Farmer’s daughter sings from heart


I spent Friday night with a singing farmer’s daughter and it was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.
One of my Christmas gifts came in an envelope from my daughter and her boyfriend. They invited my friend Cindy over on Christmas Eve morning and they handed each of us an envelope. Tucked inside, we were stunned to see, were tickets to a Martina McBride concert in Cleveland. We looked at that February date and it seemed we could hardly wait that long.
It was worth the wait!
“I am a farmer’s daughter from Kansas. Do we have any farmers’ daughters here tonight?” McBride asked early on in the concert.
Just like Dad. She said growing up on a Kansas farm meant there was very little to do. So, she learned to sing and play all sorts of musical instruments. Her father was a farmer by trade and a hobby musician, with a band of his own.
“I began singing with my daddy’s Saturday-night band when I was only 7 years old, and my brother started playing the guitar in the band when he was only 5 years old, and the guitar was bigger than he was,” McBride said.
She introduced her brother, who plays guitar in her band and sings back-up vocals.
Her greatest honor, she said, was being inducted in to the Grand Old Opry by none other than the great Loretta Lynn a few years ago. As she sang some of the really great old songs from her current Timeless collection, it took us back to the music we grew up hearing with our own parents.
I Can’t Stop Loving You and Heartaches By The Number were followed by You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man and Stand By Your Man.
Pioneers. Photos of the great pioneers of country music who originally brought us these songs flashed on the big screens of the theater.
“This is my grandmother’s favorite song,” the singer said before singing a beautifully subdued rendition of Help Me Make It Through The Night.
In the second half of the show, McBride sang the songs that made her a star in her own right.
I have listened to this singer since she moved up from selling T-shirts for Garth Brooks to cutting her first album. My daughter still remembers a little trip we took to deliver a puppy, meeting a family from southern Ohio partway on the interstate.
“We sang along to Martina McBride the whole way down there and the whole way back,” she recalled.
This talented woman remains humble and amazed at her own success. She said it is an honor to stand among the great voices of country music she grew up listening to, singing along with and imitating on her daddy’s stage on Saturday nights.
Important message. Many of her songs shine a light on abuse of women and children, such as Concrete Angel and Broken Wing, as well as her signature song, Independence Day. In her quiet way, she has raised awareness and raised money for women’s shelters across the country.
There is so much to admire about this happily married woman with three little girls.
When she sang, In My Daughter’s Eyes at the concert, I thought of my own daughter, sweet Caroline, who was so happy to be able to give these tickets to us, and it brought a few tears of joy.
I realized for the millionth time that night that I am one lucky woman!


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.