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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.