Working steadily but recording infrequently during the 1950s and early '60s, "girl singer" Billie Jo Spears (1938-2011) broke through in 1968 when she got signed to Capitol Records, and saw her fortunes soar a few years later when she scored several Top 10 and Top 20 hits, as the countrypolitan/sunshine country scene gave way to the "urban cowboy" fad of the early '80s. Spears was one of Nashville's many sultry singers who fared well during the disco era, although like many others she quickly dropped off the radar as tastes changed in the 'Eighties... Here's a quick look at her career...




Discography

Billie Jo Spears "The Voice Of Billie Jo Spears" (Capitol, 1968)


Billie Jo Spears "Mr. Walker, It's All Over" (Capitol, 1969)


Billie Jo Spears "Miss Sincerity" (Capitol, 1969) (LP)
(Produced by Kelso Herston)

The Bakersfield Sound hovers over these pleasantly twangy recordings, with Spears covering a couple of Merle Haggard songs, as well as tunes by Dallas Frazier and an early one by Eddie Rabbit. Spears is in fine voice, with a more rugged, rural edge than many of her female contemporaries (although, it has to be said, there are still plenty of poppy Nashville touches to be heard as well. Mostly, though, this is nice stuff, and should appeal to fans of Jean Shepard or '60s-era Loretta Lynn. Definitely worth a spin.


Billie Jo Spears "With Love" (Capitol, 1970)
(Produced by George Richey)


Billie Jo Spears "Country Girl" (Capitol, 1970)


Billie Jo Spears "Just Singin' " (Capitol, 1971)


Billie Jo Spears "Blanket On The Ground" (United Artists, 1975)


Billie Jo Spears "Billie Jo" (United Artists, 1975)


Billie Jo Spears "What I've Got In Mind Ain't Mine" (United Artists, 1976)


Billie Jo Spears "I'm Not Easy" (United Artist, 1976)
(Produced by Larry Butler)

Yeesh. A flambouyant countrypolitan crescendo-fest, with production courtesy of Larry Butler (although Billy Sherrill is listed as an "engineer," he clearly had a lot to do with crafting the album's sound as well...) Ill-advised, but very much of its time. A couple of okay songs, like the mildly rambunctious single, "Never Did Like Whiskey," and the slower "I'm Not Easy," but also a bunch of stuff that'll just put you sleep.


Billie Jo Spears & Del Reeves "By Request " (United Artists, 1976) (LP)


Billie Jo Spears "If You Want Me" (United Artists, 1977)


Billie Jo Spears "Lonely Hearts Club" (United Artists, 1977)


Billie Jo Spears "Love Ain't Gonna Wait For Us" (United Artists, 1977)


Billie Jo Spears "I Will Survive" (United Artists, 1979)


Billie Jo Spears "Standing Tall" (United Artists, 1980)


Billie Jo Spears "Billie Jo Spears Today" (Ritz, 1983)


Billie Jo Spears "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (Dynamic, 2005)


Billie Jo Spears "The Very Best Of Billie Jo Spears" (2005)


Billie Jo Spears "The Ultimate Collection" (EMI, 2007)
A 2-CD set, covering a lot of the same material as the Very Best Of collection above...




Best-Ofs & Related Records



Links

  • Wikipedia has a good biographical article and discography... Guaranteed to be at least 84% accurate!






Hick Music Index



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