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Shelby Lynne: “Call Me Up” and “Heaven’s Only Days Down the Road”

Shelby Lynne is a versatile country singer/song writer. Her album, “I am Shelby Lynne,” won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1999.

Lynne was born in Quantico, VA, in 1968 but raised in Mobile, AL. Her life was punctured by tragedy: Her dad was an English teacher and juvenile corrections officer with a drinking problem. He became abusive and eventually killed Lynne’s mother and then himself.

AllMusic’s Steve Huey and other sources says that Lynne’s rise to prominence got started in earnest with an appearance on The Nashville Network’s “Nashville Now” show and a duet with George Jones on the song “If I Could Bottle This Up” in 1988. He does a nice job of describing the eclectic Lynne:

Lynne’s work ranged through country, blues, Southern soul, roots rock, Western swing, jazz, and adult contemporary pop; naturally, that eclecticism made her difficult to market, and it also resulted in pressure to record more commercial, radio-friendly material that didn’t really suit her. Once Lynne put all the pieces together, she found herself embraced not by the country mainstream, but by rock critics, British audiences, and the alt-country/Americana crowd.

The awful story of her youth is alluded to in an article in Rolling Stone. The article–with the foreboding headline “Dark Dixie Closet” — focuses on Lynne’s new album. It also discusses growing up with a “different” sexuality in the south. A side note is that Lynne curses like a longshoreman.

Above is “Call Me Up” and below is “Heaven’s Only Days Down the Road.”

Wikipedia, AllMusic and Rolling Stone were used to write this post.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.