Nashville power couple Linda Davis and Lang Scott have excelled in country and Christian music. As parents of Rylee Jean and Lady A’s frontwoman Hillary Scott, their story is inspiring as is their love for life and learning. This podcast shares how they met, married, balanced careers, and managed a family. Learn how a talent series win and work with Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers propelled them; their advice on the music business and their desire to leave a legacy are compelling.
What advice would you give to others who are moving to Nashville and trying to hit it big?
Linda: I suggest they come when they’re young without anybody else to be responsible for. If you can come before you’re married, come before you have kids, I believe your chances of staying and toughing it out and waiting for that opportunity is going to be a little bit easier … What about you, Lang? Do you agree?
Lang: I do, and it’s just like you become conflicted quickly as Linda said when you’re hearing, ‘Okay. I’m trying to really become a successful,’ whatever, insert whatever vocation you want in there, but as far as an entertainer goes, you give up a lot of family time to go and pursue that because you want somebody, in Linda’s case, she was signed to three different major labels through her career, and it requires a lot of time. Radio tours and the touring aspect after the fact is something that’s a little more controllable, but at first, you’re just completely at their mercy because you want a break. That was really the most trying time of our marriage and we had already been married for a few years.
Lang shares about the balance they had to find while raising their first daughter, Hillary, while Linda was on the road. In the interview, the couple expands on homeschooling and the role Lang’s parents played. Linda goes on to explain how the birth of their second daughter Rylee Jean, fourteen years later, was almost like ‘having two only children…each child has a different perspective of being raised in our home and where our careers were.’
The love and respect they have for one another also include subtle notes about balancing life, marriage, and their children. They expand on relationships and how many flourished to open doors for them personally and professionally as well as for their children. During the interview the couple shares names of some interesting behind-the-scenes folks — as well as celebrities — who have helped shape their lives and their family. They emphasize how some casual conversations and befriending folks (certainly along with their talents) lead them to much greater opportunities.
They herald the talents of both Hillary and Rylee Jean, sharing stories about them including a Christmas at Opryland Hotel show emphasizing how the girls are on very different and heart-led career paths…They touch on artist management and how “mom-angers” really are not a good long-term business decision.
Are there things that you two are learning now from your daughters and granddaughters?
Linda: We made a record as a family several years ago, Ricky Skaggs produced it – “Hillary Scott and the Scott Family– an inspirational record. When we were in the studio …. she [Hillary] was driving that train, really. We were all equally throwing our two cents in and making adjustments here and there … Lang and I just were in awe of her instincts and her suggestions…
I think Rylee Jean was able to observe that with her sister. It was just good. Rylee taught us things. I mean, she’s got in the present day of what’s going on in the world. I’m a throwback, and I’m happy to be a throwback on in some areas, but our girls, are living in the current, the social media stuff and we learn a lot from them, but what we hope we can still teach them is, “Okay, all that’s fine, but you got to keep your feet on the ground and Jesus has to be running the show for you or you’re going to get lost in the weeds. So just keep priorities in place and I think you will be better for it.”
Lang expands on his desire to tame his Type A personality offering some funny insight including what he tells people about keeping his life all “effed up.” Listen to the podcast to learn about the meaning of that phrase. It’s priceless.
During COVID, you began doing porch concerts from your house to counter the isolation and the devastating times. What did that do for you and how did it come about?
Linda: Well, the eight of us hunkered down together. That’s Hillary and her husband Chris, our son-in-law — who is an amazing, wonderful man, the three kids — so that’s five… [along with] me, Lang, and Rylee Jean, so the eight of us. We were in Florida where Hillary and Chris had a home. I feel like Hillary and Chris did a beautiful job of isolating the children from ever knowing that there was something a little scary going on in the world and a lot of unanswered questions and unknowns… it was an awful time for a lot of people in the country and in the world … but we had a beautiful family time because we thankfully were healthy.
It was a time that I can’t even begin to put a price on. But obviously, like Lang and Linda, if there’s going to be very much time, there’s going to be a song, there’s going to be some music, good times, bad times, happy and sad. So, I took the piano. Lang had a guitar. I’m sure Chris had one down there if I’m not mistaken, but I mean, we just knew when we left Nashville, that this might be a minute. I don’t know how long this is going to be. So, let’s take the basic things that we need to survive besides each other — and our guitar and our piano were part of the toolkit, right?
Lang: …. We did it for ourselves, but we also did it because any sense of normalcy that you could impart on somebody to just say, ‘Hey, life is still vibrant here. Yeah, there’s some uncertainty to this, but we refuse to operate and proceed through that with any sense of fear,’ and we just wanted to share a family unit and put that out there. We’ve never done a lot of live streams, but we did that just to bring a sense of music, happiness, joy, and hope, and let that spread out over the interweb.
Throughout the podcast, the couple is candid in their responses and with one another. Many times they almost serve as life coaches to provide a sense of calm in a world that sometimes can be seen as cold and cruel. Their joy in offering real-world examples with celebrity appeal is sprinkled with some Southern charm to offer an intriguing look into the lives behind the music industry that is rare and insightful.