SFC Spotlight: Kitty Wells

It is no surprise that the “Queen of Country Music,” Ms. Kitty Wells, is well represented at the Southern Folklife Collection. Hundreds recordings, photographs, publications, and memorabilia chronicle her remarkable life and career. While we want to start giving peeks via Field Trip South into our plans for the upcoming symposium, exhibit and concert The Banjo: Southern Roots, American Branches, the passing of Kitty Wells deserves some attention here as well.

To start, we found a fascinating newsletter, the Macon News, announcing Kitty Wells signing with then independent record label Capricorn Records after her release from a lifetime contract she originally signed with Decca records in 1952 (click photo to enlarge)

The newsletter also features Miss Wells in the Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA recording a cover of Dylan’s “Forever Young.” The photo of drummer Bill Stewart, producer Johnny Sandlin, and organist Paul Hornsby in the control room is a classic.

The 1973 newsletter also reminds listeners of one of the year’s best country crossover hits, “Behind Closed Doors,” performed by Charlie Rich, but composed by Capricorn artist Kenny O’Dell. Tomorrow, more information about the banjo symposium and concert, PLUS the Kitty Wells Cookbook.