Jeannie C. Riley

A small town girl from Texas, chewed up and spit out by the industry of Nashville and the culture of Music Row. I’m sure she’d tell you the same thing, maybe in the same words.

Jeannie sang on “Harper Valley PTA,” one of the biggest crossover singles ever. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly a dream come true.

Hear more about Jeannie in the episodes below, including a full episode on her career as part of the “Harper Valley PTA” series in Season 1.

Jeannie C. Riley

CR008 Harper Valley PTA, Part 2: Jeannie C. Riley

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Jeannie C. Riley’s debut single sold over a million copies within ten days of being released but she never wanted to record the song. She’s often considered a one-hit wonder. We can easily disprove that.

In the late ’60s, Jeannie C. Riley became country music’s most blatant sex symbol to date but she never wanted to wear those clothes. Small town girl with big dreams goes to the city and lets it break her in order to make her. Total cliche, right?

Sure.

Except Jeannie’s choice to bury the story in lie after lie turns it into a mystery tale of obscured identity, infidelity and blackmail. In this episode, some truth sees the light of day, maybe for the first time ever.

Recommended for fans of Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Russell, The Wilburn Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Little Darlin’ Records and mystery novels.

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Shelby Singleton

CR007 Harper Valley PTA, Part 1: Shelby S. Singleton

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Two words to sum up the career of Shelby Singleton?

Publicity stunt.

You think all it takes to make a hit record is to find a good song and get a good performance of it?

That’s cute. Have a seat and let an old-school record man show you how it’s done. This is Shelby Singleton.

When it took driving a trunk full of records around the country to make them into hits, that’s what he did. Then he became a producer. Then he became a VP at Mercury Records. Then he founded an independent musical empire in Nashville and really got to work making new enemies.

This episode is recommended for fans of: marketing, publicity, controversy, rockabilly, Supermensch (the documentary on Shep Gordon), George Jones, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe, Margie Singleton, Jeannie C. Riley and Roger Miller.

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Loretta Lynn

CR002 The Pill: Why Was Loretta Lynn Banned?

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Maybe you already know Loretta Lynn’s 1975 song about birth control, “The Pill,” was banned from radio upon release.

But do you know why?

The real answer is not what many would assume. 

Recommended if you like: Kitty Wells, Webb Pierce, Jimmie Rodgers, Dixie Chicks, Conway Twitty, KT Oslin, Garth Brooks, Sunday Sharpe, Lorene Mann, Jeannie C. Riley, Hank Thompson and feminism.

Also recommended if you don’t like: Barbra Streisand.

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