We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County Alabama Became Rick and Bubba

( 23 )


If you’ve ever started your day with Rick and Bubba, you know the unmistakable drawl of those two crazy Alabama boys. What you may not know is that they almost weren’t “Rick and Bubba.”

From their glory days of homemade “radio stations,” youthful athletic ambition, and redneck Shakespearean monologues, Rick and Bubba spent decades working out the personalities you hear today on their syndicated morning talk show. Born in a little studio behind a skating rink, The Rick and Bubba ...

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We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick and Bubba

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If you’ve ever started your day with Rick and Bubba, you know the unmistakable drawl of those two crazy Alabama boys. What you may not know is that they almost weren’t “Rick and Bubba.”

From their glory days of homemade “radio stations,” youthful athletic ambition, and redneck Shakespearean monologues, Rick and Bubba spent decades working out the personalities you hear today on their syndicated morning talk show. Born in a little studio behind a skating rink, The Rick and Bubba Show filled the airwaves with a voice never before heard on morning radio.

We Be Big follows the winding road that led Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey onto the right path after years of missing the off-ramp. Find out how what started as a comedy routine evolved into a genuine conversation that more than 3.5 million people listen in on each week; and learn all the stories behind Rick and Bubba’s famous on-air hijinks, times of uncertainty, and unwavering faith in the face of tragedy.

Meet the two “sexiest fat men alive,” and experience the hilarity and heartbreak of their unforgettable story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401604004
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,140,991
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Burgess is co-host of the nationally syndicated “Rick and Bubba Show" and the co-author of two New York Times best-selling books, Rick and Bubba's Expert Guide to God, Country, Family, and Anything Else We Can Think Ofand The Rick and Bubba Code.

Bill "Bubba" Bussey is co-host of the nationally syndicated "Rick and Bubba Show" and co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Rick and Bubba's Expert Guide to God, Country, Family, and Anything Else We Can Think Of and The Rick and Bubba Code.

Don Keith is a 25-year broadcast veteran, a career that included earning a number of awards as a broadcast journalist and media personality. He has published 15 books, including the national best seller, Final Bearing.

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Table of Contents


1. The Light Goes On....................1
2. Radio in a Jug....................13
3. Too Good for Division II....................29
4. Grit and Wisdom....................43
5. "Hello, You're on the Air!"....................51
6. A Dark-Cloud Day....................59
7. "If You Had Come to Work for Us ..."....................73
8. Shakespeare's Worst Nightmare....................81
9. Fat Chat....................89
10. "We're Test-Driving You!"....................109
11. "... Think of Us!"....................115
12. Van Man, Errand Boy, and the Crazy Sign Man....................129
13. God Is Great....................143
14. The Eye That Does Not Blink....................161
15. The Broadcast Plaza and Teleport....................171
16. "Hey, You're Broadcasting!"....................181
17. Satan's Miscalculation....................189
18. God's Megaphone....................197
19. Jesus, Take the Wheel....................205
20. Who We Are....................211
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First Chapter

We Be Big

The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick and Bubba
By Rick Burgess Bill "Bubba" Bussey Don Keith

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-0400-4

Chapter One

The Light Goes On The alarm clock goes off at 4:30 a.m. at the Burgess house. I—Rick—hit the snooze. The alarm is a Bose clock radio because Paul Harvey, one of the greatest radio personalities of all time, said Bose was the best there was. Like most right-thinking Americans, I believe everything Paul Harvey said. I almost always sleep through one snooze cycle, and then I finally, reluctantly, crawl out of bed at 4:40. That is not because I am lazy or lack a strong work ethic. The reasoning is that my rest is far more important than being early for work. The way I look at it, there is no point in my getting to the studio early if I am too tired to perform at a peak level when I do get there. So long as I'm at work at six o'clock with my finger on the trigger, the opening music for the Rick and Bubba Show ready to fire off, then all is good. At least, that's what I tell folks. Truth is, even though I've been getting up early to do a radio show for a long, long time now, I am not what someone might call "a morning person." The fact is that I maintain I earn every penny they pay me just for getting both feet on the floor every morning before the sun comes up. Everything else they get out of me after that—the show, books, public speaking—is gravy. Remember, though, gravy is very important to me. I love what I do for a living. It was my dream from before I can remember. I just wish I could do it at two in the afternoon, when the sun is warm and the roosters have hushed. There are plenty of mornings when, if I could reach my deer rifle, I would probably bag me a 12-point Bose alarm clock radio!

* * *

When we were growing up, my sister, brother, and I never had a doubt that our parents loved us unconditionally. They didn't have to tell us a bunch of times a day just to make sure we got the message. They showed unconditional love in everything they did, and that couldn't have been easy at times. Not when you consider some of the episodes I required them to look past.

My mom, Geynell, was a typical stay-at-home mother, first to us two boys—my younger brother, Greg, and me—and much later to our sister, Angey, who came along a decade after I did. And when I think of what we put Mom through and how she handled it all, I know she will be at the front of the line for sainthood. My dad, Bill, was a football coach. People have an image of what it must have been like growing up with a hard-driving, character-building, sell-out-for-the-team coach for a parent. But you know, hard-nosed and demanding as he was on the practice field, he was no Great Santini–type when he came home to his family at night. Bless him, he kept his job as a gungho football coach and being a father completely separate.

That even worked out the same way when I later played football for him. I was not Coach Burgess's son when I was out there on the practice field. I was just another player and had it no tougher or easier than anybody else on the team. We were all equally miserable.

And Dad and I rarely talked over the dinner table about that day's practice or the previous night's game. What happened on the field or in the locker room stayed there, not all mixed up with a platter of biscuits and a dish of fried pork chops. That couldn't have been easy for him! I bet there were plenty of times he wanted to fuss about me getting myself blocked out of a key play or missing a tackle or dogging it on the end-of-practice wind sprints, but he simply buttered a biscuit and talked about something else.

When I was born, Dad was working as an assistant football coach at Banks High School in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a key member of the staff. His Jets regularly made it to the top of the city high school standings. Coach White later went on to work for Paul "Bear" Bryant at the University of Alabama, and Dad moved up to take over the Colonels.

Dad made very little money, but he worked hard, doing something he loved to do, and that fact did not escape me, even at a young age. He taught class all day and coached football after school—usually until it got too dark to see the ball—and then coached games at night and watched film on weekends. He certainly taught me the value of doing for a living what you are passionate about, even if there are not necessarily many financial rewards attached to that package.

Dad got his first big break in 1971 when Oxford High School in East Alabama noticed the success he was having over there in the big city and gave him a call. They wanted to see if he was interested in making a move to Oxford, a small town very similar to Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show, about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta. The area was growing, the school was getting bigger, and the administration and parents decided they wanted to build up their athletic program to be more competitive. They made Dad the handsome offer of fourteen thousand dollars a year (which would be a sizable raise), and that was attractive enough to get his attention. But then they also offered him the position of athletic director. As both head football coach and AD, he would no longer be required to teach classes. He couldn't turn that down, even if it meant uprooting and moving his family halfway across the state, leaving a big town and going to a much smaller one, and, in effect, building an athletic program from scratch.

So when I was six years old, we made the move east, out of the big city to a small house in a nice, calm neighborhood. I doubt the residents there knew exactly what a wild bunch had just moved in down the street.

Our new home had a covered carport, a big backyard, and a thick plot of woods nearby. That carport, the yard, and those woods morphed into our football field, battleground, racetrack, strange planets beyond the known solar system, basketball court, circus tent, church house, movie set, rock-and-roll stage, radio studio, and much, much more—anything our active imaginations could conjure up. My brother, Greg, and all the neighborhood kids became teammates, big-game hunters, fellow space travelers, animal trainers, movie extras, race car drivers, congregation, band members—whatever personnel I needed to fill out the cast of that day's gargantuan production.

You can see I was afflicted from an early age with the insane desire to be in show business in some way. I don't know where that serious genetic malfunction came from. Understand, too, that my definition of "show business" was extremely broad from the very beginning.

It could be sports, music, radio, TV, preaching, singing, playing guitar—anything to get me on a stage in front of people. And Lord help me, I had to be the one who was up front, at the microphone, carrying the ball, making the quarterback sack, always the center of attraction. If I believed in psychiatry, I might speculate that this unnaturally powerful force was just my somehow seeking the approval or attention that I was not getting enough of at home. But that wouldn't be true. I lacked for neither approval nor attention.

That need to perform was just there, and I could not deny it. There is no real explanation for it. Old Rick just liked what he liked. And he liked him a ton of it!

We put on some of the most spectacular shows you would ever hope to see there in that carport in Cheaha Acres. It might be the Burgess High-Flying Circus, with our beagle puppies subbing as lions and tigers and us doing death-defying feats on the jungle gym. There were puppet shows there, too, scripted and complete with props and sound effects. We built vast amusement parks in the pine thicket nearby—"Frontier Land" with swinging-grapevine rides, "real" cowboy-and-Indian fights, and even more elaborate attractions designed to amaze and enlighten visitors.

The funny thing is that we didn't put those shows on just for the praise or the glory. Or even for the fun of it. No, we charged admission.

Parents, neighbors, other kids, aunts, uncles, everybody. No free passes to the Burgess High-Flying Circus or to Cheaha Acres Frontier Land! I was downright entrepreneurial about these things. It may have only been a penny or a nickel for a ticket, but there were no unpaid admissions.

Even at that age, I realized two things: when you do a show, you put on the best show you can; and if you do that, you get paid for it.

That included sports. From the first, I figured "sports" was equal to "entertainment." When we had neighborhood football games, we had to have uniforms and coaches' shirts for everybody who participated. The "field" may have been a patch of Bermuda grass between our house and the neighbor's, but the yard lines were marked off as best we could do it. There may have been some misuse of Mom's White Lily flour on occasion, but if so, I'm sure the statute of limitations has run out on that. At least I hope so, or Mom may still take a belt to my behind. Those of you from the South know exactly how traumatic that can be!

Later on, when I figured out how to do it, I rigged up a cassette tape recorder and found a microphone that worked. One of the kids who was reluctant about getting trampled by us big 'uns would record play-by-play commentary, just to make it feel a little bit more like it was Alabama playing Auburn in front of seventy-five thousand cheering fans instead of just a bunch of kids in our backyard.

We wrote up stories about the games, too, and put them into the neighborhood newspaper we published and sold to everyone in the area. I guess if I did an accounting, I would find that I still owe the subscribers issues of the paper that they paid for but never received. Truth is, I quickly realized that newspaper publishing did not push the same buttons as sports, music, or other facets of show biz. I just did the paper for the money—and to drive attendance to our games, shows, and amusement parks.

The older I got, the more music seemed to dominate my interest. Music and radio. I remember riding in my dad's pickup truck, his radio on one of the local stations or pulling in one of the big signals out of Birmingham or Atlanta. It was mostly country music, but then I would hear rock and pop and R&B and I couldn't get enough of it. At night, on our big radio at home, I began to notice that when the sun went down, there was a whole new array of AM stations that rode in on the skip. There was an even wider variety of music, and it only whetted my appetite for more of it. I learned the lyrics and added the latest Top 40 hits to the shows we were putting on out in the carport.

There was something else that drew me to those stations besides just the music. The personalities fascinated me. Some call them disk jockeys, or deejays, but the good ones were far more than that. Those guys seemed to be having so much fun doing what they were doing, and they were as much a part of the show as the records they played. They didn't get in the way of the music they were spinning—they added to it. Guys like John Landecker and Larry Lujack. Stations with call letters and slogans like "the Big 89, WLS, Chicago" or "the Mighty 690, WVOK" from Birmingham, with the commercials for its Shower of Stars concerts with an all-star lineup of the very people who were recording all that great music. "Quixie in Dixie, WQXI, Atlanta." All AM stations. FM was not really there yet. Besides, I couldn't hear Chicago or Dallas or New York on FM. That dial was for elevator music anyway.

I loved to listen to those personalities every chance I got. There was a warmth to what those guys were doing, an excitement in their voices, a contagious zest that they applied to the music, to whatever they were talking about with their listeners, and even to the commercials they read. I caught myself flipping past the music sometimes, just to hear one of them do his act.

One of the area's best-known personalities, Gary Lee Love, from Q104 over in Gadsden—one of the first FM stations to have an impact—made an appearance one night at the local teen hangout, the Sunshine Skate Center in Oxford. He had long hair, a beard, and some cool half-glasses that just seemed to scream "Star!" He was a personality. People crowded around him. Some asked for an autograph. He played a few records for us to skate to, gave a couple of shout-outs, and was gone, but I was danged impressed with the whole thing.

You know what I believe it was that first attracted me so much to these radio personalities? It was one-on-one show business without having to go to all the trouble to assemble a band, rehearse, build sets, write a script, line off a field, sell tickets, put up curtains, or recruit reluctant kids to play bit parts. It was just the deejay, some records, and a microphone. A transmitter, too, if they wanted to be heard somewhere else besides the skating rink, but that wasn't really an impediment at first. Just doing it for the sake of doing it was enough.

At some point, though, it occurred to me that those guys broadcasting on the radio were getting paid to do what they were doing. I assumed they were being paid a lot to do it, too. Maybe millions of dollars!

The moment that concept hit me when I was about twelve years old, it was like a bright, bright light coming on.

Well, that part about the transmitter was quite the hurdle to overcome, but it didn't stop me. I tied an old tape cassette recorder microphone to a baseball bat, pulled my long-since-retired See-and-Say record player and the family console stereo together in a corner of the living room, stacked up what few records we had in the house, and put WXYZ on the air. I had deduced that the deejays—Malcolm Street and his son Rob Street on WHMA and local legend Rex Gardner, also on WHMA, some of the personalities I had heard on Dad's truck radio—had to be playing records on two turntables in order to mix them together the way they did. I suppose I had seen pictures of deejays somewhere to get some idea of how they had their studios set up, and I mimicked them the best I could with duct tape, the ball bat, and my mother's coffee table.

I alternated "shifts" with Greg, playing over and over the few "hits" we had, doing our own patter between the songs, ad-libbing commercials for the same businesses we heard on the local radio stations or reading ads out of the newspapers. We recorded ourselves and played it all back so we could go to supper without signing the station off the air when the sun went down, like WVOK in Birmingham had to do.

Oh, we still had our neighborhood band going, putting on shows in the carport. Just putting up with our practicing should get our mom into the Mother Hall of Fame. Greg and I were both self-taught musicians. Dad wouldn't spring for a drum set, so I managed to save up fifty bucks for my first set and started banging away until I figured out how to play them.

The beagles were getting a rest by then, no longer called upon to perform in the circus. Sports had come along, too, and I played baseball, basketball, and football, which seriously cut down on the performances of the Burgess Family Flying Circus and the broadcast days of WXYZ.

There was no doubt about it. The hook had been set. I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to spend the rest of my days in some branch of show business, and radio seemed like a good possibility. I just had no idea how to get there—how to get onstage to sing and play, how to get a record cut and on the radio, how to get a job behind a microphone, spinning those records for an eager bunch of adoring listeners. I just knew I desperately wanted to go there, to perform before crowds, hear the roar of approval, to entertain thousands of listeners who would hang on my every clever word—to get paid millions of dollars for doing something I craved so fiercely that it bordered on an obsession.


Excerpted from We Be Big by Rick Burgess Bill "Bubba" Bussey Don Keith Copyright © 2011 by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun Co

    We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick and Bubba by Rick Burgess, Bill Bussey, and Don Keith is a really great book!! Rick Burgess and Bubba Bussey aka RICK N BUBBA.. are 2 radio personalities that my late wife turned be onto many years ago. This has been 1 of the top radio shows in the south and there show has always been clean and had an aura of religion and believing in the greatness of God. Rick and Bubba have been through many ups and downs going in and out of radio markets along with their own personal challenges. This books speaks of their journey and how they made it through while giving their audience some much needed laughs and funny commentary. If you ever listened to these guys before, this is a really great read… or if you haven’t ever heard of them, this book is still for you as you can understand their struggles and see how they overcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    I <3 rick and bubba

    I got this book for my dad, whom is a trucker, for christmas. One day he happend to listen to this show and he listens to it every day. I listened to it one day with him and then read the book myself. Go rick and bubba! 5 stars!

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Big Time Laughs

    We Be Big is the "mostly true" story of radio hosts Rick & Bubba. The book starts in their early childhoods takes you on a laugh out loud journey through their current radio careers. Like their radio show, Rick & Bubba strive to keep the book simple and funny without exaggerating too many of the details.

    This book will make you want to listen to Rick and Bubba's show. They say that if it happens in their lives it makes it on the air in their radio show. You can clearly see this in the way that they tell their stories in their book. My favorite story has to be the one about accidentally rigging the walkie talkie to broadcast on a local radio station. I could picture the dawning expression on his face as he realized that it was his voice that was coming through the radio and then sending his unknowing friend home to "tune in" while he broadcast live from his house and how proud that made him.

    However, this book does more than make you laugh. It also teaches you a few lessons of faith. It wasn't all circuses in the backyard and awesome reviews from radio listeners. Rick and Bubba also had struggles. They had to rely on God when their radio program was cut and they weren't sure what they were going to do to provide for their families. They share those stories too. In spite of their struggles and tragedies you will be encouraged by the faithfulness of the "two sexiest fat mean alive".

    If you are looking for a funny, quick read that will encourage you even while you laugh then I suggest you pick up We Be Big by Rick Burgess & Bubba Bussey.

    This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing at no cost for review purposes.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring as well as Interesting

    I recently received We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick and Bubba by Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey with Don Keith. The book was provided for review by Booksneeze and I can honestly say that I loved it.

    This is the tale of how radio personalities, Rick & Bubba, became the duo they are today. Starting as two separate journeys and then after their paths cross. Taking the road less traveled they managed to gain a large following and make it to the top of the syndicated radio statistics. Defying the norm of radio and remaining true to themselves and readers, they manage to create a name for themselves. However, not only is this tale of their professional journeys, but one of their journeys in faith. From both sides of the duo this book brings humor, sadness, & moments of pure excitement. Get to know these "Sexiest Fat Men" from Alabama and become inspired by the trials and rewards they experience throughout their journeys. Finally, learn how anything is possible as long as you have faith, friends, and stay true to yourself.

    (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review. The opinions are solely mine and no other compensation was given)

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    Awesome Autobiographical Book of 2 Super Guys!

    This book is a somewhat autobiographical approach at how 2 of America's most popular radio morning show Deejay's got to where they are today. It gives a great overview of their childhoods, what got them interested in being in radio and the obstacles they have faced since. Including divorce, remarriage, loss of jobs, controversy and tragically death of one of their children.

    I will always have a soft spot in my heart for any radio personality, as I "back in the day" dabbled some in radio and really enjoyed the job and format myself (there is a bucket list item for me! be on air again!). But having heard these guys on the radio myself, and seen them on TV for various things through the years, I was excited about getting to know more about the "behind the scenes" of what created their unique show. It was great to read about 2 men who struggled with their faith at times but who have ultimately put Christ at the center of their worlds and relay on their faith in him to pull them through. And subsequently get them up and on air each morning before the crack of dawn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    as big as it gets

    I don't get to hear the Rick and Bubba show... we don't get them here in our country. I don't have any idea who they are, but the book cover so fascinated me that I grabbed at the chance of requesting an advance e-book copy of it from Booksneeze. It was one of the best things I have ever done for this year--and it's only April! This book alternates between Rick and Bubba's narration of their childhood lives and how they eventually met, connected and eventually started doing their radio show. This book teaches its readers the value of being determined and courageous in pursuing your goals, in taking all the effort you can possibly take to do what you are truly passionate about. This book is at times fun, at times heartbreaking, but inspiring and entertaining through and through. It also demonstrates the duo's strong faith in God and how this has helped them through the toughest ordeals in their lives-and how a faith such as theirs can help us cope with ours as well. Fans and curious by-passers (like me) both can benefit from the lessons on faith, passion and courage that the lives of these two interesting personalities serve as living testaments to.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    great buy, great read

    When I heard that a new Rick and Bubba book was coming out I, just like any intelligent resident of Alabama was excited. It was not long after moving to Alabama when I heard of Rick and Bubba. At first I did not know what to make of them. They were not like any radio hosts that I have ever heard. They were loud, funny, had southern accents, and did not care if people thought badly of them. In their new book, We Be Big the Mostly True Story of How Two Kids From Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick & Bubba( by Rick Burgess and Bill "bubba" Bussey with Don Keith), they tell us how they "kept it real" and became a radio sensation.
    The book turned out to be very enjoyable and informative. It was enjoyable because it was filled to the limit with hilarious stories for the authors' past and it was informative because of the large amount of history about the authors, their early friendship, the start of the show, and a little bit of general radio history. The part about when Rick's young son died was heart-rending and inspiring. The amount of faith Rick had in God should inspire us all. I would definitely recommend this to any of my friends (some have already asked to borrow it)or any person I happen to see on the street. It is well worth the buy. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    This Book Was Inspiring.

    I have been on a roll lately with reading lately. I have another book to let you know about. This one is called We Be Big The Mostly true Story Of How Two Kids From Calhoun County, Alabama Became Rick & Bubba by Rick Burgess & Bill " Bubba : Bussey with Don Keith. This is an autobiography of two funny men who love food. It is written in the first person as you go from chapter to chapter. Rick and Bill (aka Bubba) talk about their up bringing and how their history on radio has played out. They talk about their love of food and God. It was not until they decided to follow their faith and not main stream radio that they became famous. It has not all been roses along the way. They have had a major life event that will leave you in tears (at least it did me). I have say I use to listen to their show while my husband was station in Georgia. I love the show. Rick and Bubba are funny. I could not wait to get this book based on the radio show memories. I don't know if it was my expectations but I was a bit disappointed because I thought the book would have been hilarious. I in fact had a hard time with getting into the book but somewhere in the middle I was hooked. I love the faith the men shared in this book. I loved the scriptures they spoke of. I love that this book is simply written .This book I wanted that to be funny turned it out to be more inspiring than funny to me. I am conflicted a little as I think I might be a little bias based on the radio show but I am not so sure that those who have never heard of them will get as much as those who have heard them. In the end I did find this to be inspiring so I would recommend this book. I give these book three stars.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Funny and Entertaining

    Rick and Bubba tell their stories of becoming one half of the team in such a way to keep the reader engrossed. It is a sometimes funny and sometimes eye opening (to the back rooms of entertainment) but always entertaining book.

    They claim to be just normal guys talking about normal daily things in their lives which keeps people listening and loyal to their brand of radio. One of them point out that when family or friends get together to spend time together the real stories told are what keep the conversations alive and funny, not the programmed stuff or the fake radio voices, which is very true. Bringing real life to radio is what they are all about.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    {We Be Big} - my take

    We Be Big
    By Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey with Don Keith
    Published by Thomas Nelson

    I have to admit that I surprised even myself by picking this book. I live in Alabama, and I've heard of the Rick and Bubba show, but even so, I can not say that I have ever listened to the Rick and Bubba show. (To be completly honest, I have to say that I and my family don't really ever listen to the radio. Seriously. Like, maybe twice a year at most.)

    The book is basically the story of Rick and Bubba's lives - their childhood, college years, and the how and why of their starting the Rick and Bubba show. After that they explain and explore the various hurdles that they went through while doing the show, as well as the changes they have made over the years.

    I'm still not quite sure what I thought about the book. I enjoyed reading it, for the most part, but I did have a couple concerns come up - but since I don't listen to the show, it might just be the case of an overactive imagionation.

    It was interesting listening - okay, reading - their stories, and fun to see various city names that I recognize or have visited.

    Although I can't and won't say that I agreed with everything that they state in the book, I did not notice anything that would make me have serious reservations about it either. So, I'll give them 6 out of 10 stars.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

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    Touching Story That Strength Your Faith

    This is a very touching book telling the real storie of two young boys from Alabama and how with God's guidance, they put together one of the most popular morning radio show, know as the "Rick and Bubba Show". The story develops with each one giving his input in alternating chapters, telling in a very personal and informal way their experiences, frustrations, hopes, joys and sorrows of an ordinary daily life and how they use it to connect to the same ordinary people that compose their audience and connected immediately with their stories. This simple formula and God's guidance was the key for their success, despite all difficulties they had in their way to reach the top. Every struggle, every battle, every victory, every doubt they had during their journey is very well described and they clearly and loudly give all the credit of their success to the Lord. If you did not know them from hearing their show every morning, even them you will get connected to those two guys, "the two sexiest fat men alive", as they call themselves. This was the first book I read from them and definetely I will look for the other titles they already published in the past. I recommend this book to any reader looking for a very well written book with tones of commedy and tragedy, but overall very entertaining. Deserves to be in my permanent library.

    This book was written by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey with contribution of Don Keith and it was published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Do you REALLY know these guys??

    Although I have lived in Alabama for many years, I never really heard of or listened to Rick and Bubba until 2004 when I was driving to Birmingham and "happened" upon them talking about "The Passion of the Christ" movie. I have been a regular listener ever e since!

    I absolutely loved the book "We Be Big" because it went back and filled in all of the history of Rick and Bubba for me. It was so interesting to go back to their early days and find out how the show actually got started. It gave me a whole new respect for these two men and the job they do every morning.

    If you have ever listened to the show and wanted to know more about these guys, this is the perfect book for you to read! I would highly recommend it!

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    Do You Know about These FUNNY Guys?

    We Be BIG. The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama became Rick and Bubba Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey &#169; 2011 with Don Keith Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978-1-4016-0400-4 (ppbk) 215 pp. This biography of "The two sexiest fat men in the world" relates the lives of Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey, their start in radio and how they became famous. Their shows incorporate outlandish hi-jinks, often making fun of radio stations with stuffy formats. Several times radio station owners and managers tried to fire the two, saying their program wasn't sophisticated enough for big city audiences. But whenever ratings arrived, Rick and Bubba had more than all other local stations combined. On Burgess and Bussey's original shows they read Shakespeare with Southern accents. Soon they developed hilarious characters such as Carwash Joe, the world's worst boss. They've concentrated on discussing what interests them-religion (they're committed believers in Jesus), politics, hunting-instead of formats the stations wanted. They discovered their personal lives kept people interested, involved and laughing. In January 2008 Rick's youngest child drowned in their backyard pool. After praying, the men decided to be honest and share the tragedy with their audience. This became one of their most fruitful shows in presenting God to audiences. And their loss brought Rick and his wife Sherry closer to each other, God and their four older children. Rick and Bubba have written six other books including Rick and Bubba for President and Rick and Bubba on Marriage. The run for president started as a joke, but Bubba seriously commented on a TV talk show, "After viewing all the candidates, we're the most qualified." Then both men laughed loud and long. Typical of their shows! The book on marriage is full of common sense in Rick fashion. He said, "If a couple tells me "We don't love each other any more," I say, "Are you still in high school and wanting your letter jacket back? Time to grow up and realize love is a choice." We need more marriage counselors like these two!

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    And through it all...joy.

    I was so stoked to see this offered as a review book via Booksneeze. You see, I grew up in Clay County, Alabama and Rick and Bubba were my local radio guys in their early days as a team. I tuned into Q104 to listen each morning as I was getting ready for school as a teenager. Yes, they were as "good ol' boys" as they come, but they were just so much fun. Even in the days when I wanted to distance myself from my small-town persona, these guys were always on my dial. After I found them 10 years later in syndication, I was so excited to catch up where we'd left off.

    Reading this book was a blast. I remember so many of their antics and the characters/personalities they described in this book. Nostalgia washed over me at the same time that I learned what was happening to these guys behind the microphone. I never gave much thought as to why I had liked listening to them so much, but I realize it was just because they were real. There is not much revealed in this book that one didn't already know just by listening to their show on the radio. Real life is always so much better than the stuff you can make up.

    These guys are a great example of how God continues to use ordinary people and their talents to work His will out in the lives of tens and hundreds and sometimes even hundreds of thousands. This book is a fantastic read for people interested in what a Christian's life really looks like. The fun, the heartache, the laughter, the despair, the ups and the downs. And through it all...joy.

    Read about these guys...whether you know them or not. Then go find them on your local radio dial or online.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    We Be Big by Rick Burgess And Bill Bussey

    Before reading this book I never heard of Rick and Bubba or their show. I really enjoyed learning about them and reading thier story. The book talks about their early days and the path that lead them to the Rick and Bubba radio show, which more than 3.5 million people listen to each week.

    One of my favorite parts of the book is when the authors say, "There is talent involved, I guess. A lot of luck, too. But we both recognize that if we don't do our best, if we don't work hard, somebody else with more talent may just come in and outwork us and leave us battered and bloody and defeated when the final score is posted." Which after reading this book you will know that they worked hard and never gave up on their dreams.

    If you are looking for a book that is easy to read and shares the story's of how two people made it big then you would enjoy reading this book.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    "Real" Good Read!

    I love a good story. Especially one that makes me laugh and above all, honors my Savior! In We Be Big, Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey tell their stories of growing up in rural Alabama and how their individual paths in life, including the radio industry, crisscrossed eventually leading to the "Rick & Bubba Show". Each chapter, written from an individual perspective, ties together chronologically with the next. That is, Rick writes Chapter 1 relating how he became interested in radio growing up, Bubba (Bill) writes Chapter 2 relating the same time-frame/interest in his own life. The reader knows from the beginning their paths must cross. How (and how many times) they cross moves through chapter by chapter anticipating their eventual partnership. Just as in the "Rick & Bubba Show", the circumstances of their lives are real, everyday events. The reader identifies with their "realness" and is caught up in the daily lives of Rick & Bubba, their families and co-workers. Seeing how God has worked in their lives even from their early years, in spite of their own failures (and stubbornness in Rick's case) paints a wonderful picture for the reader to enjoy. Once well immersed in the main character's lives, the experience of some very painful circumstances occur. How Rick & Bubba, along with their families, deal with their pain, and their faith, is a direct reflection of the Rick & Bubba Show. Through radio, they have chosen to project their lives publicly. God has worked in the lives of these two individuals and ultimately brought them together for His purpose. The purpose is, as Bubba (Bill) states in Chapter 18, to be God's Megaphone (Quoting C.S. Lewis: "Pain and suffering are merely God's megaphone for a sleeping world".) At first, the switching of perspective with each chapter irritated me. I kept having to refer back to the beginning of each chapter to remind myself which "Rick or Bubba" I was reading about. However, as I continued, I began to appreciate how this format forced me to develop each character independently in my mind. I realized this individuality being meshed together for a greater purpose, BY a Greater Power (the one true God) IS THE STORY. And a good story it is. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze&#174;.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Very Funny

    We Be Big by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey is about two crazy Alabama "good 'ol boys, and a friendship that has strengthened as their faith in God has grown. It is also a testimony to the influence of Christian parenting, church, and a solid work ethic demonstrated before these men.

    This book is as funny as you'd expect, but the authors also share tragedy, and how God will lead, direct, and guide if we just place Him in charge of our lives.

    In January, 1994, The Rick and Bubba Show was unleashed. "Fat Chant" was born and the toll-free telephone number 887-WE BE BIG. Although the big-station program directors were opposed, the listeners loved the new format of less music and more stories of the personal lives of these two comedians. When some opposed, they stayed true to God, church, faith, but still had fun, all part of their daily show. The public sees them as inseparable, and they are the first to admit that the Lord has blessed them far beyond anything either could have imagined. From the "Good Old Boy Theater" where they read Shakespeare in a thick southern drawl, to the 3.5 million listeners each week, this is the story of We Be Big.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    We Be Big (and we love gravy)

    In their latest book, We Be Big, Rick and Bubba take a break from the hilarity of their previous books and roll back the pages of time to show us the genesis of The Rick and Bubba Show. I be big. They be big. Together, we be big. Anyone who has listened to this show has come away with the same sense of familiarity. These two guys, along with the other staff members feel as though they belong at your dinner table, or your front porch. Their relaxed and inviting style makes everyone feel like we've known these guys since birth.

    We Be Big takes the reader through the early lives of the "Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive", focusing on the ethics instilled in these two by the parents. The moral compass instilled in these two by growing up in the South under the watchful eye of God fearing parents is on display early in this book. We Be Big chronicles the lives of the dynamic duo showing us successes and failures along the way. Where stumbles are made, they are glaringly on display in the pages of this book. We are allowed to witness the spiritual maturation process of these two stars, and how God uses each of them in various situations to be His mouthpiece. We are taken through triumph and tragedy; we're made to feel again like part of the family. No matter how familiar you are with this hilarious morning show emanating from the broadcast plaza and teleport near downtown Birmingham, you will enjoy this book. We can all take heart from the example of how God will bless those who choose the walk through the doors that He opens.

    I received this book in exchange for a fair review from Thomas Nelson through their Booksneeze program.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    I want to meet them!

    Before reading this book, I had no idea who Rick and Bubba were; now I want to drive to Birmingham, AL and hang out with them!

    In We Be Big, Rick Burgess and Bill (Bubba) Bussey share how two Southern guys came to be the successful radio hosts they are today. From chance encounters with radio bigwigs to open doors and a growing and loyal fan base, God's hand is definitely at work in the journey these two are on. When Rick and Bubba started their show, no one thought they would make it very far, but God had other plans. This book is a great story about where God can lead you when you choose to listen to him and obey his will for your life.

    I loved reading this book; it was very conversational and I could picture myself sitting down with Rick and Bubba listening to them tell this story. Their personalities and their love of life, and food, strongly come across in this book. I enjoyed reading this book so much that I look forward to reading their other books and finding somewhere I can listen to their broadcast archives.

    Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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