When you are fast and furiously trying to finish up something before the end of the work day, an interruption isn’t always welcome. But when I got a notification that rising star Cam and veteran member of the Grand Ole Opry Pam Tillis were on the Facebook Live via the Opry, I tuned in, along with about 450 others. What a fun 19 minutes!
Cam and Pam were sitting backstage at the Opry before they each performed tonight. They talked about a wide range of topics and here are a few highlights:
A couple of stage beauty tips included a realization that guys get a little extra practicing in before shows by not spending as much time with hair and make up. Cam revealed it takes more work to tame her pretty blond hair than you’d think. Pam told a funny story about being on stage once and looking down mid-performance to see a Velcro roller stuck to the bottom of her fringed vest. (Ha, that reminds me a night when I got back to my hotel room after a fancy business dinner to see I’d worn both dangly earrings in the same ear the entire evening!)
Pam gave Cam a bit of advice for building a long, hit-packed career. “Set your sights on it, be nice to all the people who have put you where you are at and they’ll stick with you a long time,” Pam said.
They discussed the importance of learning some business skills, along with creative skills. Pam admitted she is shy but that it was important to learn to lead. “You gotta stand your ground,” she told Cam. “You can’t be a push-over. You gotta know when you are right.”
They discussed why they chose careers in country music. Cam explained that she studied to be a psychology researcher first but realized her love of delving into human emotions could also be played out in music. “It is the same thing that I love about song writing,” she said.
Being the daughter of Mel Tillis put Pam in the center of the country music world in Nashville. “It kind of chose me,” she said. “Music was in my heart.”
Cam asked Pam about her biggest compliment. Pam recalled (in a humble and reluctant sort of way) that when Merle Haggard heard her sing Silver Wings he remarked that he liked her version better than his own. “I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten a better compliment than that,” Pam said.
That reminded Cam of when EmmyLou Harris suggested her as a substitute for Merle when he had to cancel at a show in California. Cam was flattered but a little nervous about singing alongside Emmylou and Vince Gill who were also scheduled at the show. Emmylou gave a pep talk that helped give Cam confidence: “She said,’You are good, I’m good, he’s good. We are all good and that’s why we are here.'”
The two women also talked about joining company with the other artists who have performed in the Opry’s hallowed circle. “Just thinking about everyone that’s ever been on the stage. It blows my mind every time,” Cam said.
Pam added. “We are just a link in this amazing chain.”
That was a great interview and it made me excited to go back to the Opry again!
To listen to the full interview, visit: