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INTERVIEW: Country Legend John Berry And Robin Berry On New Podcast, "Family, Faith & Friends"

T.J. Clemente

John and Robin Berry. (Photo: Darren Cotta)

When chatting with John Berry and his wife, Robin Berry, you would never assume you were talking to country music royalty unless, of course, you are familiar with the countless hits Berry has been producing since 1979. Now at age 61, John and Robin have launched a new venture, and given their successful track record, no doubt their new bi-weekly podcast, Family, Faith & Friends, will become important listening.

In an interview with Hamptons.com, the power couple went deep into their successes and trying moments in a special genuine style that will guarantee their podcast success. Why? Because they are great, modest storytellers and they have a very special collection of friends.

John started, "When everything shut down, the bus shut off and..." Robin then added, "No more gigs and having to sit at home..." John continued, "Twiddling our thumbs, we turned our yard into a master garden, and we were trying to think of something else to do, so the idea for the podcast came up."

Robin noted, "John had a friend of his from Chicago who has spent a long time in radio and has a big podcast. He was down for a weekend and he is working on a book with John, and he would just laugh with us in conversation, and said, 'Oh my gosh. You guys need to do a podcast together, let me do one with you all and see what you think about it.' That's what kind of started the ball rolling."

Anyone who has ever heard John Berry sing instantly knows his voice is pure gold. You hear every syllable of every word of every line. Robin, on the other hand, is half Reba and half Dolly Parton when she speaks, but John said Robin has handled all their business affairs from day one, so you know Robin is extremely sharp in the ways of the business world.

John and Robin jointly told me of an amazing story that defines both their faith and courage. John was touring and he was losing weight and becoming "not quite myself." He received word that their baby was due to be born any second, but refused to take any calls from Robin. As he tells it, "I received a serious call from the father-in-law and went home the next day. Now both my father and mother died of an aneurysm rupture in their brain." He was checked out and there was something embedded in his brain, a sort of cyst with fluid that was drained. John recalled, "Almost instantly I started eating, gained back the weight and became myself again. It was a miracle, if I didn't come home only the Lord knows what would have happened."

Robin then started to explain their vision of the podcast. In fact, nearly 20 have already been successfully done. The couple is grateful to haven spoken with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Country Hall of Fame recording artist Charlie Daniels. It was the last interview he did before he passed away.

About the interview process, Robin said, "This is the first time I have had the opportunity to do something with John that was not behind the scenes. It's been a little nerving for me to have a voice. John's managers, Bryan and Barbara, just booked them up, and poor John is still in the cleanup stage and editing phase of some of these."

John noted, "We are trimming them down, we are looking for that 35-minute mark. We had one guest talk for 90 minutes, that interview was the last interview with Charlie Daniels, and the only things I cut out where my ahs and uhs. We wanted everyone to hear every word Charlie had to say because there are no more."

Robin added, "This podcast will last about 52 minutes because it's important everybody hear the things he had to say. It's fabulous. Within the first 19 minutes, he mentions being in heaven twice. It's truly remarkable and five days later he passed away. It was a hard one for John to edit, it took John days to get through it from the tears. It was just a hard one."

The interview show will debut with three episodes, including the late Charlie Daniels' last interview, plus a show with former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley and his wife Barbara. Scheduled guests include Kim Campbell (Glenn Campbell's widow), Megan Alexander, Richie Furay, Scott Hamilton (figure skater cancer survivor), T. Graham and Sheila Brown and WSM-A/Nashville morning host Bill Cody.

The conversation/podcast with John Berry is totally unplugged, unrehearsed and the most intimate John Berry has ever done about his journey as an artist, human being, son and father. You also get an opportunity to enjoy music from the new album Thomas Road.

They are great folks to talk with, as John said, "Our goal is to have the guests talk about themselves, not for us to talk about us." Robin added, "John mixes it so that my voice is on one side, his voice is on the other and the guest's voice is in the middle with the volume just a touch higher to insure they are front and center!"

To listen to Faith, Family & Friends, visit www.patreon.com.

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