The life of Ed Bruce has taken many a good twist and turn, from being signed to
Sun Records in 1957 while still in high school to writing one of the most memorable
songs in country music history, "Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."
But the soft-spoken, deep-voiced singer, songwriter and actor whose multi-media
career has spanned five decades doesn't take a bit of credit for such a blessed life.
"I came to the conclusion that all the good things that have happened to me in life
are not necessarily my fault," Bruce said with a laugh. "God has blessed me."
Bruce, who headlines WTCR's Highway 23 Jamboree Saturday night at the Paramount
Arts Center with Daryle Singletary, said he came to that conclusion about four
years ago when the Lord spoke to him while he was out on his tractor on his Hickman
County, Tenn. Farm, where he raises Tennessee Walking Horses and English Setters.
Like Saul on the road to Damascus, Bruce got some life-changing "orders from
headquarters" to make a U-turn toward God.
Bruce said the feeling was so powerful it caused him to go straight to the house
and pour out his soul in song.
The tough, chiseled Western actor who co-starred in everything from "Bret Maverick"
with James Garner to "The Return of Frank and Jesse James" hasn't been the same
"It was just that moment of conviction that day out on a Massey-Ferguson tractor
when the Lord slapped me upside the head," Bruce said.
His newfound faith is being strengthened with a Bible study that also includes
guitarist Jerry Reed, and is about to come pouring out in a new all-original,
all-gospel album that he will start recording March 8 at County Q studios in
Although folks had been asking the award-winning songwriter to cut a gospel
album for years, he said he didn't feel right in his heart to do so until he "made
For the project, Bruce has been writing over the past few years with writers such
as John Thompson, who co-wrote the Amy Grant hit "El Shaddai," as well as Bruce's
longtime co-writer Ron Peterson.
The tentative title is "Changed," a song that Peterson and Bruce wrote.
Bruce said he hopes to share at least one of his new songs at the Jamboree, though
he knows folks will want a good, long drink of his string of cowboy country such
as "My First Taste of Texas," "When You Fall In Love Everything's a Waltz," "The
Last Cowboy Song" and "After All."
"I'll get it cut and then we'll make some decisions about what to do at that
point," Bruce said. "There's a lot involved in getting an album out, and I'm not
going to rush anything. It's been over sixty years now, so what's another couple
three weeks? It's all going to happen in His time.