What artists' careers have encompassed the Countrypolitan style, either substantially or "On The Fringe?"
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Photos borrowed from Sandy's Fan-Dedicated Site
To categorize Sandy Posey’s work as `On The Fringe’ of `countrypolitan’ music probably substantially underestimates Sandy’s contribution to the genre. Whilst MGM Records marketed Sandy’s recordings as `pop’, much of this so-called `pop’ related strongly to `countrypolitan’ music. Yes, MGM Records certainly considered Sandy Posey to have a voice ideally suited to the `countrypolitan’ sound emanating from Nashville at the time. Boy, did they get that right! Sandy Posey was among the foremost `countrypolitan’ recording stars of the 1960’s.
Sandy Posey was born on June 18, 1947 in Jasper, Alabama. Some sources state that Sandy was actually born Martha Sharp, but MGM Records state this in not the case. Apparently many people formed this opinion because Sandy’s first two hits were written by Martha Sharp.
As a teenager Sandy moved to Memphis, Tennessee where she gained employment in a recording studio as a receptionist. However, Sandy’s vocal talents were soon recognized, and she was eventually employed to provide back-up vocals on a number of recordings. On hearing Sandy, producer Chips Moman acknowledged her vocal abilities and inspired Sandy to continue with her career, both as a singer and a songwriter. Sandy’s first solo recording was `Kiss Me Goodnight’/ `First Boy’. Sandy’s demo recording of `Born A Woman’ lead to her signing by MGM Records. `Born A Woman’ was released in 1966 and climbed to No. 12 on the U.S. charts. Sandy followed up this success with `Single Girl’ which also reached the Top 20 in both the USA (No.12) and Britain.
In 1966, Sandy Posey was nominated for a Grammy in two categories: `Vocal Performance Female and Contemporary (R&R)’ and `Solo Vocal Male or Female’. She followed up this early success in 1967 with hits which included: `What A Woman In Love Won’t Do’, `Satin Pillows’, `I Take It Back’ and `Are You Never Coming Home’. Consequent international success resulted in Sandy being named `South Africa’s International Artist of 1967’.
Meanwhile, Sandy Posey also continued with her obligations as a back-up vocalist. She contributed to `When A Man Loves A Woman’ - a huge hit by Percy Sledge. Sandy also provided vocal back-up for Elvis Presley at Moman’s American Studios. Amongst others, her contributions are included on `Elvis’s Gospel Songs’ in 1966 and `Back In Memphis’ and `Mama Liked the Roses’ in 1969. Her activities in supporting Elvis Presley in this way led to Sandy’s appearance with Elvis on his initial Las Vegas concert in 1969.
As a solo artist, however, Sandy’s offerings were no longer considered `trendy’. So, In 1976, Sandy signed with Columbia Records to record country music. Sandy’s hits for Columbia included `Why Don’t We Go Somewhere and Love’, `Bring Him Home Safely To Me’, `Losing Out To You’, `Don’t’, and `Happy Birthday, Baby’.
Sandy Posey later signed with Monument Records and then moved to Warner Brothers Records where her talents reverted to `pop’ - recording `Love, Love, Love - Chapel of Love’, `Born To Be With You’ and `The Best Things In My Life’. Sandy Posey’s last hit record was for Warner Bros., in 1979, entitled `Love Is Sometimes Easy’.
By 1980, Sandy Posey had become a born again Christian. As part of the country music fraternity, Sandy saw the necessity to provide Christian services for the myriad of country music fans who attended Nashville’s Fan Fair. In conjunction with other Christian folk, Sandy developed the idea of a combined church service and concert - `Sunday Mornin’ Country’ - for Christian country music fans, under the auspices of the newly formed Music City Christian Fellowship. Amongst other born again Christian country artists, some of Nashville’s finest, Sandy performed at these concerts. During this period, however, Sandy Posey did continue her solo career. In 1983 she released `Tennessee Rose’ on an independent label. Thereafter Sandy Posey continued as a `session’ vocalist.
Music outlets have described Sandy Posey’s music as `Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan - Country Pop’. Indeed, Sandy Posey’s career was predominantly `countrypolitan’. This fact is certainly evidenced by the 1999 release: `Sandy Posey: `The Best of The Best’. The album comprises Sandy’s greatest hits and, notably, much of the content is most certainly `countrypolitan’. Further support is evidenced by the 1978 album release - `The Best of Sandy Posey and Skeeter Davis’ - where the fruits of Sandy’s labor are combined with those of another `countrypolitan’ great - Skeeter Davis. Sandy’s involvement with other genres does place her `On The Fringe’ of `countrypolitan’ but in a most formidable way. Sandy Posey - Countrypolitan Music fans thank you for your contribution to their enjoyment.
Written by Michael D'Arcy. June 2001, Countrypolitan.com.
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