Reba: My Story

Reba McEntire with Tom Carter

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Her songs—honest, plainspoken stories of women’s lives today—have struck such a deep chord in her fans that she has become the top-selling female country recording artist of the decade. Now with that same straightforward honesty, Reba McEntire tells the phenomenal story of one woman… Reba: My Story.

From her childhood in Oklahoma working cattle with her ranching family to her days on the rodeo competition circuit, from her early days as a performer in honky-tonks to her many awards and a sold-out appearance at Carnegie Hall, Reba relates her experiences with heartfelt emotion and down-to-earth humor. With the same warmth and generous spirit that infuses her music, she introduces us to the most important people in her life: the family and friends who sustain her and the musicians and producers who have inspired her and helped her realize her artistic vision. With great poignancy, she also recounts the lowest points in her life, the breakup of her first marriage and the plane crash that took the lives of eight of her band members; and the highest, her remarriage and the birth of her son Shelby. Her story is not only a chronicle of a remarkable life but a vivid testament of unshakable determination and faith in god.—This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Reba: My Story

Chapter One Excerpt

My Daddy, Clark Vincent McEntire, is a former three-time world-champion tie-down steer roper. He began roping when he was a small boy and entered his first amateur roping contest when he was twelve, in 1939. It happened almost by accident, when Eddie Curtis, Daddy’s friend, asked him, “Are you going to rope?”

“Don’t guess,” Daddy said.

“You are now,” Eddie said, after pitching down three dollars for an entry fee.

“I don’t have a horse,” Daddy said.

“You can ride mine,” said Dick Truitt, a former World’s Champion steer roper and friend of the family.

Daddy wondered what in the world he would have done if he had caught the calf. They were great big calves (350 pounds).

Daddy turned professional when he won the Pendleton Round-Up All-Around Cowboy roping contest at seven, and by 1949 he was the fifth-highest-paid steer roper in the Rodeo Cowboy Association. That year he won $1,222. In 1957,the biggest year he ever had, he earned $5,184.

I once asked him if winning the championship was as good as getting there. He said, “No, the fun to me was seeing if I could beat ‘em and win the money. After I won, it was like, ‘So what?’”

I’m a lot like my Daddy.

Chapter Two Excerpt

The best thing that ever happened to my Daddy was my Mama! They had known each other since they were young. Daddy remembers the first time he saw Mama, because he associates her with a yearling her Daddy was hauling to Oklahoma City. “I thought she was a great big ole kid,” he jokes, “four or five years older than me.”

Mama, in fact, is older by only one year and twenty-four days.

Mama can’t recall when she first saw Daddy. “He was just a little fat kid who was always around,” she says. But she does remember one day in the ninth grade, when he came to school in khaki britches and a khaki shirt. Then three weeks into the term, Daddy disappeared, he had quit school forever. I think he got intimidated by high school because he had been sick in first grade and missed learning how to read. But what he lacks in reading, he makes up for with a natural gift for figures, although Daddy would say that he got his education in the roping pen.

Somehow, they got together, but they’ve forgotten their first date. “We didn’t date much back then,” Mama says. “There was a little country church about a mile and a half from my house. The girls walked and the boys mostly had horses. And the boys would ride up to the girls and get off their horses and walk beside them. If the girl didn’t jerk away, well, that was a date.”

Eventually they started going to church services or to picture shows together. Mama couldn’t get enough of Clark Gable, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Stanwyck, and those other movie stars of the 1940’s. “And I hated picture shows,” Daddy says. “I had to sit through them just to see her.”

To see Daddy, Mama had to ride her horse for one and a half miles to the state highway where she would tie the horse to a tree and loosen the girth, then flag down the greyhound bus to Atoka for the movie. When the show ended, she would retrace her tracks and retrieve her horse from the tree.

They sure must have liked each other.

Still, their courtship lasted five or six years, depending on which parent you ask. After a while, Mama was looking for a marriage proposal, but Daddy stayed silent on the subject. “It’s hard to take on a wife when you didn’t have anything but a lariat rope and a horse and gone off rodeoing all the time,” Daddy explains.

Finally, Mama’s determination beat out her patience and she took matters into her own hands: “I asked him,” she says.

They married on March 17, 1950, when he was twenty-two and she was twenty-three. Daddy’s brother-in-law had married four or five years before and had suggested they use the same preacher, saying, “He’ll charge you, oh, two or three dollars to marry you,” Daddy recalls. Well, Daddy brought a twenty dollar bill, his entire net worth, and gave it to the preacher, expecting change. The minister merely said, “Thank you.” Daddy never had much use for preachers after that.

Mama bought her own wedding ring for twenty-seven dollars after making a three-dollar down payment. Daddy put it on her finger, and for forty-four years, it has never been removed.

Comfort From A Country Quilt

Reba McEntire

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Whether you read it for instant warmth or lasting inspiration, Comfort From a Country Quilt is a book that will touch your life and make your spirits soar like the sweet high notes of a Reba McEntire song.

In a dazzling career that spans more than two decades, Reba McEntire has established herself as one of the hardest-working and most successful entertainers of our time. She is a country music superstar who has sold more than 40 million records, one of the highest-grossing concert performers of the decade, and a trailblazing businesswoman who established her own multimedia entertainment corporation.

Yet Reba has still managed to become one of the rare celebrities who is also beloved by her millions of fans for the way she lives her life, for successfully balancing the demands of career and family, for competing in show business without sacrificing her values, and for managing to “keep in country” while keeping up with the times. She has done so, in a large part, by drawing wisdom and strength from the precious traditions of her country past, finding inspiring new relevance in old-fashioned values.

Now, in a deeply personal, “back-porch conversation” of a book, Reba shares a generous helping of her life experiences. “I hope some of the things I’ve gone through can make it just a little easier for the next person, because life is supposed to be about making the path a little gentler for the people traveling behind you.”

Comfort From A Country Quilt

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Reba writes about the roles a modern country woman tries to fulfill, roles as many and varied as the fabric pieces of an heirloom quilt. Facing the challenges of being a wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, sister, performer, executive, community member, and Christian, Reba shows how she has coped by carrying forward lessons and a guiding spirit from her roots as a ranch girl growing up in Chockie, Oklahoma, as well as from the powerful heritage of classic country music. Rather than proving quaint and stale, Reba demonstrates again and again the ways that you can make traditional values remain fresh and vital in your search for a fulfilling life today.

Comfort From a Country Quilt is a book of wisdom and encouragement and a celebration of what is true and lasting in our lives, a gift for yourself and for those you love to cherish.

Chapter 1

Have you ever made a quilt? I have. It’s one of the most therapeutic and calming things I’ve ever done. And I had a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished.

Both of my Grandmothers made quilts, my Mama did, and my Aunt Jeannie did. I loved to open that big box at Christmas time knowing it was a quilt that one of them had made. I was so flattered that after all the time and energy they had spent on that quilt, they gave it to me. I’ll cherish it always.

Back when I was living at home, I remember during the winter months, Mama would sit up at her sewing machine in the living room over by the window. At night when we’d all be in there watching TV after supper, Mama would be over at her sewing machine, making another quilt from the scraps left over from a dress or blouse she had made earlier.

Then when she had all the squares sewn together, she’d lay the batting on the living room floor, lay the quilted piece on top of that and then start tacking it down. When that was completed, she’d sew the border around it. Then it was finished. It was just a question of who would be the proud recipient of so many hours of love.

I feel very blessed to have received one of Mama’s quilts. I sleep under it every night I’m home. It doesn’t match the fancy comforter we bought in Los Angeles, but it feels better than anything you can imagine. Just because I know my Mama made it just for me.

When Daddy’s Mother died in 1950 one year before Alice was born, Mama got the trunk with all of Grandma’s quilts, china, crystal, silverware and nick-nacks that she had collected during her lifetime. Along with all of that, there were a few quilt pieces that she had started but never finished. Susie wound up with them, meaning to finish them out and keep them for herself.

But as only Susie would do, she cut the makings of the quilt into four squares, had them quilted, put a picture of Grandma McEntire and a description of the quilt together and had it framed for Alice’s, Pake’s and my Christmas present.

That’s how thoughtful Susie is. She could have kept the quilt for herself, but instead, she shared something so special that had belonged to a woman none of us had ever met, with her brother and sisters. That’s part of Susie’s charm.

That’s also the charm of a quilt. Like a Mother, it wraps its arms around you so soft, so sturdy and so comforting. It brings people together when they sew on a quilt. Can’t you just imagine the visiting, the stories and the fellowship that has gone on during the making of all the quilts in the past? And can’t you imagine all the children who have been tucked securely in their beds night after night?

That’s what you call “Comfort From A Country Quilt.” I hope this book is as comforting to you as my Mama’s quilt was to me. Because in this book, I have pieced together all my favorite stories about wonderful people I’ve known and great places I’ve been in my life.

So grab a quilt, wrap up, get comfortable and enjoy.

Chapter 2

Proud to Be a Modern Country Woman

When Loretta Lynn first sang “I’m proud to be a coal miner’s daughter,” she created one of the simplest, boldest, most memorable statements anybody has ever made in any kind of music. It’s very important for everyone to be proud of his or her heritage. There’s no question how Loretta feels about her heritage.

And there’s no question how I feel about mine!

I’m not only proud of my McEntire family heritage and all the things the members of that family have accomplished, I have the utmost respect for the backgrounds of all people. It is my happy experience that country music fans are an absolute melting pot of the American people. We come from all over geographically and from all walks of life.

But I do have a soft spot in my heart for those of us who grew up far from any decent-sized cities, or even any bustling suburbs, the ones who grew up in the “country.”

No matter what our backgrounds are, we’re all living in a modern world and trying our best to cope with its challenges. Somehow facing all the stress and change that our lives consist of these days is easier for those of who can still draw guidance, experience, and strength from our heritage.

Countless times in each day, I find myself drawing from some family experience, or some bit of wisdom I’ve learned along the way, to help me confront the twenty-first century crises in my hectic personal and professional life. We all know by now that we can’t have it all in life, but I’m convinced I would have a whole lot less if I went through my days without the bounty I carry forward from my heritage.

So here’s to the modern country woman:

She graduated college but finds her country wisdom gets her through more often than her degree.

She can take meetings on the front line all day long but longs for an all-day hike in the backwoods.

She knows the difference between bluepoint oysters and mountain oysters.

She can enjoy herself on Broadway or at the speedway.

She is as comfortable helping her little one explore a spider’s web as she is helping him surf the World Wide Web.

She can kick back at the country fair, then kick off her shoes and read Vanity Fair.

She could have an exciting afternoon at either the rodeo or on Rodeo Drive.

Whether you’re a modern country woman or just a modern woman, women have a lot in common. We’re versatile, strong, affectionate, opinionated, lovable, and very proud of where we’ve come from. Aren’t we the lucky ones!

Album & Single

Love Somebody

Current Album

Love Somebody


Current Single

Going Out Like That


The new album LOVE SOMEBODY comes out April 14!

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Dates & Events

Television - 50th ACM Awards

April 19, 2015 - 8:00 PM, ET

Television - "REBA" - airs on ABC Family & CMT. Check Your Local Listings.

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