Lee Greenwood cut his musician's and performer's teeth working the dark, smoky lounges of Las Vegas. For nearly two decades he played in commercial bands at night, mostly on weekends, while spending the rest of the week as a blackjack dealer in the casinos.
In the early '60s, Greenwood was a teenager living on the east coast when he was asked to be in a band that eventually became the Rascals. He opted to go west instead, and take advantage of the booming Vegas club scene.
What initially appeared to be a great steady income eventually framed him into a one-note. After spending years honing his songwriting and vocals, Greenwood had to spend most of time playing standards and covers to patrons who weren't that interested in what he was doing. He supplemented his income doing commercial jingles and landed gigs writing and recording these jingles for McDonalds and Coors.
Eventually, one of his demos made it to the A&R crowd in Nashville. Impressed with his songwriting talent, they encourage Greenwood to move to Nashville and become a professional writer. He did just that, and wrote a few hits for other country stars like Kenny Rogers. Soon after, he found himself recording his first album.
Greenwood would continue to be a force in Country music through the early 1990s. By the time the contemporary country music scene kicked in with acts like Shania Twain and Keith Urban, Greenwood had become mostly a country music oldies act, doing mostly state fairs and casinos.