Country music fans who head to their local Ryan’s or Old Country Buffet will find more than good food waiting for them at the popular restaurants. Billy Ray Cyrus has partnered with Buffets, Inc., to offer his current album, Change My Mind, at Fire Mountain, Ryan’s, Old Country Buffet and Hometown Buffet locations all over the country. The CD will be available for $8.99 and proceeds will benefit the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) for Operation Outdoors.
“The proceeds go to the military children whose mom or dad are serving our country and it will help fund their YMCA program,” Billy Ray tells The Boot. “[My] song ‘Some Gave All’ is about commitment and the relationship that I’ve had with our military. I’ve seen firsthand the soldiers’ sacrifice … so I was in from the moment I heard that the proceeds went to the military.”
Prior to sitting down with The Boot for this interview at a Music Row studio, Billy Ray had a chance to visit with some of the children who benefit from Operation Outdoors. “It was great to meet with the kids,” he says. “They are really paying the price along with their moms and dads for our freedom. It’s their service and sacrifice that gives a guy like me the chance to live a dream and pursue artistic freedom. I have a lot of reasons to say ‘thank you’ to our military.”
Billy Ray says he also appreciates Buffets, Inc. providing him with another avenue to take his music to fans. “Where do you find a record store these days?” he asks. “Buffet has 350 restaurants across the country [and] they want to put this album in their stores … I make music because I just want the music to touch people’s lives. I make it from the pure love and passion of making music. I’m at a point where I just hope somebody gets to hear it and if it moves them, then that’s even better.”
Billy Ray admits he’s also a big fan of Buffets, Inc. “They have such great food,” he says with a big smile. “What I like about it is there’s a lot to choose from. My appetite is a whole lot like my music. It’s very diverse. I like to eat different things at different times. You go in there and you can have a little bit of everything. It’s a great selection. It kind of parallels my music in a really good way — diverse and tasty!”
In addition to his partnership with Buffets, Inc., Billy Ray revealed recently that he has filmed a TV pilot with fellow country star/actor Randy Travis. In the series, titled “Still the King,” Billy Ray plays “a dysfunctional Elvis impersonator.” He also recently released his memoir, “Hillbilly Heart.”