Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed candidate for Tennessee State House District 69 Jody Barrett and longtime friend and entertainer John Rich in-studio to talk about their history.
Leahy: We are joined in-studio by one new friend and one returning friend – Jody Barrett, who’s running for state representative in the 69th district, which covers half of Dickson County and all of Lewis County and Hickman County. Is that right?
Barrett: You nailed it. Perfect.
Leahy: Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report. Thanks for having me. Good to have you in, Jody. And a returning friend, John Rich. John, we first met you about a year ago when you had a nice party at your terrific house.
Rich: That was a fun night.
Leahy: It was a lot of fun.
Rich: We invited The Daily Wire. A welcome-to-Nashville to The Daily Wire. So it was Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro, and all the rowdies coming in from California. I said, man, if y’all are going to come to Nashville now, we have to make sure, you know, you’re welcome.
So I remember Travis Tritt jumping up onstage and watching Ben Shapiro basically bang his head to some really great Southern rock for about 20 minutes. It was pretty cool. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: That’s so interesting. Then I saw, I think, on your program on Fox News, you were hanging with Ben Shapiro, driving around downtown Nashville.
Rich: Yeah, we got in the old ’68 Cadillac, dropped the top, and I just kind of gave him a tour of our great city and talked about music and politics and life and everything that’s going on. It’s on YouTube if you want to see something fun for about 40 minutes. Actually, it’s pretty cool.
Leahy: I worked with Ben Shapiro. I’ve known him since I don’t know, 2008, 2009. Worked with him when we were both at Breitbart. Good, smart guy. And The Daily Wire is tearing it up.
Rich: They’re massive. I think they’re the biggest news platform on Facebook.
Leahy: And they’re here now in Nashville. They’re about just a little over a mile from our studios here. Now, John. Everybody knows John Rich. Not only as a terrific entertainer but also a very successful entrepreneur.
You’ve got so many entrepreneurial ventures, and you’re doing the Fox News show right now. Here we have a candidate for state representative, Jody Barrett, in the 69th. It’s an open seat.
And so how did you guys get to know each other? And why are you all in to help Jody Barrett? You’ve got a fundraiser tonight in Dickson from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Graystone Golf Course in Dickson.
Rich: Highway 70.
Leahy: By the way, if you’re listening to this program right now and you want to see John Rich …
Rich: I’ll be singing there.
Leahy: You’ll be singing there.
Rich: Have guitar, will travel. I’m excited about tonight. We’re going to sing and talk about the future of our state and our country.
Leahy: All you have to do is drive and show up at the Graystone Country Club tonight and be part of this event. And John will be there and Jody will be there. John, tell us about this guy, Jody Barrett.
Because you got a lot of things going on and you’re spending an awful lot of time with a guy who’s trying to get elected to an open seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Why?
Rich: So first of all, thanks for letting us come in. I’m really proud of Jody for stepping up and being willing to come serve, and everything that goes along with running a political race, as we all know is a lot.
So that’s a big thing for him to step up. It says a lot about him. But I’ve known Jody since I was 17 years old. Now, how many people can you say that you still know in your lifetime that you met as a teenager?
Not many. I mean, I could probably say maybe two or three in my own life, but Jody Barrett, I met him – I went to Dickson County High School my senior year. That’s it. My parents got divorced when I was in the 11th grade, and the family kind of split off towards Dickson.
So I’m driving from Ashland City to Dickson every single morning and all the way back. It’s 51 miles each direction, in a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, showing up at this giant school that’s got 600-some kids in the senior class alone.
I don’t know anybody. I don’t know where to go. I had run into Jody a few months prior to that because I knew I was going to be heading to Dickson County High School.
And he had walked up and said, hey, man, when you show up at school next year, look me up and I’ll show you around. So I did. I went and found him. I’m like, Jody, where’s science class? Where do I go to find Miss so and so in English class?
He’s walking me through the school, and invited me to come be with them in the choir. I started meeting other friends and Jody, as a matter of fact, as that year dragged on, and I’m driving over 100 miles round-trip every day in this old car, said, hey, John, listen, man.
That’s brutal. And the gasoline alone, man, is ridiculous. If you ever want to stay at my house, you can stay here as long as you want.
And so for the whole second semester of my senior year, many, and most, of those nights, I spent staying at Jody Barrett’s house’s spare bedroom, couch, wherever.
And this guy has been one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. We’ve gone on from there down the road, and it’s just really quick. And I’m going to just let Jody rock here. But we get down the road, we remain friends.
We see Tennessee schools come under assault with a lot of the stuff that’s happening in our schools. And I went to battle with that, as everybody saw, right out in the open, and started talking to Jody about it.
And Jody is a dad and everything else and I said, we got to have good people step up that’ll really do what they say they’re going to do. And after thinking about it for about a month, Jody calls me, goes, I’m going to run.
And man, I was so pumped and excited to know that a guy with that kind of heart, that kind of kindness and soul was going to be running for that seat.
Leahy: Jody Barrett, so the two of you were classmates in Dickson County high school your senior year?
Barrett: Yes, sir. That’s it.
Leahy: Did I hear John correctly when he said that you were in the choir together?
Barrett: We were, yes.
Leahy: So, John, you were a second tenor. You were a bass?
Rich: No, I was first tenor. I was higher than I am now.
Leahy: You were first tenor. First tenor or second tenor?
Rich: Second tenor.
Leahy: Okay, you guys ready? Sure. You guys ready for this one?
Rich: We’re ready.
Leahy: Yours truly, years ago. Years ago. Second tenor in the regionally famous Harvard Glee Club.
Rich: No way. Wow! Awesome.
Leahy: Let me just say when you come to Nashville …
Rich: I got to get your autograph. (Laughter)
Leahy: Oh, yeah, that’s good. When you come to Nashville, let’s say if you’ve been a second tenor in a recently famous legend-in-their-own-minds college choir and you come to Nashville, you become humble very quickly. Very quickly.
I got to hear more about this when we come back. We’ll have more with John Rich and Jody Barrett, candidate for state representative in the 69th district.
Listen to the interview:
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