Vince Gill is a huge name in the country music genre. He has had huge success as a solo artist, musician and songwriter and as the frontman of Pure Prarie League, a country rock band. However, he’s also known as friendly, down-to-earth and approachable.
This is evident in a video that has swept YouTube. Constituting America is a group that teaches children about the Constitution. They hold an annual songwriting competition and Vince invited the winners to visit his home studio. Below is the full video including chat before the performance. If you want to skip to the performance, go to 1:48.
As our video begins, Vince is showing his guests his favourite guitar. One of the women there asks if there’s a guitar one of the winners could play. Without hesitation, Vince hands the guitar over. Admittedly, he has plenty more, but it still shows trust and generosity. Vince picks another guitar, sits, and plays the hymn How Great Thou Art. The young man, named Jim Booker, plays along and it must be a real thrill playing with the famous artist.
A young woman named Joy Frost begins to sing and Vince joins her. It’s an incredible performance. YouTube absolutely loves it, it’s been watched 16.7 million times and has 111,000 likes. Among the floods of positive comments one person explains why it’s so awesome:
“It says a lot when a guitarist will, without a second thought, hand his most prized guitar to someone else to play. Not only that, but Gill is considered one of the best session guitarists out there and he gave to solo to the other guitarist. What an amazing guy.”
The amazing Vincent Grant Gill was born on April 12th, 1957 in Norman, Oklahoma. His father, J. Stanley Gill was a lawyer and a judge, but in his spare time, he was in a country music band. He was the one who encouraged Vince to learn the guitar and banjo growing up. Vince agreed and even added the bass, mandolin, fiddle and dobro (a resonator guitar) to his repertoire.
He attended Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, and while he was there he joined the band Mountain Smoke, playing bluegrass. The band built a solid local following, but after his graduation, Vince left and moved to Kentucky to join the Bluegrass Alliance band. Over the years that followed he moved from band to band, eventually becoming part of Pure Prairie League in 1979. He appeared on the album Can’t Hold Back and sang lead on the track Let Me Love You Tonight.
Believe it or not, Mark Knopfler invited Vince to join Dire Straits, but he declined. Vince did sing backing vocals on the On Every Street album. After only two years with Pure Prairie League, he moved on and joined the Cherry Bombs. He recorded a bluegrass album and even signed with RCA but he was not hugely successful. Finally, in 1989, he left RCA and signed with MCA Records. Here he worked with Tony Brown, a producer he had met when he was with the Cherry Bombs. It was a winning partnership, his debut album sold over a million copies and featured several successful singles.
Since then he has released 6 platinum-selling albums and has had over twenty top-ten hits, including four number-ones. Vince has also won twenty-two Grammy awards and been inducted into four different country halls of fame. In spite of all this, the video shows he is down to earth with a deep love of music. Vince Gill is an exceptional artist.