inspiration for Redneck Riviera Granny Rich Reserve, the new addition to John’s
line of whiskey. John admitted that your grandmother wouldn’t be the first
person you’d normally go to when you’re thinking about launching a new whiskey.
But as he pointed out, Granny Rich isn’t your normal grandmother.

John ran the idea by Granny Rich back in
2017.  He remembers the
conversation.  “I said to her, ‘Granny,
I’ve been drinking this Canadian blended whiskey all these years. I think I’m
going to try to make an American blended whisky. Do you think that would be a
good idea?’  And she said, ‘Well, as long
as it’s smooth, I’d probably drink it.’ So that’s when it started, when we
started discussing this project.”

When you meet Granny Rich, you begin to see
where John gets his work ethic and his determination.

“As long as I can remember, Granny Rich
would put in a full day’s work, come home kick her shoes off and have a little
something to drink,” he said.  “Calm
down, take the edge off, watch a little TV. She goes to sleep, gets up, goes
straight back to work.”

Turning to Granny, John said, “Granny, you
grew up out in Texas on the panhandle, where, I grew up, and it’s just a
different breed of people out there.  The
work hard, play hard thing is how we go about things.” 

“Well, of course, from daylight to dark,
you work out there,” she recalled.  “It’s
a totally different world to me from what I had growing up out there over what
it is here in Tennessee.  It was quite a
change to move to Tennessee.”

John has inherited his grandmother’s resolve
for taking responsibility for the success of any project he takes on.  He recalled a situation where the grocery
chain Winn-Dixie had agreed to stock Redneck Riviera whiskey in their stores in
Florida. He was concerned that the staff in those stores wouldn’t know exactly
how to tell people what is Redneck Riviera Whiskey or about Folds of Honor and
what that is. He asked his sales guys to get him a list of every single
Winn-Dixie store in the state of Florida and the names of the store managers.
There were more than three hundred and forty of them.

“It took me five days from about nine in
the morning to four in the afternoon, non-stop calling,” he recalled.  “Finally, when it was all over, I had spoken
to every single grocery store general manager, and had basically turned them
into my sales force down in Florida, because they didn’t know that my glass is
made in America, my corks are made in America; we’re basically creating American
jobs with this.  I mean, that’s a big

He also made those store managers aware
that part of the profits from the sales of Redneck Riviera whiskey goes to
Folds of Honor, a charity that puts kids through college who lost a parent in
combat. “We’ve now paid for forty-three college scholarships,” he said.  “This year, we’ll probably going to triple
that number at the rate we’re on. So yeah, it’s serious to me.”

When we spoke, the song “Shut Up About
Politics” was No. 1 on the iTunes Country download charts for the sixth day and
No. 2 on the all-genre download charts. 
“To give you an example, Katy Perry is No.3,” he said, shaking his head
in disbelief. He had absolutely no expectation that the song would be a hit.

“I wrote ‘Shut Up About Politics’ not to
tell people to stop talking about politics but I’d like to be able to watch a
football game or an Awards show or go to a concert or watch a movie or
something, and not be bombarded with political angles coming from both sides
all the time,” he said.  “It’s just
exasperating and I feel most Americans feel that way, no matter how you vote or
what side of the aisle you’re on. Enough is enough!  Can we please just have some fun together! If
we want to talk about politics, let’s watch the news. But, past that… Shut up
about politics!”

John is donating one hundred percent of the
download income from “Shut Up About Politics” to Folds of Honor.  And there’s an interesting ‘story behind
the song,’

John said that he had been talking with
Greg Gutfeld of Fox News and they agreed they were both sick of everyone
talking politics all the time. Greg said, “I wish people would shut up about politics
for a minute.” John thought that that sounded like a song title.

“I was in Jacksonville, Florida, and I
said, I think I’ll try to write ‘Shut Up About Politics,’” John revealed. “But
there was no paper on the bus and I had a sinus infection going on, which is a
great thing to have when you’re a singer. 
I had a Walgreen’s bag that had my antibiotics in it.  I flipped the bag over and I wrote ‘Shut Up
About Politics’ on the back of a Walgreen’s bag, which I guess is just about
the most rock n’ roll thing you could do! 

“We did this little recording on it and I
said, well if we’re going to do that, we might as well make it so people can
get it if they want it.  I thought, maybe
it’ll do a couple of thousand downloads and I can send a check to Folds of
Honor.  I don’t even know how many
downloads it is now.  It’s tens of
thousands. It might even be a hundred thousand at this point.  People continue to pass it around.  I wrote it in such a way that it’s not
partisan. It’s just American; like ‘Please give us a break,’ you know?  I’m pretty proud of that too.  I think people can get along. When it comes
to music and sports and entertainment, that’s where we should all be able to
just have a good time together.”

The song became a viral success without any
support or involvement from the music industry.  “I can’t even believe it, to be honest with
you,” he admitted.  “Because as an
artist, you put out a single and you’ll spend untold amounts of money and time
trying to even get in the top ten on the downloads chart.  And this sucker is sitting at number
one!  It’s just mind-blowing. And I hope
it stays there for a while because the money that’s adding up for Folds of
Honor, I mean, that’s real money coming in now,” he added with a smile.

“It’s the power of songwriting,” he
emphasizes. “I’ve always said, a blank sheet of paper is the most boundless
thing you can ever look at.  The
Declaration of Independence started out as a blank sheet of paper.  The Bible started out as blank sheets of
paper.  Songs are blank sheets of paper
before you turn them into something. Something like ‘Shut Up About Politics,’ I
tell writers and artists all the time, ‘You’re never out of the game. Keep
writing.  Keep doing what you’re doing.’  You just never know when something’s going to

John had some more news to share, too. “We
just bought the last two buildings on Broadway that did not have entertainment
in them,” he revealed.  “The FedEx
building there at Third Avenue and Broad, and the old Cotton Eyed Joe building
at the corner of Second Avenue and Broad. It’s pretty exciting because both
those buildings flank Redneck Riviera. So we now have all the buildings on that
side of the street on that block.”

Who or what can we expect to see in those
newly-acquired buildings?  John isn’t
saying just yet.   “We’re bringing in
some pretty cool tenants,” he hinted. 
“I’m right in the middle of it and I said, you know, we should bring in
things that are complementary to Broadway, not redundant with Broadway. We’ll
be telling you who those businesses are pretty soon.  One of them I’m really excited about… Let’s
just say some major store ‘horsepower’ that’s not a country singer.”

Meanwhile Granny Rich is having the time of
her life. Earlier in the day, she got to talk to WSM-AM radio, and she’s been
listening to the Grand Ole Opry on that station all her life.  “This Saturday, I’m going to do a whiskey signing
where I’m going to sign all those whiskey bottles,” she said.

“I want to offer America premium products
at a moderate price point,” said John.  “I
grew up in a double wide [trailer] in Texas; nothing fancy.  Granny grew up in Pampa, Texas, on a
farm.  People don’t have fifty or sixty
dollars sitting around to buy a bottle of anything.  So Redneck Riviera Whiskey is, like, $24.99
and Granny Rich Reserve is, I think, $39.99 because … it is more aged, stronger
and smoother – just like Granny!”

Turning to his grandmother, he added, “At
eighty-seven, Granny, you are an iconic figure. There’s a lot of people my age
and younger that would look up at an eighty-seven-year-old person and say, ‘I
would like to be like that, still running my own [business], still calling the
shots, drinking a little whiskey every evening, doing the things I like to do
and just loving America.’ You’re quite an inspiration!”

But this is one tough lady. As John Rich
put it: “If a rattlesnake had blue eyes, that’s Granny Rich.”

# # #

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One Response

  1. You both are an inspiration to the world.keep up the great work and be strong. Wish people were more like you both.working hard and then play in agreement.

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