In September of 2003, 94.3 became a Country station here in the Hudson Valley and while we would go from Kicks 94.3 to 94.3 The Wolf and then to 94.3/97.3 The Wolf, it was the beginning of Hudson Valley Country.

While we are celebrating all year long, I thought it might be fun to look back and see where CJ, Jess, Paty and myself were in 2003 and as we get ready to head to this year’s Taste of Country Music Festival, what this year’s headliners were doing that year.

For myself, I was thrilled to be back in country music after having started my career on a country station (WZPR) in Meadville from 1989 to 1994, and in 2003 my husband and I were about to buy our first home. Paty Quyn was working at WRWD and had also just purchased a home. CJ was successful in the Hudson Valley radio scene as he was working at KISS. Jess hadn’t yet entered the world of Hudson Valley radio as she was in middle school. Go ahead, ask if the rest of us feel old!

Turning towards the TOCFestival this weekend, where were Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, and Sam Hunt in 2003?

Taste of Country Music Festival
Taste of Country Music Festival

Well, according to Wikipedia, Eric Church had been writing songs for a few years already, playing gigs in local bars and was either living in Nashville or about to be. In 2003, he was only two years away from signing with Capitol Nashville and on his way. He would have his first three Top 20 hits in 2006.

The guys in Florida Georgia Line hadn’t met yet in 2003, Tyler and Brian would meet in 2007 at Belmont University in Nashville. Both had been active in music from a young age as well as active in the church. Brian was a senior in high school in 2003, graduating in 2004 from Seabreeze High School and was being scouted by baseball pros. Tyler graduated from Loganville Christian Academy in 2005.

What about Sam Hunt? He was a high school senior in 2002 and was pursuing a career in professional sports and was named a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee. In fact, in 2003 he was a quarterback at Middle Tennessee State University. He’s got an impressive list of stats and apparently during this time he taught himself how to play the guitar. It was just to kill time, he never thought it would be a career for him.

Where were you in 2003? Let us know, it's always fun to read about everyone's story and how they got to where they are today.

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