The Battle of Troy

What's a 6-ft. 5-in. black man doing in country music? Shaking it to its roots

As a singer and songwriter, John Rich is a unique talent. But as a rogue, huckster and progressive, he is extraordinary. It was Rich who helped create the Muzik Mafia, a loose collective of musical outcasts deemed too rock, too rough or just too weird by the famously conservative executives on Nashville's Music Row. It was Rich, along with partner Big Kenny Alphin, who came up with the Mafia acronym (Musically Artistic Friends in Alliance) and slogan ("Music without prejudice") and showed the group members how to turn their individuality into hits, co-writing Gretchen Wilson's underclass anthem Redneck Woman and the winningly lewd...

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