News / Arts & Entertainment

Anna Wilson Marries Country and Pop on 'Countrypolitan Duets'

Singer-songwriter Anna Wilson
Singer-songwriter Anna Wilson

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Doug Levine

Country meets pop and jazz on a new album by singer-songwriter Anna Wilson



Wilson taps into Nashville’s so-called “Countrypolitan” era with the help of past and present country stars and two contemporary jazz giants.  She gives a big band treatment to “Walkin’ After Midnight,” featuring the Grammy-winning trio Lady Antebellum.

Wilson explains that Countrypolitan is rooted in “The Nashville Sound,” a style introduced in the late 1950s by artists like Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline and Eddie Arnold.

“The reason it was called ‘The Nashville Sound’ was because these artists decided to bring these lush string arrangements and more pop sensibilities into their country recordings," explains. "Because they were known as country artists, so that they could get more mainstream airplay on the radio, alongside guys like Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mel Torme, all those guys which were the pop music of the day back then.  And so a lot of people criticized country artists for going too pop, kind of abandoning their country roots.  But what they really did was they opened up country music to the rest of the world.”

Anna is no stranger to Nashville, having written songs for Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn and Lee Ann Womack.  But, as Anna recalls, jazz was her first love, long before she caught the country music bug.

“I grew up on the Great American Songbook and all the great jazz and Broadway standards and stuff like that," she says.  "But, I also started getting into country music in high school and really loved it.  That was back when country was really having its big explosion in the late-‘80s, early-‘90s.  When, of course, it came time for me to graduate college I was caught up in all of that.  So I said, ‘I’m going to go to Nashville.’”

Anna Wilson's "Countrypolitan Duets" CD
Anna Wilson's "Countrypolitan Duets" CD

On Countrypolitan Duets, Anna Wilson and Matt Giraud sing Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me.”  Also featured on the album are country stars Keith Urban, Billy Dean, Connie Smith and Kenny Rodgers, as well as jazzmen Rick Braun and Larry Carlton.

Wilson says one of her biggest thrills was singing alongside Ray Price on “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.”

“It is the one track on the record I think that completely embodies the entire concept of the record," she says.  "It’s a classic country song made famous by a legendary artist who fortunately happens to still be alive and can sing on it, being Ray Price.  And then I’ve got my contemporary country music friends in Rascal Flatts to be on it.  And then, of course, myself the jazz singer.”

Anna Wilson made her debut on The Grand Ole Opry last November, sharing the stage with Connie Smith, Billy Dean and others.  

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.

Blogs