Bobby Bones winning over country music fans, defying expectations

Bobby Bones, as seen in this "CBS This Morning" interview. CBS

Country music doesn't only create singing greats -- it can also turn disc jockeys into legends. Bobby Bones -- one of today's most popular announcers -- is winning over country fans, while defying expectations.

His show attracts some of the biggest stars in country music, but it's not your traditional country radio. So what is it about Bones that's different?

Lady Antebellum star Dave Haywood, said, "I think he's so funny. He's so quick-witted, too. He'll always say what you're thinking."

Fellow Lady Antebellum band member Charles Kelley added, "And he's polarizing. He's not for everybody. I mean I'm sure like if my mom was listening, she wouldn't get it and would hate it."

Haywood said, "But it's so fast. If you get it, it's really hilarious."

Less than a year after The Bobby Bones Show debuted on country radio, a lot of people are "getting it." Bones and his gang of friends -- literally they are his old friends he put on his show -- have skyrocketed from 15 markets to 50 across the nation. And in Nashville, the hometown of country music, Bones now has the No. 1 show. And, as he told CBS News' Jan Crawford, he doesn't even own a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, or a belt buckle.

When his company moved him from a Top 40 station in Austin to replace legendary country DJ Gerry House, there were skeptics.

Bones said, "It wasn't just one city that didn't like us it was a whole lot of cities that didn't like us. (They said) 'You're terrible. You're not country. You don't sound like a DJ'."

But with his quirky mix of intensely personal revelations and unscripted interviews with country stars, it's clear this is what people like.

Bones said, "Country music listeners really like genuineness and I hope that's what we portray, and I think that's what we do."

It also matches with what's happening today in country music. Some of the top stars are a lot like Bobby Bones. They don't look country, and they don't always sound it.

Just ask Darius Rucker -- you may know him from Hootie and the Blowfish. He knows a thing or two about crossing over from rock to country. Rucker said of Bones, "I think it shows how open country music is to everything. I wouldn't say he's anti-cowboy. I wouldn't say anti-old school. He's just so different than the old school."

The funny thing is, Bobby Bones is country, and his life is a lot like an old country song, with a lot of loss and struggle. Bones recalled, "I was a food-stamp welfare kid from Arkansas. My dad was never around. My mom had me when she was 15. My grandmother raised me and adopted me for a while."

His mother died recently in her early forties, complications from a lifetime of substance abuse. That's one reason he says he's never had a drink. Bones was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. Bones said, "You know it's that Arkansas stereotype we're talking about. That was me. But I think it really made me who I am."

Asked how, Bones said, "I think funny comes from tragedy and time. And I think that's where I get it. I'm able to take things that are serious and sad, and turn it into funny. In all honesty, this is after a lot of therapy, I think that you know I need love from something and so now I find it through performing."

Crawford added on "CBS This Morning," "Having listened to a lot of Bobby's shows, he's extremely talented. His company -- Clear Channel -- that moved him from pop to country really believes he has potential to be the next big national talent with crossover appeal into television. But when you talk with Bobby, he has this sense that nothing is permanent. He also said that's what really drives him and makes him keep pushing himself to the next thing."

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