Laura Cantrell Sings Kitty Wells

Interview + Performance

Friday, June 17, 2011

Laura Cantrell offers a tribute to the 1950s “Queen of Country Music,” Kitty Wells. Laura Cantrell offers a tribute to the 1950s “Queen of Country Music,” Kitty Wells. (Jacob Blickenstaff)

At 91 years of age, Kitty Wells is the oldest living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. And she can still surprise unsuspecting listeners. Despite her demure gingham dresses and sweet plaintive melodies, Wells was a radical. Some of her songs all but declare infidelity and promiscuousness:

I don’t claim to be an angel, My life’s been full of sin.

I Don’t Claim to Be an Angel” wasn’t the first time those issues had been broached in country music, but Wells made hits. The Grand Ole Opry tried to ban the song, but, as Laura Cantrell tells Kurt Andersen, “the horse was out of the barn.” Wells revolutionized what a woman could sing about and paved the way for Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette a generation later.

Cantrell — a singer and songwriter, and a former tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame — was raised on Wells’ music. Her new record, Kitty Wells Dresses, is a top-to-bottom tribute. Cantrell visited Studio 360 to play a few Kitty Wells tunes with her band.

 

Bonus Track: “When the Roses Bloom Again”
Laura Cantrell performs the song, from the album of the same name, live in Studio 360.

 

Video: Laura Cantrell performs "I Don't Claim to Be an Angel"

    Music Playlist
  1. Cheatin's a Sin
    Artist: Kitty Wells
    Album: Cheatin's a Sin/I Gave My Wedding Dress Away
    Label: DECCA 28931 (45 vinyl single 7-inch record)
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. I Don't Claim to be an Angel
    Artist: Laura Cantrell
    Album: Kitty Wells Dresses
    Label: Diesel Only
    Purchase: Amazon

    Performed live for Studio360

  3. Kitty Wells Dresses
    Artist: Laura Cantrell
    Album: Kitty Wells Dresses
    Label: Diesel Only
    Purchase: Amazon

    Performed live for Studio360

  4. It Wasn't God WHo Made Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
    Artist: Kitty Wells
    Album: Kitty Wells Dresses
    Label: Diesel Only
    Purchase: Amazon
  5. Poison in your Heart
    Artist: Laura Cantrell
    Album: Kitty Wells Dresses
    Label: Diesel Only
    Purchase: Amazon
  6. Appalachian Spring Suite
    Artist: Aaron Copeland
    Album: Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite

Guests:

Laura Cantrell

Produced by:

David Krasnow

Comments [4]

Joe Monteith from Topeka, KS

She is fantastic!!

Jul. 12 2011 11:49 AM
edselford from Atlanta

Go, Laura! Best of luck on your new CD!

Jul. 11 2011 11:00 PM
Todd

Kitty Well's "God Didn't Make Honky-Tonk Angels" was an answer to Hank Thompson's "I Didn't Know God Made Honky Tonk Angels".

Hank Thompson is from Texas, not Louisiana.

Hank was one of my personal heroes. So, I want to get the record straight. Laura is good, but she's no Hank.

Jun. 19 2011 07:42 PM

I really like this!! Thanks!!

Jun. 19 2011 12:19 PM

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