Country music star and host of Fox Nation's "The Pursuit!" John Rich includes, among his many talents, the ability to memorize thousands of songs. It's a skill that he credits to one very special grade school teacher.
"I had this great teacher in Amarillo, Texas, where I grew up, named Sally Smith," said Rich on Fox Nation's "After the Show Show," "Probably the 'plain Jane' name of all time, Miss Smith."
Rich said that regardless of the subject, Miss Smith would encourage her students to commit her lessons to memory.
"I learned stuff like the prepositions in alphabetical order and crazy stuff like that," he recalled. "Whether it was math or English or whatever, she just thought 'If I could sharpen these kids up with their memory, that's probably going to help them out.'"
"Have you seen her or talked to her since?" asked Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean.
"I have, yes," said Rich. "I saw her on one of my birthdays a couple of years ago. I flew her out to Nashville to tell her, 'Thank you for being such a great teacher.'"
"So when you are in front of a live audience and nothing's written down, how do you remember all that stuff?" he asked.
"It's just like a cue line," said Shillue. "The punch lines are easy because they follow the setups and usually you can connect it -- it's like you have a visual idea.
"I picture things," Shillue explained. "If I'm talking about an amusement park, I see the amusement park and [if] the next bit I have is about the ocean, I picture an amusement park next to an ocean."
On stage, Rich said that he uses similar devices to remember lyrics.
"You wouldn't think this, but you're singing to 15,000 people and you're in the middle of a song, and if I try to think about what the second verse is when I'm in the first verse, I'll screw up. So it's almost like one line cues the next line, cues the next line," he said.
Rich noted that one of his best party tricks is his ability to recite all 66 books of the Bible.
"My dad's a preacher," explained Rich. "It came in handy at church. He would go 'Turn to Ezekiel 3:10' and I was always trying to be the fastest kid."
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