My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Tag Archives: Oprah Winfrey

Spotlight Artists: Female Singer-songwriters

For our March spotlight, we’re taking a look at four distinct country songwriters who all, at one point or another, found themselves on the cusp of stardom when they scored major label deals. None would be superstars in their own right, but their songs would be turned into some of the greatest country records of the last thirty years by some of the best female (and sometimes male) voices the genre has to offer.

In celebration of the release of Gretchen Peters Hello Cruel World and Matraca Berg’s The Dreaming Fields we’re taking a look at:

Nanci Griffith

Nanci Griffith’s life hasn’t been without its struggles. Born Nanci Caroline Griffith on July 6, 1953 in Seguin, Texas, she suffered a tragic loss when her boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident the night of their senior prom. His loss forever altered her life and became a big inspiration to her songwriting. Griffith has since survived both breast (1996) and Thyroid (1999) cancer.

As an artist, she released her debut album There’s A Light Beyond These Woods in 1978.  She would release four albums (none of which charted) before Kathy Mattea brought her fame after her version of Griffith’s “Love At The Five and Dime” peaked at #3 in 1986.

This success led to a deal with MCA Records. Lone Star State Of Mind was released in 1987. The title track would peak at #36 and the album would peak at #23. Tony Brown would also produce the follow-up, Little Love Affairs, released in 1988. It would also chart, although not as successfully. Griffith’s deal with MCA would span just three more albums, two (One Fair Summer Evening and Storms) of which charted quite low.

The 1990s would bring further success. Suzy Bogguss had a #9 peaking hit in 1992 with “Outbound Plane,” a song Griffith co-wrote with Tom Russell. In 1994, Griffith won her first (and only) Grammy award, Best Contemporary Folk Album for Other Voices, Other Rooms; a collection of songs that inspired her.

Griffiths has a new album, her first since 2009’s The Loving Kind. Although not yet released in the United States, Intersection is available in the UK.

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Win a copy of Shania Twain’s new memoir

Update:  The winners are Leeann, Rodney, and Nathan.  Congratulations, guys, and I’ll be in touch to get your shipping info.  Thanks to everybody who commented.

The best-selling female country artist of all time has written her autobiography, and it hits bookstores everywhere this week.  In the book, published by Simon & Schuster, Twain recounts her poverty-stricken upbringing through the often stormy relationship between her parents.  From the beginnings of her music career to her dreams being sidetracked by the tragic death of both parents in a car accident, on to her first record deal and her slow start in Nashville, Shania tells her story with candid honesty.  After her second album, The Woman In Me, exploded the Canadian songstress’ career, she went on to a wildly successful music career that spanned genres and continents.

Lately, Shania has been in the news following a headline-grabbing divorce from husband and producer John “Mutt” Lange, and her remarriage.  She’s also rumored to be back in the studio working on a new album for release later this year.  She’s also set to debut a brand-new series, Why Not? with Shania Twain, on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and is currently plugging her memoir in a nationwide media blitz.

We have 3 copies of Shania Twain’s From This Moment On to give away to our readers. To enter, leave us a comment by midnight, May 31, 2011 and tell us what other country stars’ autobiographies you’ve read.  Whose was your favorite/least favorite, and why?