Some might mistakenly think all the revelry at CMA Fest is a young person’s game, but Granny Rich proved that wrong during day three of the festival when she spent Saturday afternoon doing shots and signing autographs. Joining her grandson, John Rich, at Nashville’s Frugal MacDoogal Wine & Liquor Warehouse, the 87-year-old spitfire posed for photos and chatted with fans while signing 227 bottles of her Granny Rich Reserve, setting a record for bottle signings at that retail location.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Ann “Granny” Rich tells Sounds Like Nashville as she finished up her first autograph session.
The feisty octogenarian celebrated her 87th birthday last Valentine’s Day at her grandson’s Nashville nightclub Redneck Riviera where she launched her very own whiskey, Granny Rich Reserve. It followed the 2018 debut of her grandson’s Redneck Riviera Whiskey, which is currently available in 44 states. Rich worked with his grandmother to create her very own special blend.
“Hey Granny, what is it that you like so much about this whiskey that you and I have concocted?” Rich asks his beloved family matriarch as the autograph session/tasting party drew to a close.
“Well it’s the kind that you can sip and enjoy without it burning all the way down,” she smiles. “I’ve been drinking it all day.”
“Yes, you have. I hope you have a driver,” Rich teases.
“I certainly hope I do too,” she smiles, then looks around and asks, “Do I have a driver?” (Yes, she did.)
Affectionately known as the “Queen of the Working Class,” Granny Rich lived through the Dust Bowl days, the Great Depression and World War II. For the past 19 years, she has owned and operated her own alterations shop outside Nashville and still works a 40-hour week, usually sipping on whiskey and lighting up a cigarette at the end of her work day.
“When I’m on tour, people are asking me all over the U. S., ‘Tell us about Granny Rich!’ They just want to know about Granny,” Rich says proudly. “They really look up to her because at 87, she’s still running her own business and at the end of a work day has a little whiskey, maybe a Marlboro cigarette, and they just aspire to be like that—to love their life and love our country.”
Granny personifies Redneck Riviera’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” motto, and fans want to emulate her lifestyle. “Granny Rich Reserve is now a hit. We’re now in 12 states and expanding,” her grandson says. “Today we had a line here for about four hours waiting to see Granny Rich and I would expect nothing less.”
In supporting Redneck Riviera Whiskey and Granny Rich Reserve, fans are also helping benefit our military as 10 percent of profits from every bottle sold is donated to Folds Of Honor, a non-profit that provides scholarships to children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans. By end of 2018, Redneck Riviera Whiskey had paid for over 44 college scholarships through the Folds of Honor program.
“We give back to Folds of Honor and we support the families of our veterans,” Rich says. “I just want to say thank you to my Granny Rich for coming out here today. This is a long time for her to sit here, but people from all over the United States—from New Jersey to Arizona—have been coming through here today wanting to meet Granny Rich, wanting to support Folds of Honor and by the way, they just love the whiskey. It’s been an incredible day!”