Billie Jo Spears

Songs For Dad

June 20, 2010 // 6 Comments

My dad was passionate about many things, and in my memory, he’s defined by two of them: c0llecting vintage toys and loving music. Earlier today, my mother and I attended Toy Story 3. He loved the first two films, and it was a way to get closer to him in spirit this Father’s Day.

I couldn’t let this day end without using my humble little corner of the internet to celebrate some of his favorite songs. A love for country music was something that my father shared with my mother, and thanks to long car trips as child, this love eventually rubbed off on me. This morning, my mother put on the country classics Music Choice channel and it was playing their song: “Blanket on the Ground” by Billie Jo Spears.

She Works Hard For the Money. So Does He.

September 7, 2009 // 12 Comments

Billie Jo SpearsSing for the common man and heaven help the working girl. Country music is full of songs about the working folk. The ones that work a 40 hour week for a livin’, the ones that worked all night in the Van Lear coalmine, the ones who did what they had to do because they didn’t want to let Mama down. Hey, even a girl named Fancy has gotta pay the bills.

In honor of Labor Day, I’m putting y’all to work. What are you favorite songs about working?

I’ll go with one of the somewhat Billie Jo Spears classic “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over,” a #4 hit from 1969. Check it out after the jump, and add your own favorites in the comments!

Grammy Flashback: Best Female Country Vocal Performance

January 25, 2009 // 23 Comments

Revised and Updated for 2009 While the Grammys have honored country music from the very first ceremony in 1959, they did not begin honoring by gender until 1965, when the country categories were expanded along with the other genre categories. This is a look back at the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. It was first awarded in 1965, an included single competing with albums until the Best Country Album category was added in 1995. When an album is nominated, it is in italics, and a single track is in quotation marks. I’ve often made the case that female artists were making the best music in the 1990s, and the Grammys did a great job nominating songs and albums that were ignored at the CMA and ACM awards, which is not surprising, given that those shows have so few categories that are actually for songs and albums. As usual, we Read More

100 Greatest Women, #64: Billie Jo Spears

May 2, 2008 // 3 Comments

100 Greatest Women #64 Billie Jo Spears Her star may not have shone as bright as some of her contemporaries in the seventies, but Billie Jo Spears earned a dedicated following both in the United States and Europe with her bluesy vocals and sharp material. She started young, a mere teenager when she released her first single on independent label Abbott Records, “Too Old For Toys, Too Young For Boys.” A high school diploma and a few demos later, she was in the big leagues, signing with United Artists in 1964. While she floundered for most of the sixties on that label, watching her singles go nowhere, a move to Capitol records led to her first big hit. Sung from the perspective of a country girl who gets more than she bargained for as a secretary in New York, “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over” was something of a working girl’s Read More