If you dig TV's Nashville as I do, then you know a good part of the show is devoted to female country singers and the drama that swirls around them on stage and off. Women and country music have a long history dating back to the 1930s, when Patsy Montana began singing as a solo act in movies. Throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s, country women weren't taken seriously—primarily because label honchos didn't think they'd sell many records. Teenage girls bought records, the thinking went, and they wanted to hear boys singing, not girls. [Pictured above: Kitty Wells}
Here's a two-part BBC documentary on the history of women in country music—which makes you realize that the female country singer wasn't just a pretty face with a voice but an evolving movement to win independence and prove that a gal could make a record that millions of women and men would buy.
Here's Part 3: (I cannot embed the video clip, so please click on the link).
And here's Part 4: (I cannot embed the video clip, so please click on the link).
Wall Street Journal alert. In today's Wall Street Journal, I interview singer Andrea Bocelli for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here or please buy the paper). My approach was to find out how the world's most successful classical artist enjoys his private living space given that he can't see it. I found Andrea sensitive, brashly confident and completely dismissive of his disability (he sails and rides horses—alone). [Photo of Andrea Bocelli above in New York in August by Giovanni De Sandre]