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No doubt about it, Big Kenny's boy has inherited his dad's motley musical tastes. "Lincoln loves Queen," Kenny Alphin, one half of country music's Big & Rich, says of his 19-month-old son with wife Christiev 44. "He just bops his whole body up and down to 'We Will Rock You.'" What else gets him grooving? "Pirate music," says Alphin. "I made him a record of pirate songs for his birthday."

That yen for the eclectic helped Alphin, 43, and his partner, John Rich, 33, rock Nashville with hits like the genre-bending "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" from their 2004 smash debut, Horse of a Different Color, and the ballad "Lost in this Moment," from their new album, Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace. For Rich, who has also written hits for Gretchen Wilson and Faith Hill, the fruits of success include a new black Bentley ("my big-shot redneck car") and plans for an 11,000-sq.-ft. bachelor pad in Nashville that's raised the ire of neighbors over its 70-ft. height. The house design, he says, was inspired by the cool sophistication of his musical hero: "If Frank Sinatra built a contemporary house, it would look like this." From Sinatra to Steve Miller, the duo sat down in Nashville with PEOPLE to reveal their musical roots.

JOHN RICH

• THE SONG THAT PLAYED DURING MY FIRST KISS
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Fishin' in the Dark." The girl's name was Diana, and it was in seventh grade. I rode a horse to her house, picked her up, and we went to a rodeo—in Amarillo, Texas, we did stuff like that. That song was blasting out of someone's truck.

• THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. I was 8, and I spent my allowance on it at Wal-Mart. He's one of the greatest bluegrassers of all time. I learned harmony by listening to bluegrass.

• MY FAVORITE KARAOKE SONG
"Like a Virgin." It just completely freaks everybody out. Me and Jewel got up at a karaoke bar in Nashville a couple of months ago and I did it.

• THE MUSIC THAT HELPS GET MY CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
Anything by Eminem. He's probably the most incredible American lyricist of my generation. I listened to his records for about two days straight when I was traveling a bunch. I just went through an absolute rampage writing after I got through with that.

• THE MUSIC I PLAY ON THE TOUR BUS
Frank Sinatra Live from Las Vegas. I have six of his concerts and I literally listen to them every day.

• THE LAST ALBUM I BOUGHT
Wyclef Jean's The Carnival. Wyclef told me Charlie Daniels' song "Devil Went Down to Georgia" was the ultimate rap song, and that's what made him want to be a rapper.

• THE FIRST CONCERT I WENT TO
Reba McEntire and Randy Travis. I was 8, and I bought the ticket myself. Reba had this big belt buckle and this big red hair, and she was like a rodeo queen. And then Randy came out and sang, and I went, "Man, that voice." It was a life-changing experience.

'BIG' KENNY

• THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT
The Steve Miller Band, Greatest Hits. My brothers used to drive me to school, and we cranked the tunes, and they turned me on to Steve Miller. When I got my own car at 16, it was the first cassette I bought.

• THE FIRST CONCERT I WENT TO
We lived out in the country, man, so it was a big deal to drive into the city to go to a show. My brother and his friend drove me to see Boston in Washington, D.C. I was 13 or 14, and we were way up in the cheap seats.

• MY SUNDAY-MORNING MUSIC
Bill Withers' Greatest Hits. Stop everything you're doing and go get it. Every one of his hits is just so dependable. "Just the Two of Us," "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" ... It puts me in a wonderful place.

• THE FIRST SONG I SANG IN PUBLIC
It was "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by the Eagles. It was before I moved to Nashville and I was in a bar in Virginia and my buddies egged me on to sing. That was the only song I could remember all the words to.

• THE SONG THAT MAKES ME CRY
There's a song I wrote with my buddy called "Thinking Too Much." My uncle was dying of pancreatic cancer. I asked my dad how he was doing, and he said, "Sometimes I'm riding that tractor around the field all day long and it wears on me a little too much and I realize I'm thinking too much." That song kills me. Every time I hear it, it messes me up.

• MY FAVORITE MUSIC MEMORY
My dad always had this little AM radio playing. Our regular local radio station played everything from the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields" to George Jones' "Strawberry Wine." I grew up loving it all—Haggard and Queen. I didn't know there was a difference. I just knew it was good.