Rodney Collins is a traditional country music entertainer who has performed with legends Vern Gosdin, Doug Stone, Daryle Singletary, and currently touring with Ronnie McDowell.
Besides performing, Rodney Collins is also a successful business owner of 3 country music venues, first The Kokomo Country Palace in Indiana, The Music City Bar and Grill in Nashville, TN, and the former Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville, now renamed The Troubadour Nashville.
Preserving the history of traditional country music has been Rodney’s passion with much success, and these stages have presented country music legends along with local up and coming talents.
Vern Gosdin was a very close personal friend who opened a lot of doors for Rodney and was a huge influence on his life and music.
The song, “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)” originally recorded by Vern Gosdin, is a personal favourite of Rodney’s.
The track was produced by Jim Vest, the legendary steel guitar player who played on all of Vern’s hits, and Buddy Hyatt Nashville producer.
When not managing his country venues, Rodney performs on stage with his band, The Tennessee Hustlers with his own special flair and audience engagement.
Earlier this month, we had a chance to interview Rodney Collins, getting some juicy facts on his journey as a country music artist.
The following is the whole interview:
How did you get started in music?
”I was the youngest in my family of 4 kids, and when I was 16 years old, my brothers were about 4-5 years older than me and I admit I had a fake ID.
My dad had gone through a divorce and he was ready to party. He used to take me go to a place where I’d listen to David, my guitar player’s brother, and My Tribune and The Alamo Band was playing.
I was 16 years old, taking in all that great country music just changed my life right there. I thought… man that was something I want to be a part of!”
You have such a unique sound and it has definitely developed over time. How were you able to find your sound and what has influenced it?
“I’ve learned over the years not to sing like everybody else; I just try to find my own voice and I’m still discovering that. It’s a work in progress and I keep growing as an artist.
I don’t have it all figured out, but I want to sound like Rodney Collins and not like anybody else.
I am blessed to perform with some of the finest professional country musicians here in Nashville, as well as my great friend and legend Ronnie McDowell.
I keep learning from the best, and love performing and staying true to myself.”
Out of all the songs you have released to date, which is your favourite, and why?
“I’d have to say ‘I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)’ as it’s a song by my hero, Vern Gosdin.
Vern had a big hit with it, and I feel like we’re doing Vern proud by talking about it and singing his music. I’m keeping his memory alive, especially at Music City Bar & Grill and The Troubadour Nashville, the 2 clubs I own and perform at.
That song is the total package. I love it, it feels good to sing, and people love it.”
If you had a superpower what would it be, and why?
“If I could help people, and help to heal people and do some of the work Jesus did when He was here, I would choose that.”
What is something you used to believe in that you don’t believe anymore?
“I never believed that the country would be shut down, but I was wrong about that, and through the pandemic I never dreamed I’d see anything like that in my life.
I don’t believe that we’re going to live forever anymore. Life is short. Young, old, it doesn’t matter. Live every day like it’s your last because I don’t believe we’re going to be here for long.”
What do you love the most, and hate the most, about being a musician?
I love to see people dance and smile. Like the show I did today, there were a lot of happy people.
This big ole burly guy came up to me and told me I made him cry and touched his heart.
I love that my music and what I do can move people and make a difference in their lives. The business side of the music biz can be ugly, so I don’t always enjoy that part of it.
A lot of backstabbing, pay to play, a lot of competitors. I hate how country music today has turned its back on the founders of real country music, and the legends that have made it authentic may not be heard from any more or played. I want to change that!
What is one philosophy or idea that you live by?
“Be good to people because people make YOU.
I try to be good to everybody that I’m around and come in contact with. I try to wake up every day and be a better person than I was the day before.”
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
“First, it would be Jesus Christ and second, would be Elvis Presley.”
What are your goals and hopes for 2022?
“I hope to make Music City Bar & Grill and The Troubadour Nashville the best I can with great entertainment and legends of country music with their history remembered.
Acquiring The Troubadour Nashville at 2416 Music Valley drive where it sat empty during the pandemic, I am so excited about a lot of things happening there!
We are booking a lot of special events, as well as the Josie Music Awards music festival happening there in October with independent artists from around the world showcasing their music, Rfd TV getting with us for future concerts and live streams, fantastic artists like Ronnie McDowell and a lot of stars will be performing in the future.
We have renovated the inside of the theatre with memorabilia of country legends, added a Vip lounge and bar area, a beautiful dance floor and an awesome sound system that still rings with country music history and the spirit of those that have performed on the stage.
We still host The Cowboy Church hosted by Joanne Cash, The Music City Hayride, and the Music of Nashville show bringing in tour buses, swing dance groups and you feel the magic in that room!
We also host weddings, tributes, showcases, video shoots and special events so things are getting ready to bust out at The Troubadour!
I also hope to keep having success with my song out right now which is my personal tribute to Vern Gosdin, and plan to be releasing an album of my original music in the future which will be traditional country and continue the love of great music!”
Watch ‘I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight)’- Rodney Collins on YouTube: