Are You the Ultimate Vince Gill Fan?

ENTERTAINMENT

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Zoe Samuel

6 Min Quiz

Image: Richard Binckley via YouTube

About This Quiz

With a closet full of Grammy Awards and the ability to play a veritable orchestra of musical instruments, Vince Gill is a musician's musician—someone who made his bones before autotune and synthetic sounds could cover up a multitude of sins. Gill has released an amazing 18 studio albums, including periods where he was putting out one every year! 67 of his songs have made it onto the Billboard charts. Meanwhile, on top of his very successful solo career, he has played in a number of bands, starting in high school.

However, while some of the biggest country stars—from Johnny Cash to George Strait to Carrie Underwood—become household names even among those who have never heard a country song, Vince Gill is not quite in this category, even despite a couple of forays into pop music. He is, however, a giant of his genre. This means that while his career has had the occasional lull, he has a vast and extremely loyal fanbase on which to depend.

Of course, only the most dedicated fans really know Gill's career in detail, from the number one hits to which bands he joined and when, to how he first became a musician in the first place. Are you a true Vince Gill fan? Let's find out!

What is the first name of the country great Gill honored in his song "A World Without Haggard"?

Merle Haggard was more than a musical inspiration to Vince Gill. He was also a good friend who, in Gill's words, "Made me proud to be an Okie." He even taught Gill how to write a country song.

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In 1989, Gill went double platinum for what song?

This hit song was the title track from the album on which it was released, as the third single from the album. It only made it to number two on the Billboard chart, but it still went double platinum eventually.

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What is the name of Gill's first wife?

Gill and Oliver met during a stint in California and were married for 17 years in total. They had one daughter and divorced in 1997. Oliver continues to perform with her sister Kristine Arnold as the band Sweethearts of the Rodeo.

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Gill married his second wife, Amy Grant, in 2000. What is her profession?

Vince Gill and his first wife divorced in 1997. He met Amy Grant, herself a divorcee and mother of three. They married in 2000 and had a further daughter together, Corinna. Like Gill, Grant has also departed her usual genre to enjoy some success in pop music, though she is most noted for her contemporary Christian music.

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Gill signed a solo contract in 1983. What was the label?

RCA Records is probably most noted for its biggest artist, Elvis Presley. These days it is a subsidiary of Sony and has all sorts of artists on its books, including Britney Spears and Alicia Keys. Gill's deal with RCA helped to launch him as a solo artist.

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What type of voice does Gill have?

While many of the biggest country stars in history are noted for their deep and manly baritones, from Johnny Cash to Blake Shelton to plenty of performers in between, Vince Gill is a notable tenor. His higher range works with the gentler bluegrass and jazz sounds that he mixes into his music.

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Which future country star did Gill play with in a band named Boone Creek?

Ricky Skaggs played with Gill long before either of them ever knew they would become members of the Hall of Fame. Ricky Skaggs (and Patty Loveless) sang backgorund vocals on "Go Rest High On That Mountain," a single of Gill's released in 1995.

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In which state was Gill born?

Gill was born in the city of Norman, Oklahoma. He was comfortably middle-class, with a professional father, an uncommon background for a country singer. He was not expected to follow in his parents' footsteps, however, and carved his own path.

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Which of these musical sounds did Gill NOT include in his album "These Days"?

Gill's musical education was mostly highly informal, meaning that while he lacked the advantages of early instruction, he also wasn't pushed into a straitjacket. This meant that he embraced a variety of sounds, drawing on jazz, bluegrass, country, and more.

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In which album did Gill finally make a successful leap into the pop chart?

The two songs from this album that made the leap into the pop charts were, perhaps counter-intuitively, "What the Cowgirls Do" and "Whenever You Come Around." Gill was always noted as a versatile musician, but he had not enjoyed success outside of country prior to this release.

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Gill is mostly a solo artist. What was the name of the band in which he spent the late 1970s?

Pure Prairie League is named for a temperance league (an anti-alcohol society) from an Errol Flynn movie. The band has broken up and reformed multiple times, and Vince Gill was only with it for part of its history, starting in 1978.

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What instrument below does Vince Gill NOT play?

Gill's father insisted that he learn to play plenty of instruments when he was young. By the time he was 10, he played guitar to a professional standard, including both 4-string and 6-string varieties, and both acoustic and electric.

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In which year was Gill born?

Vince Gill had the advantage of coming of age when country greats like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams were playing. Inspirations Gill has remarked on in public include Guy Clark and Merle Haggard.

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What is the name of Gill's multi-platinum 1992 album?

"I Still Believe In You" debuted to huge success in 1992, just one year after "Pocket Full Of Gold" did likewise in 1991. Gill had some difficult years and less success later in the decade, but resumed his previous form after the year 2000.

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Which of these is NOT the name of a band in which Gill has played?

Vince Gill has played with a number of bands in his life, including Boone Creek with Rodney Crowell, as we noted previously. He also played in a bluegrass group named Mountain Smoke, and then another named Bluegrass Alliance. He was later in a third bluegrass group called Sundance.

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In 2000, Gill collaborated with a relative. Who was it?

Gill's first daughter Jenny performed vocals on the song "Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye." Jenny Gill is still a performing artist in her own right, whose debut EP was "The House Sessions," released in 2017.

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What is the name of the band Gill joined in the early 1980s?

The Cherry Bombs were a band founded by Rodney Crowell, a friend and colleague of Vince Gill. In 1981, Gill left Pure Prairie League to play with Crowell, which led directly to his first solo deal.

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Gill was a session guitarist with notable 1980s country stars. With which of the below did he NOT play?

Vince Gill has played with a number of country's biggest stars over the years, including the above plus others such as Patty Loveless. He even performed a duet of "I Will Always Love You" with Dolly Parton.

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What is the focus track on the new album in 2019?

Gill sings to a number of important people in his life on this album, including his wife, mother and two musical mentors, all of whom are specifically named. He also addresses thorny issues such as teenage pregnancy, as well as sexual abuse, all in just 12 songs!

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Who invited Gill to join them in the late 1980s?

Vince Gill said of the offer from Mark Knopfler to join Dire Straits that, "It would have solved all of my financial problems. I was struggling to pay the house note, and keep food on the table. It was a tough stretch." He turned it down, a decision he regretted until later that year when his own career turned around and he hit it big!

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With which notable band did Gill tour in 2017 and 2018?

The Eagles were founded by singer and songwriter Glenn Frey, who tragically died in 2016. Vince Gill was invited to step in and take Frey's spot when the band toured the following year, and played the role of lead vocalist.

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When Gill turned 10, his parents bought him a beautiful electric guitar. What was it?

To be precise, Vince Gill's first electric guitar was a ES-335 Gibson Electric. However, Gill's remarkable musical talent meant he picked up many more instruments, including banjo, bass, mandolin, fiddle and even the dobro!

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Gill recorded a duet with a surprising star in 1999. Who was she?

Streisand and Gill collaborated on "If You Ever Leave Me," which came out in 1999. It was part of Streisand's album "A Love Like Ours," and the single didn't perform particularly well. It only made it to number 62 in the Billboard chart, a poor result for both artists.

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How many Country Music Association Awards did Gill win in a row?

George Strait and Vince Gill share the honor of being the only male artists to take home this prize five times. However, Gill is the only one to do this five years in a row, from 1991-1995, a feat that doubtless eased the sting of his reduced commercial success in the latter part of those years.

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When was Gill inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame?

Vince Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007, though the country version is not the only hall of fame to which he belongs. He is an avid golf player and is a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame, largely due to sponsoring charitable games.

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As of 2019, how many Grammy Awards does Gill have?

Vince Gill's astonishing haul of Grammy Awards spans a 27-year period. His 21 wins for 44 nominations make him one of the most decorated artists in Grammy history, even including genres other than country.

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Vince Gill was formerly a member of The Cherry Bombs back in 1981. Do you know which adjective The Cherry Bombs added to their name when they reformed in 2004?

The Cherry Bombs originally came about when Rodney Crowell, formerly of Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, decided to go his own way and took several of his colleagues with him. In 2004 the Cherry Bombs reformed after some years apart, and added the "notorious" to their name, releasing an eponymous album.

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In what year did Gill enjoy his first No. 1 hit?

Gill had his first group number one with "Let Me Love You Tonight" when he was part of Pure Prairie League in 1980. However, he did not enjoy a solo number one for some years after that, with "I Still Believe In You", which was the title song on his sixth studio album.

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What is the name of Gill's first solo album?

The album "Turn Me Loose" took Gill's already burgeoning career to a new level. It earned him the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist Award. It included six songs, three of which were written entirely by Gill himself.

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Which Vince Gill song was performed in an early episode of "American Idol" in 2019?

Vince Gill's music has not been a huge feature of the very pop-oriented and mainstream "American Idol". However, contestant Tyler Mitchell made an impression on the judges with a cover of "Whenever You Come Around" in his audition.

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When did he win his first Grammy?

Gill didn't enjoy a number one hit until later, but he had great commercial success without it. He also achieved critical success with a variety of awards, including the 1990 Grammy for best country song for "When I Call Your Name."

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What terrible incident inspired Gill's moving song, "Forever Changed"?

In seventh grade, Vince Gill was sadly subject to an attempt at molestation by his gym teacher, whose depredations he managed to escape. In 2018 at the height of the #MeToo movement, he wrote "Forever Changed" to honor survivors and to direct scorn at the predators who harm them.

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Gill was lead guitarist for which major female country star?

Rosanne Cash is the daughter of Johnny Cash, and has played with a veritable "Who's Who" of country stars. Vince Gill is among the most notable, but others include Rodney Crowell, Tammy Wynette and Guy Clark. She has even played with Rufus Wainright and Bruce Springsteen!

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Gill's father encouraged his music career, but didn't have one of his own. What did he do?

While the stereotypical country star grows up in terrible poverty, Vince Gill enjoyed a more comfortable situation. His father, J. Stanley Gill, played part-time in a country band as a way of relaxing, however, which served as an introduction to music. He even encouraged his son to take the risk and turn professional.

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What is the name of Gill's 2019 album?

"Okie" is an album in which Gill has been able to incorporate experiences from many decades as a professional songwriter, as well as a twice-married father of two. He pays moving tribute to his wife's inspiring faith, as well as to mentors whose input he appreciates all the more now that they are gone.

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