Archive for the ‘k. d. lang’ Category

Wilma Burgess

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Listen: When You’re Not Around / Wilma Burgess

I walked into the house after seeing Bassnectar earlier tonight at Terminal 5, and as much as I was wired beyond nuts from the relentless low, low, low end of the show’s live mix, my mood went unexpectedly gentle. Usually I’ll sleep a great show off, but tonight I just felt like a peaceful nightcap, and switched on the Seeburg, selecting one single blindly. The result couldn’t have been more perfect.

Enter Wilma Burgess. Producer Owen Bradley signed her as the potential successor to Patsy Cline back in ’64. As a result, we got some great singles from the two all through the decade.

Preceding k.d. Lang by a solid twenty years in battling her sexual preferences with a not so tolerant Country music business meant most of her records got very little airplay.

‘When You’re Not Around’ kept in character with her neutral genre lyrical song choices and was not a chart hit. In fact, it was the third of three flops, and almost ended her time with Decca until the fourth single, ‘Baby’ reached #7 in September ’65.

The Paradise Island Trio / Owen Bradley

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Listen: Adventures In Paradise / The Paradise Island Trio & Owen Bradley
The Paradise Island Trio / Owen Bradley

Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, k. d. lang. Now that’s some serious lineage. Well Owen Bradley produced them all. Why is he not recognized more often? I guess the ghetto of country music creates a constant oversight.

Although the handful of recordings he made as steel guitar player with The Paradise Island Trio don’t on the surface appear to have historical value, in actuality, their ambience in sound and tonality very much do. Completely typical of the clean, electric hollow body picking prevalent during ’62, ‘Adventures In Paradise’ most likely benefited from Owen Bradley’s producing and/or engineering skills. His mic technique alone is difficult to mistake.

I believe the island of paradise in question here is Nashville by the way, where combining stereophonic sound with Hawaiian tropics was a license to print money. The Three Suns were a must for every Noguchi knock off coffee table and Don Ho was right around the corner.

Patsy Cline / k. d. lang

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

patsycline3cigarettesusa, Patsy Cline, Decca, k. d. lang, Sire

Listen: Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray / Patsy Cline PatsyCline3Cigarettes.mp3

kdlang3cigarettesuk, Patsy Cline, Decca, k. d. lang, Sire

Listen: Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray / k.d. lang kdlang3Cigarette.mp3

It’s hard to believe that during her lifetime, Patsy Cline released 24 singles, with only one reaching Billboard’s US Top 10 Pop chart. A half dozen others did pretty well, but sadly she never saw that legendary star rise during her days on earth. ‘Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray’ always seemed like a standard, a well known smash, a hit. But it wasn’t. Never even made the Top 100.

Just as Patsy Cline belted out the final few song lyrics, so too did k.d. lang.

I’ll never forget being totally floored when she did this at The Beacon Theater, back in 1988, during the ANGEL WITH A LARIET tour. ‘Crying’ was an expected showstopper, yet somehow, this one surprised everyone even more. No one was ready. Corinne and I left there numb. This live UK B side gives you an accurate replica as to why.


Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Miss Chatelaine (St. Tropez Edit) / kd lang

Listen: Miss Chatelaine (St. Tropez Edit) / k. d. lang

Never have I known k. d. lang to deliver anything less than a stellar live performance. From her very first New York shows, at The Bottom Line, that vocal stamina was jaw dropping. Initially, she claimed to be the reincarnation of Patsy Cline. Couple that with an outfit not unlike Granny Clampett and it reeked of novelty. Undoubtedly the reason Howard and Krasnow weren’t interested when I brought her into Elektra as a signing consideration. I was too inexperienced to see her potential, and as this was early ’85, I’d just started my A&R career, hence had no clue about fighting to get an act signed.

I feel foolish recalling the day she and her manager, Larry Wanagas, came by my office, only for me to tell them I was passing. What a idiot.

Deservedly, Seymour Stein, then a floor below me at Sire, saw her potential very differently and brought her greatness to the world.

She has many essential singles, most in classic picture sleeves. ‘Miss Chatelaine’ was a big hit in the UK, and it was fantastic hearing it on Radio 1 at the time. A particular hard one to find, it’s B side, the appropriately titled ‘St. Tropez Remix’ is equally vital, effortlessly bringing the tropics to your speakers.