She’s Doin’ So Fine

This last Saturday, August 1, 2015, was the first Jody Miller Day in Blanchard, Oklahoma. I had the privilege of attending the holiday’s first celebration, the official “Home of Jody Miller” sign unveiling and street dedication. Through various words from the Mayor, radio personalities, and Jody herself, it was more than obvious that she is the pride of Blanchard and one of Oklahoma’s stars.

Leading up to the ceremony I listened to Miller’s Grammy Award winning album, “Queen of The House.” I had found a pristine copy and it has quickly became one of the gems in my collection. I was determined to get Ms. Miller’s signature on this sleeve this day.

The album opens with the iconic “Queen of The House.” This song won the Grammy for best Female Country Performance and is an answer to Roger Miller’s (another Okie) “King of The Road.” It was quite the feminist tune in the most respectful way, especially in 1965. When listening to the song with a narcissistic tone and a little sarcasm, it can be quite a wake up call and very humourous. The video adds much to the song’s candor as well.

IMG_0812The song is followed by another one of Miller’s hits, “He Walks Like A Man.” A tune with a marching beat and brass vocals. Flipping the record, you find classic covers of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line.”

Her voice flows over “Silver Threads” differently then I have heard before. There is no sorrow to be drowned in the warm glow of anybody’s wine for Miller’s voice is a fine wine in itself. Once you listen to a song by Miller you acquire an after taste. Her vocals resonate within you, and it’s difficult to let go. It is the same situation with “I Walk The Line.” Something sticks with you after listening to it. You must listen to this song at least three times for a good sip.

Now, after listening to this album on repeat, I was ready for the event. Although the ceremony was short in length it had great depth. The testimonies about the singer Jody and the person Jody opened your eyes to more than just her music. She’s a God-fearing, family oriented, good ol’ country girl (Thank God!). When I went up to meet her she was shocked that I had a copy of the album and graciously signed it for me. We then chatted for a moment. As an Okie and music fan, it was a surreal experience.

I take great pride in being Oklahoman, our heritage is so rich, but I especially take pride in our musical heritage as a state. Some of the greatest singers have red dirt running through their veins. Many of these singers returned to the great plains and it seems that although they have won lofty awards, being recognized in their own backyard is the biggest one.

It’s safe to say once Okie dust gets in your bones there is no turning back. Our heritage and pride is doing fine down here in Oklahoma and Jody Miller helps make this land grand.

 

One thought on “She’s Doin’ So Fine

  1. Gabe, these are fine words you have written about Jody and her talent. What she pulled off with the single “Queen of the House” could have proven disastrous in less caring hands. She sings the song with honesty, never sneering at the character nor the listening audience. I agree with you that “I Walk the Line” is a standout. You can feel Jody’s attitude in that performance.She’s a rock chick on that cut. The same can be said for her groovy take on Don Gibson’s “Sea of Heartbreak.” “He Walks Like a Man” remains Jody’s favorite single release, and her commanding performance therein eventually captured the attention of the organizers of the San Remo, Italy Song Festival, where she competed, introducing the magnificent “Io Che Non Vivo,” which, in English, later became “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” For every upbeat number on this album, including the most “danceable” version of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” ever recorded, there is an equal number of torchy ballads that Jody just nails. My favorite of the ballads is the slow and smokey song, “The Greatest Actor.” The resignation and sadness in Jody’s voice are virtually palpable. In her own special style, Jody ably conveys emotional devastation in the most beautiful way. This album is a great example of the Golden Pop that emanated from the Capitol Tower in L.A. throughout the 60’s, and the LP is chock full of The Wrecking Crew musicians in all of their glory. With Jody at the microphone, this is a vinyl excursion worthy of your attention–over and over again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s