Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 2, 2003

Countdown to Winstock, part 2

By Ryan Gueningsman

Only two weeks left until Winstock 2003.

This week takes a look at the Saturday afternoon artists ­ including an exclusive interview with Rebecca Lynn Howard done in Mankato Feb. 2, as well as bio information on Darryl Worley and Loretta Lynn.

Rebecca Lynn Howard, 1 p.m.

There have been few artists who struck gold on their first attempt at a record deal in Nashville.

For others, it took more than one try.

For Rebecca Lynn Howard ­ the third time has proven to be the charm.

Howard was signed to her first record label, Rising Tides Records, when she was just 18. She recorded the song "Softly and Tenderly" for the Grammy-winning soundtrack for the movie "The Apostle."

Unfortunately, the label closed its doors in 1998 before Howard could put out an album.

She found herself in the same boat when her second record label, Decca Records, closed its doors a short time later.

"I tried to approach both of the shut-downs with a positive attitude." Howard said, "however, I'm only human, and I did get a little down over it, but we came back full-blast and landed on MCA."

She put out her first MCA album in 2000, but it did not yield much in the hits department. Her second album, "Forgive," proved to be her launching pad. Released late last year, it produced the co-written song of the same name.

"For the case of 'Forgive,' that was actually a song idea that I got out of an experience watching my best friend go through a divorce," Howard said, "so I kind of draw from all over. Sometimes they (song ideas) just come out of the blue."

The song "Forgive" brought Howard back to the soundtrack scene. It also landed her a guest role on the show "Providence" last fall.

"My acting debut was last fall right before Providence went off the air," Howard said. "I got to play myself, so it wasn't like I slipped into another character or anything. I've never acted before, but if it's to promote my music, I'll do it. I don't really have any desire to do anything else with it.

"I know my limits," she said, laughing.

Howard co-wrote seven out of the 12 songs on "Forgive." Also included on the album is a re-make of "Softly and Tenderly."

"The inspiration for my songs can come from anywhere," Howard said. "It can be an idea from a book I read, maybe a line in a movie, but a lot of times I get inspiration from watching people go through different things in their lives."

Throughout her childhood in Salyersville, Ky., Howard was influenced by a lot of popular female artists of all genres of music ­ not just country.

"Musical influences early on were (fellow Winstock performer) Loretta Lynn, and Patsy Cline," Howard said. "I got into Reba McEntire when I was about six years old, and later Patty Loveless.

"I grew up listening to the Carpenters, Sheryl Crow, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey ­ just so many different kinds of music. When you see my live shows, and hear my record, it's kind of a collage of all those sounds."

At the present stage in her career, she is already writing and finding songs for her next album.

"In just a couple of weeks, we'll start recording the next album," Howard said. "Emory Gordy, Jr. is producing, and we're actually going to debut some of the new stuff tonight, so it's a little sneak-preview for what's to come."

Judging by the Mankato crowd, good things are in store for Howard, as she received a standing ovation at the end of her performance.

"Everything's going great now, and we're just focused on the future, she said.

"We can't wait to get there (Winstock) and play for everybody ­ that's what we love to do. It's going to be an awesome show."

Some of Rebecca Lynn Howard's hits:

· "Forgive"

· "Beautiful to You"

· "Dancin' in God's Country"

Darryl Worley, 2:30 p.m.

"Add another limb to the chart-topper tree," for Darryl Worley. After basically killing his previous single, "Family Tree," with the smash hit "Have You Forgotten?" Worley need not worry about where he is at in the game as both songs continue to get airplay, and Worley is on his way.

With recent appearances on CNN, Fox News Channel, and a story in USA Today, Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" is taking on a life of its own. Yet, Worley is taking it all in stride.

"We're not trying to be politically correct" Worley told USA Today. "We're trying to put out a message that we believe everybody needs to hear, whether they agree with it totally or not."

Worley had his first real hit with the tune "Good Day to Run," followed by a couple more singles, and eventually his first number one song "I Miss My Friend."

Born and raised in the hills of Tennessee, Worley enjoys touring up here in Minnesota at places such as Winstock.

"I grew up in Hardin County, Tennessee, which is right by the southern border of the state, where the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee all come together," Worley said. "It's a real rural area ­ my hometown is Savannah ­ and it's just a real laid-back kind of country place, and man, do I miss it ­ it makes me feel good when I get to come to places like this."

Winstock is sure to make Worley feel right at home as he helps keep the party going Saturday afternoon with his performance.

Some of Darryl Worley's hits:

· "Good Day to Run"

· "When You Need My Love "

· "Second Wind"

· "I Miss My Friend"

· "Family Tree"

· "Have You Forgotten?"

Loretta Lynn, 4 p.m.

To say that she is the queen of country is an understatement when it comes to the career and life of Miss Loretta Lynn.

With a life that has included number one records, published books, dealing with death and heartache, Lynn's life sounds like it was taken straight out of a movie.

In fact, a movie was made about her life called "Coal Miner's Daughter" in 1980. Actress Sissy Spacek portrayed Lynn.

Married at the age of 13, Lynn was a poor white girl who "never dreamed I'd get out of the Holler, let alone sing," she said. Her husband heard her sing and encouraged her to get up on stages and share her gift. She experienced heartache when he passes away several years back.

She had her first hit with the song "Honky Tonk Girl," and the hits kept on rolling after that. She has gone on to release 70 albums, 17 of which went to number one, and she has had 27 number one hit songs. She has done duets, won countless awards, made television appearances on "The Today Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," as well as "The Tonight Show," amongst many others.

Lynn is noted for singing about controversial issues at times. One of her biggest hits was an anthem called "The Pill," about birth control. Some of her most famous duets were with fellow country legend Conway Twitty, who passed away in 1993.

At the height of her career, she would travel half a million miles by bus per year. She still rides in that purple tour bus, and is still out there singing. Any plans to slow down? "Never" she said.

Some of Loretta Lynn's hits:

· "Honky Tonk Girl"

· "Fist City"

· "The Pill"

· "Coal Miner's Daughter"

· "You Ain't Woman Enough to take My Man"

· "Trouble in Paradise"

· "Hey Loretta"

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