Arts & Entertainment, Music

Reba's Journey

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 09:08 min

From Oklahoma ranch girl to Country Music Hall of Fame member, Reba discusses her journey in the music business, and how she has achieved everything she has.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Reba's journey in the music business


Country music has been in the McEntire family as long as I can remember. Music was a big part. Daddy was rodeoing us four kids in the car. We didn't have radio. Mama taught us how to sing. So I fell in love with country music early, early on. I can't tell you how old I was. It was just always there. I think Mama knew at a very early age all of us kids had a talent for singing, had the ability to sing. I wasn't singled out as the only singer. Pake was a really good singer, my older brother. And Susie, my little sister. Alice was more into rodeoing, and she was, as Daddy called her, his very best hired hand. She was the gal that could get it done. So I don't think it's when the family knew I could sing. It was just like, yup, she likes to sing. There she goes. I'd have to say my musical influences would be, of course, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell. And because I was a part of the singing McEntire, Pake, my older brother, my little sister, Susie, and I would sing. We listen to a lot of Merle Haggard. A lot of it. I think I know every Merle Haggard song there known to man. Susie and I would sing harmony with Pake on those songs. Early on, when I would sing a song-- I didn't have songs of my own-- it would be songs that Loretta sang or Dolly sang. And one time Mama heard me singing it, and she said, Reba, there's only one Loretta and one Dolly. You can't-- because I would try to sing just like Loretta, and I would try to sing just like Dolly, their inflections and everything. And Mama said, you can't do that. You've got to be Reba. So that was one of the greatest things Mama ever said to me about my education in music and in the business. I met Red Steagall on a 1974-- it's a national finals rodeo-- when I was singing the national anthem. It was my first year to sing there. I did it for 10 years. And he was just walking around and Ken Lance of Ken Lance Sports Arena at Oklahoma stopped me because we performed there an awful lot. He stopped me, said, Reba, I want you to meet an old Texen friend of mine. And I looked up, and there's Red Steagall. And I said, very nice to meet you, Red. I knew about his music. He was the king of western swing. And so I said, I gotta go. I gotta go sing the national anthem. So after the rodeo, we went to the Hilton. And everybody was gathered there, all the cowboys, and Red was playing his guitar and singing. And so I sang a song or two, and Pake and Susie sang. And Mama asked him later on if there was any way that he could get Pake and Susie and myself in the music business. Get us to Nashville and get us a recording contract. And he said Jackie, I'm telling you. I'm just really fighting to stay with my head above the water for myself. He said, if anything comes up, I'll sure get a hold of you. ...

About the Instructor

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Reba McEntire

Reba teaches her approach to making great country music and navigating the business in 21 video lessons.

Explore the Class
Sign Up