Annual Meeting, Co-op News

McBride Has Co-op Connection

By Derrill Holly | ECT Staff Writer Published: February 10th, 2014

“I love to make music and I love to sing,” says Martina McBride. And that’s exactly what the country star with co-op roots will do March 4 during the NRECA annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Martina McBride headlines Entertainment Night at NRECA's 72nd Annual Meeting in Nashville, March 4. (Photo By: Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

Martina McBride headlines Entertainment Night at NRECA’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Nashville, March 4. (Photo By: Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

Raised on her family’s Sharon, Kan., dairy farm, McBride’s parents were consumer-members of Cherokee, Okla.-based Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. McBride, 47, has been entertaining people for four decades, and she recently answered questions for ECT.coop.

You began your career at age 7, playing with your father Daryl Schiff in Kansas and Oklahoma. What do you remember about those days?

When I was performing with my Dad’s band, The Schiffters, the crowds were small and local. We played for people’s wedding parties, community events, street dances, so people were there to celebrate.

As a top headliner, how has performing changed?

I was singing cover songs and mostly singing for fun. Now I’m singing my own songs, but still singing for fun and people are generally still there to celebrate. I may be more experienced as a performer, but my goal is still the same: to connect with the audience.

The music business is hard work and long hours. Do you still have high and low points?

One highlight is traveling internationally. I’ve made some incredible memories with my band, crew, and family, especially in Europe. The low points come from having to be apart from my kids sometimes, even though I work my schedule around theirs as much as I can.

Your husband, John McBride, is part of Nashville’s music scene. What’s it like when music is the family business?

John’s talent as a sound and recording engineer complement my talents as a singer and performer. We don’t compete with each other and that probably makes it easier. It’s great having someone that understands the business … both the ups and downs.

Did your two teenagers and your 8-year-old inspire your hit, “Teenage Daughters”?

I think my daughters see a good example every day of their mom following her dream and doing something she loves that brings people joy. I hope that is a good example for them. What I do, even though it’s a huge part of our lives, isn’t the most important thing. When I am home, most of the time I am just “Mom.”

What do you consider your two most important songs?

“Independence Day” for sure! That song [about domestic violence] made many people feel like someone knew what they were going through. I think it gave people strength. The other would be, [the cancer survivor themed] “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” Unfortunately, that’s a story too many people can identify with. I think that song made people feel understood and gave them hope.

You’ve put your name and reputation behind a charity banner dubbed Team Martina?

A group of fans approached me asking if they could raise money for cancer research in my name. Since then they have gone on to raise almost 100K for different charities. I have become more involved in the last couple of years and I’m really excited to see this team grow and the opportunities for us in the future. You can join or find out more by visiting Team Martina.com.

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