After a dozen years as a successful country singer, Tracy Byrd's career is cooking. But he'll soon be serving his fans in a whole new way.

After a dozen years as a successful country singer, Tracy Byrd's career is cooking. But he'll soon be serving his fans in a whole new way. Byrd has teamed with Chicago-based brand-development company Vista Management to launch a line of spices, rubs and marinades bearing his name and likeness. The products, which will be sold under the brand name Tracy Byrd's Tiny Town Products, will be available Nov. 1 in 1,350 Wal-Mart stores.

Byrd will also have a cookbook on the market Nov. 7. "Eat Like a Byrd," published by Nashville-based Interactive Blvd., includes Byrd's favorite recipes, many of which utilize his marinades and seasonings.

The product line's initial launch will include four marinades that can also be used as dipping sauces and six dry seasoning blends. Byrd is donating 5 cents from every bottle sold to Children's Miracle Network. Vista is already considering such product extensions as barbecues and smokers.

Recording first for MCA Nashville and now RCA, Byrd has charted nine titles on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and 12 top-10 singles in his career. "I got my [first] record deal when I was 23 years old, and I told my manager then that I wanted a 20-plus-year career," Byrd tells Billboard. He notes that if he achieves that goal it will be partly "because we had the insight to get ourselves involved in other areas besides music."

Byrd says this product line was a natural for him, because he loves to cook. "Business opportunities come your way a lot," he says. "Most of the time, they don't make a lot of sense. But in this case, it's the type of venture that can go hand in hand with my music career. Jimmy Dean had a thriving music career when he got involved [with food products] and later became known as 'the sausage king.'"

The foray into food is not Byrd's first product tie-in. He has achieved strong brand-name recognition in the outdoor-products world during the past eight years through numerous endorsements and tour sponsorships with Mossy Oak Hunting Apparel. "It's important to spend a lot of time researching where you may have key market value and stay with a brand that fits your demos," Byrd says. "Hopefully, that will also complement your record sales."