News / Arts & Entertainment

Anna Wilson Marries Country and Pop on 'Countrypolitan Duets'

Singer-songwriter Anna Wilson
Singer-songwriter Anna Wilson

Multimedia

Audio
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
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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”