Jack White and the Raconteurs were nominated for a “Musical Event of the Year” Country Music Award recently for their filmed collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe at a Nashville recording studio. The reason this somewhat random group of musicians got together has always been a bit of a mystery (everything seems to be with Jack), but in a Q&A with 9513, Monroe has provided a few details about her first encounter with White and his band.
Long before Taylor Swift sold a gazillion records and Kanye West made her blush on MTV, helping her to sell another gazillion records, she was still somewhat under the radar, save for the country radio crowd. Well, she was with Ashley Monroe when they spotted White getting off his airplane and here’s how it went down, according to Monroe:
She says, “Hi I’m Taylor Swift.” Everyone recognizes her everywhere, you know. And he’s like, “Taylor…?” He wasn’t familiar with her. And then, I’m like, [sheepishly whispering] “Hi I’m Ashley Monroe.” He looked up and said, “Ashley Monroe the singer?” I thought he was making fun of my name, because it almost sounds like a stage name. It sounds a little fake. I said, “Yeah, I’m Ashley Monroe the singer.” And he says, “No really, did I hear you on the Opry?” And he named the song I sang. He says, “I was listening to the Opry the other day. Oh my gosh, I’ve just been raving about you.”
Years later, after Monroe had been kicking herself for not setting up a collaboration, Jack emailed her out of the blue to set up their CMA-nominated “event.”
I enjoy this story, but I do regret feeding the celeb news beast a “Jack White disses Taylor Swift?!” headline. Besides, Swift still wants to work with him and Jack definitely knows who she is by now.