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article imageJeannie C. Riley talks Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, new CD Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 21, 2019 in Music
Veteran country star Jeannie C. Riley chatted with Digital Journal about her induction in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and her latest studio album, "The Music City Sessions."
"I am retired now, but I still like to remember," the country queen admitted.
Riley is a Grammy Award winner for "Best Female Country Vocal Performance" for "Harper Valley P.T.A." in 1969, and a recent inductee of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, where she was inducted alongside Claude Gray and Rodney Crowell. "The Texas Music Hall of Fame was really nice. I didn't realize what a big deal it was," she said. "That is a great museum. It is super nice and I am so honored to be a part of it."
Her latest studio album, The Music City Sessions, released on Country Rewind Records, features the single "Me and Bobby McGee." "That did really well. It was a surprise to me. I didn't know I had a single on it until I learned I had an indie hit," she said. "It came off a CD that I recorded years ago. I was very pleased with it."
Aside from "Me and Bobby McGee" and her signature tune "Harper Valley P.T.A.," the new album The Music City Sessions features such tracks as "Country Girl," "That's A No-No," "Crying Time," "There Never Was A Time," "Son Of A Preacher Man," "Things Go Better With Love," "The Back Side Of Dallas," "The Games People Play," "Wish You Were Here," "The Girl Most Lonely," "Okie From Muskogee," and the closing tune "Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arm."
With "Harper Valley P.T.A.," Riley was the first female recording artist to reach No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts with the same single, a feat that would go un-repeated until Dolly Parton tied it with "9 to 5" in 1981. "Everybody that is known in the music business is known for a particular song. 'Harper Valley P.T.A.' was my song. It was just meant to be mine," she said.
"I was blessed and thankful to get that song," she added. She complimented country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus for having the best version of "Harper Valley P.T.A." other than hers. "I love Billy's version so much. He changed the music and his version even had a music break in the middle," she said.
Earlier this year, "Harper Valley P.T.A." was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. "I didn't even know that there was such a thing until they inducted me in it," she said with a sweet laugh.
On the impact of technology and streaming services on the music business, she said, "I don't listen to the radio a lot these days. If I want to hear something that I don't have on a CD, I go on YouTube to hear what I want to hear."
She noted that in the last few years, she noticed a resurgence of vinyl. "I was at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and people would come in and they would buy vinyl as much as they were buying regular CDs," she said. "I love picking up an album, reading it and reading the liner notes. I miss the big album covers. I like to see vinyl coming back."
Riley had nothing but the greatest remarks about the late country songstress Lynn Anderson. "Lynn did have a lot of success in the music business. She did a lot of shows, she met a lot of people and made a lot of friends," Riley said.
For young and aspiring country musicians, Riley said, "The music business has changed so drastically. If God cares enough to give you a talent and to enable you to use that talent, He will choose your audience for you. Music is a gift and if people use their gift well, practice and work really hard, God will open doors for people."
She expressed her gratitude for her fans. "I couldn't have made it without the fans. If people didn't buy show tickets, records or CDs, then I wouldn't be anywhere. The fans are responsible for making artists successful," she said.
Riley acknowledged that she is more successful now than she has ever been in her life. "I am perfectly happy and content with where I am. I married my childhood sweetheart and there is nothing I enjoy more than watching a Netflix movie with him," she said. "In my professional life, success was reaching an audience on a personal level."
The Music City Sessions is available on all digital providers by clicking here.
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