September 7

In Memory: The Rays of ‘Country Sunshine,’ Dottie West

Dottie West

She is an American country music singer and songwriter who passed away on September 4, 1991, because of a tragic accident on her way to a performance in Grand Ole Opry.

She is considered as one of country music’s most influential and revolutionary female artists. Her career started in the 1960s. Her song “Here Comes My Baby Back Again” won her the first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1965.

In the early 1970s, she wrote a popular commercial for Coca-Cola. It was called “Country Sunshine”, which reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles in 1973. In the late-70s, she teamed up with Country-pop superstar, Kenny Rogers for a series of duets which took her career to new highs, earning Platinum-selling albums and No. 1 records for the very first time.

Her duets with Kenny Rogers “Every Time Two Fools Collide”, “All I Ever Need Is You”, and “What Are We Doin’ in Love”, became country music ideals. The mid-1970s defined her as a music artist. This became her glory days and she reached the peak of her career as a solo act. For the first time on her own, she reached number 1 with “A Lesson in Leavin'” in 1981.

Unfortunately…

As the 1980’s progressed, her popularity began to slip. She did try to reintroduce herself to younger audiences as she played a voice-over artist of Melissa Raccoon in the film The Raccoons and the Lost Star in 1983. In 1982, she was asked to play the lead role in the stage production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

In 1984, she appeared in the play Bring It On Home and she also released her final studio album, Just Dottie. This album was not very successful; all three of the singles that it contained failed to chart in the Top 40. Her last chart hit, “We Know Better Now”, reached only number 53 in 1985.

From 1989- 1990, Wests’ financial problems mounted. She got a divorce, got sued by her ex, lost her investments, got sued by her managers, had her properties foreclosed, evicted and owed the IRS $1.3 million and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Just when she was recovering and about to make her career comeback, she met a tragic accident on her way to the Grand Ole Opry that took her life.

It’s just sad to know that life, as it happened, got the best of her. A talent as such probably didn’t have luck on her side that time, nonetheless, I hope she got to live her life at its best.


Tags

country sunshine, dottie west, here comes my baby


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