After growing up with a very famous father, Rachel Bradshaw is now making a name for herself in the world of country music.
Bradshaw’s father, Terry, played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 14 seasons, won four Super Bowls and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. He is now a co-host of “Fox NFL Sunday” and has dabbled in acting and country music, releasing five albums between 1976 and 1996. He even hit No. 17 on the Billboard Country chart in 1976 with a version of Hank Williams Sr.’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Bradshaw herself has been working toward a career in country music since moving to Nashville in 2006 to attend Belmont University. Her first taste of success was as a songwriter, co-writing the Top 5 hit “What Do You Want” with Jerrod Niemann. She also appeared in the video as the former girlfriend referenced in the song.
As part of her first-ever tour, she will open for Josh Turner on Sunday in the new Keystone Grand Ballroom at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
“These are the first touring dates I have ever had,” she said. “The minute my record got done, we started putting together some dates, and I am so excited to be doing a few with Josh Turner.”
Bradshaw is the first female solo artist signed to Bigger Picture Group, a label known for its affiliation with Zac Brown Band and artists such as Craig Campbell and Chris Janson. Her debut album was completed in October 2013 and is scheduled for release in December of this year.
“I wanted to be there for everything, from picking out the band to picking out the songs,” Bradshaw said. “It took about a year to do, and it is a very old-school, hand-crafted album.”
“Shoes,” the first single and one of only two songs of the album’s 13 Bradshaw didn’t write or co-write, will be released to radio on April 16.
“It’s such a great song, and it’s not about what you think it is about,” she said. “When I heard it, I just fell in love with it and had to do it.”
Bradshaw said she has wanted to be a singer since she was 9 years old. “Almost to the point of being annoying,” she joked. “I just loved singing so much, and it’s all I wanted to do. Then when I moved to Nashville, I fell in love with the whole process of songwriting. I started getting some cuts, and that made me want to cut the tunes myself even more.”
She said she has an eclectic, wide-ranging host of influences, everyone from Patsy Cline and George Strait to U2 and Bob Marley.
Some of her earliest memories are of singing Cline’s “Crazy” (written by Willie Nelson and revived by Bradshaw’s childhood hero LeAnn Rimes) with her father.
“That was the only song I knew all the words to, and that became our song,” she said. “We still sing it together all the time.”
She said her father gave her some great advice when she told him she wanted to become a singer.
“He told me to never forget where I came from, never get a big head and always treat people with respect, and if I suffer any setbacks to just get over it.
“And if I ever got to make an album, to make it with every passionate bone in (my) body.”