Pam, Mel Tillis featured at Country Music Hall of Fame
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
– "It's All Relative: Mel and Pam Tillis" is an exhibition that just opened, honoring the careers of Mel Tillis and his daughter Pam Tillis at the Country Music Hall of Fameand Museum.
Mel Tillis began his career as a songwriter in the 1950s and over the next two decades penned classic hits for Bobby Bare, Webb Pierce, Ray Price and Kenny Rogers. Though Tillis had launched his recording career in the late 1950s and continued to record intermittently, it wasn't until the 1970s that his baritone voice became a force on the country charts. Tillis enjoyed a string of number one hits including "I Ain't Never," "Good Woman Blues," "Heart Healer," "Coca Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rains." The Country Music Association named him Entertainer of the Year in 1976, the same year he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Tillis also established himself as a successful comic actor, appearing in films such as W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and The Cannonball Run.
Pam Tillis, like her father, enjoyed success as a songwriter prior to her performing. In the 1980s, Highway 101, Chaka Khan, Juice Newton and Conway Twitty recorded her songs. During the 1990s, Tillis achieved success as a recording artist. She recorded several gold and platinum albums, including "Sweetheart's Dance," which included the number 1 hit "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)," and in 1994 Tillis won the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award.
She was also one of the first women in country music to produce her own albums, including "It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis," her 2002 collection of songs written by her father. Her acting resume includes appearances on Broadway and in television programs such as "Touched by an Angel."
Exhibit highlights include original stage costumes designed by Nashville couturier Manuel Cuevas, including Mel Tillis' blue and orange suit inspired by his alma mater, the University of Florida, and its Gators football team; and Pam Tillis' rhinestone-studded bolero jacket, a garment that she wore often onstage.
Other items include film artifacts, including a cowboy hat worn by Mel Tillis from the 1984 film The Cannonball Run II;and a derby hat worn by his character Booger Skaggs in the 1986 film Uphill All the Way, in which he co-starred with Roy Clark. Pam Tillis' "Jailhouse Rock" costume seen in the Broadway production of Smokey Joe's Café is also on display.
Pam Tillis' Gibson EC-20 Starburst guitar, which she played onstage when she was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.
The exhibition is open through June.
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CD reviews for Pam Tillis
Just in Time for Christmas
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Songs like "Christmas Waltz," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" all point out the social nature of this popular season. Many arrangements sound the way a piano man might sing them at his piano bar. »»»
Pam Tillis' first non-major label disc, "Tillis Sings Tillis," reminded listeners that Mel's daughter had strong roots in his brand of traditional country. She takes advantage of her continued independence on this new release on her own label to venture not just into traditional fare, but pop, rock and even bit of cabaret jazz style. The end result is a widely varied and enjoyable album that's still commercial-sounding enough that one could imagine many of these songs on »»»
It's All Relative - Tillis Sings Tillis
Lucky Dog reverses their usual equation (matching outsider acts with mainstream producers) by combining a proven Nashville hitmaker with rootsy producer, Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). Their meeting ground is the rich, decade-spanning songbook of the singer's father, Mel Tillis, with results that perfectly amplify the combination of songwriter and singer.
Pam Tillis has written, recorded and produced her share of hits, but none with the emotional charge of tackling her father's songbook. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
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