October 20

My Heart Abides at the Countryside: The Dottie West “Country Sunshine” Story

Home is where your heart is. This is how the singer Dottie West transpired through a song entitled “Country Sunshine” in 1973 after declining to live a rich life in the city with her boyfriend, choosing to stay comfortably in her farmhouse instead.

American country music icon Dorothy Marsh aka Dottie West, was a singer-composer who established a career along with some famous stars in the same genre, such as Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves. Her progress peaked when she collaborated with hit producer Chet Atkins for several years. The redhead beauty Dottie West was married thrice. First, she was with a steel guitar player Bill West with whom she had four children. Then, her second husband was Byron Metcalf, a drummer a dozen years behind her age. Lastly was with a Czech sound engineer and actor, Al Winters, known for his Swing, Cowboy, Swing film in 1946.

Dottie West’s songs were initially intended for Coca-cola commercials. The song composition “Country Sunshine” was released in 1973 by RCA Records. Billy Davis produced it. The song toured the listeners to her humble beginnings in the countryside where she was raised. The song was smoothly described as her happy place that she refused to go with her special someone who invited her to live the urban life. Country sunshine was her heart’s content, and she did not choose the exciting life in the city over her farmhouse.  

It became one of the classic jingles of the soft drinks company. This fame dubbed her as the “country sunshine” girl. It made her reach greater heights as she was given a chance to perform pop-oriented duets with Kenny Rogers, earning a wider audience and larger fanbase.

The success of “Country Sunshine” led her to release it as the lead single in support of a record of the same name. The album debuted at No. 17 on the Top Country Albums list as a result of the success of the song. Twelve Coca-Cola jingles were written by West, one of which, “Country Sunshine,” won a Clio Award and reached the Top Ten in 1973.

Amid her rising career, Dottie West encountered financial and marriage problems, which led her to slow down. She eventually overcame the struggles with the help of her friend, Kenny Rogers. However, her fame and image came to a real end when she met a tragic car accident on her way to Grand Ole Opry, where she sustained major injuries, causing her death on September 4, 19991.

Even after her death, the iconic song “Country Sunshine” by Dottie West remained one of the biggest song chart hits in the 80s.

Take a listen to this song: 


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