Georgian born star Trisha Yearwood is back in the sales saddle after a long hiatus in which she accepted a marriage proposal from retired superstar Garth Brooks.

The singer has soared to #15 on the U.S. charts with Georgia Rain - first single from her 12th album Jasper County.

Trisha made four Australian promotion tours in the nineties but had a long break from recording after 2000 album Real Live Woman and 2001 disc Inside Out.

Although Bobbie Cryner penned tune Real Live Woman was an artistic success she failed to surpass sales of early discs that brought her to perform Gympie Muster and Tamworth.

She also played a live show at the Comedy Club in Carlton while her second singing spouse - Mavericks bassist Robert Reynolds - watched from the wings.

Yearwood expanded her acting career before and during her recording hiatus.

She played Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Coulter - the forensic pathologist on the CBS hit show JAG.

But she didn't script the marriage proposal by Oklahoma born father of three Brooks.

Garth, now 43, recently split with long time record label Capitol after selling more than 100 million albums.

He proposed to Trisha on stage on May 25 at Californian honky tonk legend Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield.

There was an audience of 7,000 including George Jones and Merle Haggard.

Trisha was the support on Brooks first major tour in the eighties and he sang back-up vocals on her self-titled 1991 debut album.

She and Garth recorded a brace of duets during their hiatus in which Brooks bought back his catalogue in a Wal-Mart retail chain deal.

Her 1987 marriage to fellow Belmont College graduate Chris Latham lasted just four years.

In 1994, she married Reynolds onstage at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
They divorced five years later.

Reynolds is making his second Australian tour this month with Texas born country singer Kevin Montgomery.

The betrothal will be the second for multi-millionaire Brooks and father of three, who married Sandy Mahl in 1986 long before he toured Australia.



Georgian singer Trisha Yearwood brushed aside lingering doubts about stardom when she and bassist husband Robert Reynolds of The Mavericks were invited to the White House for dinner.

Especially when she found herself sitting at the main table with singing Texan crime novelist Kinky Friedman and former President Bill Clinton.

But the singer wasn't sure if The Kinkster was working on a mini-plot when he asked the blow waved host "where do I go to have a piss here?"

President Bill smiled politely and pointed bladder-bursting bachelor Kinky to the most exclusive men's room in Washington.

Clinton, the most powerful man in the U.S., opened his doors to Trisha - a feat apparently beyond the reach of Australian mainstream radio.

The me-too hits and memories mausoleums have snubbed the singer who reached #3 on the ARIA rock charts with her Con Air movie smash How Do I Live.

Universal Music has been forced to break Ms Yearwood, 33 and 10 million album seller in six short years, via the back door of TV, the ABC and community radio.

The ever-polite business college graduate, making a fourth tour of our infamous unlucky radio country, is reluctant to bite the hand that fuelled her international success.

"I'm still considered a country artist, which I am, and although I have had support from people like you for the past four years I have been coming here, there are still a lot of people who haven't got a clue who I am," Trisha told Nu Country.

"You expect that there are going to be some doors that are harder to get through than others and eventually it will probably be undeniable and then you just push on through.

Then you don't have the problem again. The success of this song will hopefully draw attention to the other songs. It's great that it's on a Greatest Hits record because there are probably a lot of people who will buy this record for How Do I Live who have no idea of the other songs and will hopefully get a taste of what I'm about."


With supreme irony the Dianne Warren song that landed Trisha atop international charts was rejected by Hollywood when cut by teenage Texan temptress LeAnn Rimes.

"I was the second choice for the song," Trisha revealed, "LeAnn Rimes recorded it for the movie but for whatever reason, Hollywood being Hollywood, they decided not to use her version. So I got the call to sing it and I did. I had no idea it was going to be released as a single by LeAnn. If you asked me the last person I wanted to go up against it would be LeAnn who sells about 300 million records a day. So it was a very involved process - it's almost part of the score. It's not your typical soundtrack song where you hear 10 seconds buried under the dialogue. I was thrilled for it to be in the movie."

So were the radio programmers of the biggest musical genre of the nineties.

"It was very uncomfortable for me," Trisha adds, "the radio stations started having play-offs where they would play both versions and people would call in and vote. I wouldn't be telling you the story if we hadn't won. LeAnn had a No 1 hit at AC (Adult Contemporary) charts and I had a No 1 country hit. I was surprised the record went to No 1 because of all the obstacles. This was probably the most heartfelt No 1 because we had to work so hard for it."

Ms Yearwood has won every major U.S. country music award since graduating from Belmont College but is just another country leper down under.


Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks
Although she was a prolific writer early in her career she now relies on her uncanny knack of picking material to suit her powerful voice despite passing on two tunes which became No 1 hits for Deanna Carter and Jo Dee Messina.

And now, three years after the first abortive sessions with Oklahoma superstar Garth Brooks, Trisha has scored a smash hit with the singer who used her as his support on her first major tour.

The Brooks penned tune In Another's Eyes - one of three new tracks on Trisha's 18 tune Songbook (Universal) - has reached #2 on the U.S. charts.

Don't expect a repeat here - mainstream Australian radio ignored Brooks at the peak of his career so he and his record label spent a cool $500,000 on TV advertising to counter lack of airplay.

"We have known each other 10 years," says Trisha, "I hope it won't take another 10 years to cut our next duet. We have both long wanted to record an album of duets. This success is the spark we needed to get in there and be serious about it. It's worked. We've both been inspired, it's so much fun. We've stepped in on each other's shows. It's just been a ball."

Trisha's next single is Perfect Love - penned by Stephony Smith who also wrote Tim McGraw-Faith Hill smash It's Your Love.

But she's equally proud of her cut of The Flame - the Atlanta Olympics song penned by Joe Henry whom she met while working as a receptionist at the Mary Tyler Moore label MTM.

"I got to know him a little bit then," Trisha recalled, "that song was so special. I know the lyric of that song was the reason I sang at the closing ceremonies at the extinguishing of the flame. That song was such an amazing song."


The singer, who played herself in The Thing Called Love (the 1993 movie about the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville), has not been tempted by recent offers.

Kevin Welch, Pam Tillis, Katy Moffatt, Dale Watson, Webb Wilder, K.T. Oslin, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jo El-Sonnier were among the country artists in the movie.

The late River Phoenix, making his last film, starred with Sandra Bullock, Samantha Mathis and Dermot Mulroney in the Peter Bogdanovich directed movie.

Yearwood has been trying to recharge her writing batteries and cut her eighth album; she has the luxury of at least one more expected hit from Songbook.

Although Trisha was accompanied this time by second husband Robert Reynolds she s toured here in March with her own band.

At 28 she was subject of acclaimed Lisa Gubernick's book Get Hot Or Go Home: Trisha Yearwood - The Making Of A Nashville Star.

That was after she scored a No 1 hit with her first single - Jon Ims' riveting She's In Love With The Boy.

Since then the stream of hits include Walkaway Joe, The Wrong Side Of Memphis, I Wanna Go Too Far, Everybody Knows, Down On My Knees, The Song Remembers When, Believe Me, Baby I Lied, On A Bus To St Cloud, You Can Sleep While I Drive and The Woman Before Me.

Trisha's stature is such that her duet partners have included Don Henley, Aaron Neville and Lee Kernaghan.

And her hits have helped writers of the calibre of Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey and Matraca Berg to land deals of their own.

Ironically, Matraca - daughter of Icy and husband of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder Jeff Hanna - is also nurturing the writing of stepson Jamie Hanna who collaborated with Reynolds & Raoul Malo for The Mavericks fifth album.

Trisha proved during her acoustic Comedy Club showcase she was a dynamic live act and acoustic without the studio tricks that turn tepid temptresses into chart toppers.

With a full band on her autumn return she is likely to blow the most cynical sceptic into the creek.

Meanwhile she plans to cut her new disc with a new producer - former Hot Band pianist Tony Brown who has desked Chely Wright, Reba McEntire, Lari White, George Jones and the early Patty Loveless albums.

"I don't know what the next direction will be," Ms Yearwood said about the split with her long time producer Garth Fundis, "this feels like the closing of a chapter. What comes next will be as much a surprise to me as it is to everyone else. I feel like I'm being pushed and jumping out of the nest. Garth is my mentor and friend and I'm afraid to make an album without him."

Trisha should have no fear - except apathy from insular Australian commercial radio.

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