Eric Church by Thea McElvy
Mixed Media on on gallery wrapped canvas 36″ x 24″
Church was born on May 3, 1977, in Granite Falls, North Carolina, to Ken and Rita Church. Church worked with his father at Clayton Marcus, a furniture upholstery company where his father was president. At 13, he bought a guitar and began writing songs of his own. By his senior year of high school, he had found a gig at a local bar, which occupied most of his time. He played many Jimmy Buffett cover songs and a few of his own original songs in some dive bars. Some of these places were so rough that he got into a few altercations from the stage. For a few years, the band played often in bars and restaurants throughout North Carolina. The band “Mountain Boys” consisted of his college roommate, brother, and a fellow guitarist.
Before moving to Nashville, Eric graduated from South Caldwell High School and then Appalachian State University with a degree in marketing. Upon graduation, Church became engaged to a Spanish teacher in the town of Lenoir, North Carolina. The future bride’s father attempted to persuade Church into a corporate career, which he rejected as an aspiring musician (and later referenced in his song “What I Almost Was” from his debut album). She broke the engagement and he headed to Nashville with his father’s financial backing. His father also provided the opportunity to make contacts, and more importantly, time to focus on developing his songwriting ability.
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