News / Arts & Entertainment

Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Marshall Chapman
Marshall Chapman
Katherine Cole
Marshall Chapman turned 64 earlier this year, but the South Carolina-born rocker shows no sign of slowing down. She’s just released her 13th album, “Blaze of Glory” and reviewers are calling it one of the finest of her more-than-40-year career.

“Blaze of Glory” isn’t just the title track to Chapman’s latest CD, it’s a premonition she once had. Living the hard life of a rock-and-roller, Chapman never figured she’d live past 40. But at 39, after years of a stereotypical rock-and-roll lifestyle, she checked herself into rehab.  And now, at an age when many performers start thinking about slowing down, Chapman is doing just the opposite.

Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Marshall Chapman Shows No Signs of Slowing Downi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Since graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1971, she he has supported herself not only as a performer, but as a songwriter. Many other acts have recorded her songs, including John Hiatt, Wynonna Judd, Jimmy Buffett and the band Sawyer Brown…yet she’s never had a huge hit of her own.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Chapman’s not successful. In the past few years, the 1.8-meter-tall Nashville resident has released two albums to glowing reviews from critics around the world, while also acting and writing prose. You may have seen her playing Gwyneth Paltrow’s road manager in the hit movie “Country Strong.” Or on the current TV show “Nashville.” Chapman co-wrote the songs for an off-Broadway musical called “Good Ol’ Girls” and has published two books, including an autobiography. In it, she tells how she grew up in a wealthy family in Spartanburg, South Carolina and then defied her family’s expectations by becoming a rock-and-roll musician.

Chapman dates the roots of her rebellion to 1956, when the family maid took her downtown to see Elvis Presley perform.

“My parents were out of town and we just took the city bus down there. They had matinee shows back then. He was on a Country package tour with The Louvin Brothers and The Carter Sisters and Justin Tubb," she said. "I think when that deal was signed, he wasn’t quite 'Elvis' yet, but by the time he got to Spartanburg he was Elvis and he was definitely closing the show. This was, of course, during segregation and I was in the balcony with the blacks. This little tow-headed [blonde] seven-year-old child. So that started it. They measure time BC and AD. I measure time BE and AE.”

x
The opening track on "Blaze of Glory" harkens back to those early days of rock. “Love In The Wind” is a duet with Todd Snider that almost didn’t happen.

Chapman’s original vision for “Love In The Wind” had alternative-Country singer-songwriter Todd Snider singing harmony with her. But that idea blew up the minute Snider walked into the studio.

“Todd walks in and the first thing he says is ‘I don’t sing harmony.’ So, I had to rethink this and get loose," Chapman said. "And we went on the ‘Todd plan.’ It sort of became more of a call and response, which actually is probably better than what I had in mind. And that often happens in the studio.  And now it sounds really cool the way it is, because you don’t know when he’s coming in. And I love it.”

When we spoke, Chapman was on her way back to Nashville after a show at Spartanburg’s Chapman Cultural Center, named for her arts-supporting family. The show was a fundraiser for arts education and took place just a few days after the singer was inducted into the Spartanburg Music Trail - an open-air hall of fame for musicians in her hometown.
 
There are nine original songs on “Blaze of Glory” along with two interesting covers: Hoagy Carmichael’s standard “The Nearness of You,” and this jazzy update of the Delmore Brothers’ Country classic “Blues Stay Away From Me.”

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
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 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 US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
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 Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

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.”