Posts Tagged ‘Mel Tillis’
Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
100 Greatest Women
She grew up the daughter of a country music icon. As a baby, she’d nap in his guitar case. But Pam Tillis resisted her musical heritage for many years before finally embracing it and producing some of the best country music of the past two decades.
Growing up in Nashville, Tillis lost interest in country music once she discovered the Beatles. She had a taste for the country-rock of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, but felt no connection to the scene of her father, Mel Tillis. Quite the wild child in her teen years, she was nearly killed in a car crash when she was still in high school, and needed multiple reconstructive surgeries on the road to recovery.
Tillis sang backup sometimes for her dad, but she was more interested in exploring other genres of music. She moved out to San Francisco and performed at jazz clubs around the city. Her talent was soon noticed by pop labels, and in 1981 she released her first single, “Every Home Should Have One.” Around the same time, her songwriting started getting noticed, and she had cuts from pop artists like Chaka Khan and Gloria Gaynor.
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
Singer-songwriter legends Mel Tillis & Vince Gill will join country media icon
Ralph Emery in the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Tillis enters the Hall of Fame in the performer category for artists that received national prominence between World War II and 1975. In addition to being a former CMA Entertainer of the Year, he’s also the writer of classics for other artists, most notably “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “Detroit City”, “I Ain’t Never”, “Burning Memories” and “Honey (Open That Door.)” Here’s hoping daughter Pam will help induct him, just like she did at the Opry this year!
Gill is the third inductee in the new performer’s category for artists that received national prominence from 1975 to the present day, following Alabama in 2005 and George Strait in 2006. At age 50, Gill might be the youngest living inductee ever, but I have to check to make sure that’s right. Gill had a few radio hits in the eighties, but finally broke through commercially in 1989, with his mega-hit “When I Call Your Name.” He’s won 18 Grammy awards and 18 CMA awards since then.
Ralph Emery is most widely known as the long-time host of TNN shows Nashville Now and On the Record, but also had an illustrious career on radio, including a stint as the announcer for the Grand Ole Opry. You can read more about all of this year’s inductees in the Hall’s official press release.
If I was a betting man, I’d have wagered that Reba McEntire would be going in this year, and I still suspect she’ll be the inductee within the next year or two. Quite frankly, she’s due, as is Emmylou Harris. Maybe next year will be the year of the woman?
Sunday, May 27th, 2007
April 26, 1994
After two successful albums with producers Paul Worley & Ed Seay, Pam Tillis needed a change. She approached her label with a request to co-produce her third country album, and with their full support, she entered the studio with Steve Fischell to create Sweetheart’s Dance, the album that would bring Tillis the most critical and commercial success in her career and earn her the coveted CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Sweetheart’s Dance distinguishes itself among the rest of Tillis’ catalog and the bulk of mainstream country releases during the mid-nineties with its relentless, joyous optimism. The album slows down only three times over ten standout tracks, a ratio of uptempos to ballads that is incredibly rare among female country artists. What’s most impressive is the range of styles those uptempo songs explore, making each one distinctive.