When it comes to country shows and festivals, Josh Turner is an old pro — his debut album, Long Black Train, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023 — but like most other country artists, he started out as a fan, eager to meet his favorite star.

Before his Nissan Stadium set at CMA Fest on Sunday night (June 11), Turner reminisced about his favorite CMA Fest memories. The one clearest in his mind wasn't a performance or a special onstage moment, it was a time when he was a fan who got a little starstruck.

"One of the encounters I had that I never expected was, I got to meet one of my all-time favorite heroes, Vern Gosdin," the singer recounts. "He was doing an autograph signing, I guess at Bridgestone, years ago."

Turner has long been vocal about his Gosdin fandom: He even covered the older singer's 1984 hit, "I Can Tell By the Way You Dance," for his 2020 covers project, Country State of Mind.

"It's embarrassing now. But I literally went over and broke in line in front of all the fans to meet Vern," Turner goes on to say. "Because I'm thinking, 'Man, I may never get this chance again.'"

There's even photographic evidence of the special moment, but Turner admits that he's got no idea where the snapshot is.

"If anybody sees this and has that picture of me and Vern, please send it to me," he jokes. "We can negotiate a price."

Turner is currently in the middle of his 2023 Long Black Train 20th Anniversary Tour. The trek is set to extend through September.

2023 Country Music Festivals Guide

Enjoy an updated list of country music's best festivals, across America, Canada, Great Britain and more. This list of 2023 country fests will be updated to reflect postponements, cancelations or lineup adjustments.

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