THE V ’ UE
The values instilled in her back in Clinton didn ’ t just make her stand out though , they instead significantly helped to further her career in the music industry .
“ There ’ s a lot of competition and , really , so many people are so talented ,” Byam explains . “ It ’ s really egotistical to think that you can move to Nashville and , like , ‘ make it ’ off of your talent alone .” What she then brought to the table , as far as talent goes , was a bonus .
A very big bonus .
Byam ’ s vocal abilities are far too impressive to disregard as having played a part in the opportunities she found in Nashville . She ’ s especially proud of the gig she landed with Irlene Mandrell of The Mandrell Sisters at the Nashville Palace , as well as other entertainers she got to meet and work with .
Byam says , “ It ’ s actually easier to list who I didn ’ t meet .” Since the Nashville Palace and Ryman Auditorium are located so near to one another , oftentimes the entertainers of the Grand Ole Opry would finish their performances and find their way to the Nashville Palace to either hang out or put on yet another show that night .
Byam smiles recalling getting her motorcycle license during those years in Nashville and what a beautiful place it was to ride . She rode everywhere . Her mother wasn ’ t happy about the fact , but Byam wasn ’ t bothered by her disapproval and rebelled anyway . “ I ’ m 600 miles away ,” she thought at the time . “ You can ’ t stop me now !”
She missed her family , though .
“ I couldn ’ t come home sometimes for years at a time ,” she painfully recalls . When her mother learned she had cancer , the distance between Byam and her family became even harder to deal with . Her father ’ s heart attack , her grandfather reaching his 90s , and missing the birth of her sister ’ s baby were all events that further encouraged her to move back home .
“ And times started to change ,” she says . “ All of a sudden , like , the platforms for musicians and artists , with YouTube and Spotify and Apple iTunes and all that stuff ... It was like , I started realizing that it ’ s like , man , I don ’ t have to live in Nashville anymore in order to do music and be an entertainer . Like , I can , you know , be back home , be closer to my family and still promote my music .”
In 2015 , Byam proved it when her song “ Thank You For Leavin ’” was the No . 1 Independent Country Song . She admits to not making much of an effort to promote the song and credits the internet and all of its new platforms for its success . That same year was the year she moved back to Clinton .
Paul Johnson , manager at The V ’ ue , and Brooke Byam greet visitors as they enter The V ’ ue .
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Spring 2022 Clinton Magazine 13