On my eleventh birthday, my daddy told me he was proud of me for wanting to be a country music star like him. But, he said, I would need to know an instrument. Out of a wrapped package he took a brand-new guitar. It was the kind with mother-of-pearl on the front and on the frets. We sat on the couch all afternoon and he showed me how to strum, how to pick, and how to tune the strings. I practiced my first song, "Stand By Your Man," all afternoon and into the night. I even slept with it next to me all night long.