“It’s hard to set goals because I feel so lucky for all the stuff that’s happened so far,” she admits. “I’d feel selfish and guilty to ask for more.”
Lambert’s biggest career boost occurred last spring when “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” won the Academy of Country Music’s award for Best Album. “It’s changed the way I perceive myself and the way people perceive me. The industry gets me and likes my music.”
“I’m a lucky guy. I never take it for granted. I love nothing more than getting on a tour bus and doing 45 shows. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than that – well, maybe one thing.”
Allee Willis wrote, among many hits, the theme to “Friends.” “So many people come up to me and do that hideous clap from the first line. The producers wanted a very Monkees-sounding song, which it is.” The show debuted three weeks after she wrote it. “I’m totally grateful. That show exploded. I went along for the ride.”
“I was a wallflower growing up. When we went national, there was a l too much attention. I basically just hung out in my hotel room and tried to figure out happiness. I wasn’t getting it from that attention. I was 22 at the time. I was really insecure.”
On hearing his song “Nobody Knows Me” was played at a wedding: “It is a cheating song! But if somebody expresses an interest in one of my songs, I don’t try explaining to them why they shouldn’t be interested. We shouldn’t judge the emotional state of newlyweds.”
“On the last day of school, (Cooper’s song ‘School’s Out’) is the National Anthem. On that day, it’s the most popular song on the planet. (laughs) I become Francis Scott Key for one day.”
“Let’s define drag. Drag isn’t necessarily a man doing female attire. It can be a female doing male attire. When you get even deeper, you’re born naked, and the rest is drag. Everything is drag.”
Les Paul played his first pro gig on guitar and harmonica under the name Red Hot Red. “Years before that, workers were digging a sewer near our house and, when they broke for lunch, one of them played harmonica. I jumped off the porch because I loved the sound. The guitar came about later.”
“I was 18 years old and supporting 50 workers with my career. That’s not normal. I never met my father. I did not know who he was until I was 30 and he died before I knew his name. There’s a lot of pain and loneliness about being famous and young and in a hotel room by yourself.”
“Our success shocked us,” Speech said. “You have to remember in the early ’90s hip-hop groups weren’t selling millions of records. It was a blur. It was scary for us. But it was incredible. I still keep a lot of it in my heart.”
“Most people who bought ‘Copperhead Road’ (his 1988 best-selling album) were disposed Lynyrd Skynyrd fans. There were people who understood why I wrote ‘Copperhead Road’ and ‘Johnny Come Lately.’ I was trying to lend a voice to people other than myself. That’s why I do what I do.”
“I played a couple of amphitheaters where I saw Aerosmith and Jimmy Buffett play,” Chesney said, still sounding like a star-struck fan. “I was one of the guys out there partying on the grass. I look out now and think, ‘There’s a lot of me out there.’ “
“Lyrics are a companion. It’s 3 minutes of someplace else to be and someone else to be with.”
“The criticism I used to get when I played smaller places was that I was yelling too much and the music was too big. The music I was raised on is ’70s and ’80s rock anthem-type songs and musicians. I always write a big chorus, I can’t help it.”
“When we started out, there were no rock groups per se. There were rock stars like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and the Everly Brothers. No groups played rock. We didn’t look at the Four Lads and think, ‘We want to be like them.'”
He’s a natural showman who tore the stuffing out of sedate country concerts. And he’s sold more albums than any act other than the Beatles.
There’s an uneasy relationship between k.d. lang and her fame. She calls “Constant Craving” “my least favorite song (on the album `Ingenue’) so I was probably aware of its commercial potential.”
“I really thought I might have missed the big wave of country,” McGraw said. “I knew there was nothing else I could do for a living, so I had to keep trying.”
Vig: “(Kurt Cobain) would pick up the guitar and play something. I’d ask, `What’s that?’ It would be this gorgeous new thing he was writing. He said, `It’s just some pop (expletive),’ and he’d put the guitar down. Nirvana came from such a punk background. He felt he had to scream, but he liked to sing quietly.”
“The audience didn’t look at the band, but they felt the grooves. (James) Brown was the attraction. He’d do the dances, the splits and all that,” Stubblefield says. “But I always knew the band was the hottest thing.”
“I can see how it seems like a total about-face,” says Jeff Tweedy, 26. “But we feel like we’ve been doing the same thing all along. Even before we recorded ‘No Depression,’ we had tried out pedal steel players for the band and we had been doing acoustic shows.”
“I haven’t compromised through the years. I stayed with very good music and never did a piece of junk just to make a buck,” Bennett says. “If you’re stimulated, you feel genuine about the fact you gave it an honest shot and that you didn’t sell out. You didn’t take a dive just to make money.”
“(‘Sara Smile’) holds up as much, if not more, than any song we’ve done. We have never stopped playing it live since it was released (in 1976).”
Alison Krauss develops from prodigy to superstar in 1991 to 2000. These five profiles follow her across that decade.
Patsy Montana became the first female country singer to sell more than 1 million records, thanks to her hit, “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” in 1936.
“When I was a teenager, I loathed country music. It was all sung by old men, who in reality were probably in their 30s but they seemed old, singing about drinking whiskey and cheating on their wives. It didn’t compute. Country music is very adult. Most of all, I think you need to be grown up to really understand what they’re singing about.”
Reflecting on his wildly troubled teen days, country superstar Randy Travis pauses and says matter-of-factly: “I don’t know why I’m living.”
“I’d sing gospel on Sunday in church and blues on Monday to Saturday,” Koko Taylor says. At age 18, she moved to Chicago and hung out with blues performers in various clubs. “I kept sitting in with local bands and doing a tune here and there – for no money. That went on until (blues legend) Willie Dixon heard me sing.”
“Maybe (Grace Slick) was trying to protect her ’60s image by saying, `I was led astray by the others.’ Well, Grace was the one who brought `Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us’ to the band’s attention,” Starship’s Mickey Thomas said. “She obviously felt the need to blame others for any creative shortcomings that occurred.”
“Sometimes, I’ll write a song and say this is not even honest, and I won’t put it on the record – like ‘Jack and Diane.’ My only No. 1 record, and I didn’t want to put it on the album, because I didn’t think it was honest.”
Osbourne spoke with sincerity, but his voice and quizzical face make an almost comical impression. There’s a bit too much “Spinal Tap” in the real Ozzy. He’s not a caricature, but he’s a foggy hard rocker.