Four out of Five Stars.
The story of two unlikely radio hosts and what happened when they followed their faith and instincts.
Rick & Bubba are the most unlikely broadcast stars imaginable, yet hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners start their day with them every morning. Beyond that, they break the biggest no-no rule for secular radio as they openly share their faith in Christ and their common-sense way of looking at the world. Now, in We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How We Became Rick & Bubba, readers learn how this unlikely pairing came about. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, this is also the highly personal story of two men who—like most of us—resisted stepping through the doors God opened for them, opting for the easier path when tested. When they finally decided to follow their instincts and their faith, though, not only did they became amazingly successful, but also a truly powerful platform became theirs.
I knew of Rick & Bubba before reading this book, but was excited to get to know them better. Though they were not carried in the market where I lived, their reputation for sharing their faith in the midst of sharing the details of their day-to-day lives had spread. The way they described the events of September 11, 2001 as they happened, with their ‘whatever this is, we’re all in this together’ approach, solidified the reason people listen to morning radio. Rick and Bubba, by opening the doors to their family lives, invited their hundreds of thousands of listeners to join their family as well. They have achieved a level of success that defies all recommendations made by experts in the radio industry; by being themselves and following wherever God leads them, their listeners continue to follow them no matter where they have to go on the radio dial.
I enjoyed reading this book as much for the view of what goes on behind the scenes in radio as the story itself. I find it a fascinating world, and Rick and Bubba made it even more so. While Rick pursued his wife-to-be on the air, as a joke at first, their listeners rejoiced when years later, she finally gave in to his public cries of devotion. They described the difference in radio and television, with their 7 year stint doing a live radio show on tv, something they struggled with at first, until they returned to what they knew best, two guys having a great time together on the radio each morning. Only then did they consider their television show a success.
Make sure to keep reading this book to the end, because it is there that the reader learns of the loss of Rick’s toddler son, Bronner, who died tragically in an accidental drowning. This threw the Rick & Bubba show into the limelight like never before, as their listeners grieved right along with them. Bubba took the radio show for that week, staying live, and sharing his own grief of watching his best friend suffer. Rick stepped up to the pulpit to deliver a message at his son’s funeral; a message that he gives Jesus all the credit for, since he remembers none of it. The video of Rick’s eulogy for Bronner, nick-named Cornbread, has gotten millions of hits on Youtube, and introduces a relationship with Christ in a beautiful and meaningful way.
I highly recommend this book. I am better because of it, which is how I measure all books that I choose to read. It is worth the investment in time, even if you have never heard Rick & Bubba on the air.
I received this book through the Booksneeze program with Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a favorable review.