NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KNOE 8 News) - One of the biggest names in country music, is from right here in Northeast Louisiana, Tim McGraw. The Start native, along with his wife Faith Hill, received stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill share a kiss on their newly minted stars on the music city walk of fame.
"It was just awesome to have our family and the people we've worked with for so many years and fans from all over the place and Reba McEntire is the one that gave us our stars. I think it's a pretty good day," Hill said.
For these two, their roots run deep in the delta. Hill grew up in Star, Mississippi. McGraw grew up in Start, the small community just east of Monroe.
"People down there have always been so great to me growing up in that area. Going to school down there, well now it's ULM, but it was Northeast Louisiana University when we were there yeah, all my Pike brothers down there."
While a student at Northeast Tim focused on music. Playing at the Siesta, now Waterfront Grill. Playing at 'Po Boy Dons in Tallulah with local farmer Maurice Machen sitting in as guitarist circa 1989. It's now just a boarded up building.
McGraw did come back to this little country store to shoot the music video to his 1994 hit, "Down On The Farm". There was a big spread of the filming in Country Weekly Magazine, putting this map dot on the map.
McGraw said his upbringing in Northeast Louisiana shaped who he is today.
"Everything. Such a rich musical environment, too, there. Gosh James Pastel. I mean I grew up listening to James Pastel. My mom knew James Pastel. He played at the rusty nail, the branding iron and all those places in West Monroe," McGraw said.
James Pastel, singer songwriter from West Monroe, said he heard from McGraw's mom that Tim would play the songs on Pastel's Truxno album over and over until he was old enough to go in the bar.
"He turned 18, what would you think about him coming up on stage doing a song? I said just bring him on and from that day on anytime he came in and wanted sit in I let him sit in," Pastel said.
From the branding iron in West Monroe to being forever branded into a sidewalk in Nashville recognized not just for their celebrity status but for their willingness to give back to their community, and not just in music city but at home.