Behind the Scenes: Apopka Proud

Ever since I started this show three years ago, I knew I wanted to “chase down” my dad and Sawyer Brown at one of their concerts. I wanted y’all to have a taste of what it was really like growing up out on the road with the band. For the first two years, the timing was never right. Then, last fall I was looking over their tour schedule and what did I see?! But the perfect concert to show y’all what Mark and Hobie are really like – Apopka!

My entire life growing up, I’d heard stories of this mythical Florida town called Apopka. It’s where my dad and uncle grew up and where they met Hobie. Then years later, it was where they had an idea for a band. Each year, it seemed like the stories became bigger and better and more fantastical.

There was Dream Lake where Hobie learned to swim and the namesake of the Ukulele band he was apart of in elementary school. Then there was the auditorium where my dad and Hobie ran against each other for class treasurer. And the produce stand called, “Mater and Taters” where my great-grandad and Hobie’s dad would meet weekly to solve the world’s problems and buy produce. It’s one thing to grow up hearing these stories, it’s another to see them in real life.

See, by the time I came along everyone had moved up to Nashville in my family, so Apopka wasn’t part of our landscape. But it did play a crucial role in the incredible stories that were told around our dinner table.

I knew that I wanted my dad and Hobie to take me around and show me everything. And I wanted to do it with the cameras rolling! It was such a fun day, rolling around in a minivan (because we ride in style ba-by!) and seeing the places where all of these epic escapades had taken place. Believe it or not, it was very reminiscent of how we spent many days on the road growing up. We’d cruise around town, telling stories and jokes, and seeing if there were any good cupcakes around. Behind the scenes alert – we found them at Maters and Taters!

My favorite part of the day was seeing the Pizza Hut – still at it’s original location – where my dad famously walked in for a slice and asked Hobie to play on some songs he had written. It was the birth place of Sawyer Brown!

All in all, we had an incredible day together. And the concert hadn’t even happened. That was the next day, and it was amazing. Before the show, the band held a meet and greet that was more like a high school reunion. I met so many fun friends of theirs from growing up, saw some great throw back pictures, and even met some of y’all too!

To date, this has been the most special episode because I was truly able to give y’all a look into what it really was like growing up out on the road with my dad. There were a lot of tall tales, a lot of laughs, and always good music.


  1. Vicki Ferris
    June 17, 2019 / 10:49 AM

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  2. Rebecca Westfall
    June 17, 2019 / 11:24 AM

    I just love watching your show. I love the band.
    God bless all of you
    Sandyville WV

  3. Kathy James
    June 28, 2019 / 11:44 AM

    Love watching your show… Love the entire RFD-TV network your earring are sweet love the hoops with flowers..

    • Madison
      July 18, 2019 / 9:39 PM

      Thank you Kathy!

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