DIARY - 7 DECEMBER 2013 - KELLIE PICKLER INTERVIEW
PACKING PICKLER PRIDE FROM SELMA DRYE
great grandmother's name was Selma Drye/ everybody tells me I got her
hazel eyes/ they turn Carolina blue when I cry/ and that's alright with
me/ she kept a 38 special and a can of snuff/ in the pocket of her apron/
case somethin came up/ she grew up ragged, she grew up rough/ the way
she had to be." - Selma Drye - Kellie Pickler-Billy Montana-Phillip
expect Dancing With The Stars winner and reality rooted country
singer-songwriter Kellie Picker to back down if there is a showdown.
The North Carolina born belle has some mean genes in the female
side of her ancestry.
Although her mother abandoned her as an infant and her dad Bo has
spent plenty of time behind bars she drew inspiration from her grandparents
who raised her and her great grandmother who packed a pistol in
Pickler, 27, wrote poignant songs about her mother and father on
previous albums but it's Selma Drye who is eulogised on her fourth
album The Woman I Am, released here on the eve of her first
Australian tour with Toby Keith and the Eli Young Band from Texas.
was your true hillbilly grandma," Pickler told Nu Country TV
by phone from Nashville.
really had a pistol in her purse, she dipped snuff. She was a spitfire.
All us grandkids were all scared of her. She lived in this little trailer
in front of my grandparents' house for over 40 years. She never drove
a car, never had a driver's license - that was the devil.
She was just a strong woman and that song is really about her and her
generation of women, and how they were raised."
Ironically prolific tunesmith husband Kyle Jacobs proposed to Pickler
on a Florida beach on June 15, 2010.
The proposal fell on the anniversary of her late grandmother's birthday.
"It turned out to be the most amazing day of my life," she said.
"My whole world changed. We both feel like we got my grandmother's
The singer, who made a rare trip home to Albemarle, North Carolina, in
November to launch her new album, says making a video for Selma Drye would
add to her adulation.
"It would be great to get back home and do a video for that,"
"I was excited to go home and see all my old friends - family and
everything. I was raised by grandparents. My grandfather is still alive."
But right now she has already released two videos from her new album -
producers Luke Wooten and Frank Liddell (husband of Texan stone country
singer Lee Ann Womack) also were at the helm of her third album 100
somewhere tonight/ is stuck in a prison/ they're breathing, they're just
barely living/ behind walls of their own." - Someone Somewhere
Tonight - Davis Raines-Walt Wilkins.
a song penned by former Alabama death row prison warder Davis Raines and
Texan Walt Wilkins as the first single and video from her album.
Someone Somewhere Tonight, originally recorded by Wilkins, was
also cut by Kenny Rogers on his 2006 album Water & Bridges
& Pam Tillis.
Kellie chose it ahead of songs she penned and others written by her prolific
tunesmith husband Kyle Jacobs who has written hits for Garth Brooks, Tim
McGraw, Trace Adkins, Jo Dee Messina, Craig Morgan and Clay Walker and
"My husband Kyle pointed me to that song," Pickler revealed.
"I fell in love with it the first moment I heard it. I thought it
was an amazing, beautifully written song. I think it touches every walk
of life. I love the song. I heard the Kenny Rogers version and performed
it with him at the Ryman Auditorium a couple of weeks ago.
He invited me to come and sing it with him it was a really special moment.
Walt's version is beautiful too - I believe Pam Tillis cut it as well.
Derek Hough, my partner in Dancing With The Stars, was also in
the video recorded in Nashville. I heard last night he suffered a back
injury. That's what happens in dance. It's a risky game. You can really
LITLE BIT GYPSY
a travelling circus train/ a spinning weather vane/ going where the wind
blows, yeah/ I was born to chase the sun/ some horses got to run/ yeah,
I'm always gonna be/ a little bit Gypsy." - A Little Bit Gypsy
- Kyle Jacobs, Tammie Kidd Hutton-Fred Wilhlelm.
has since released a new single Little Bit Gypsy, penned by
her husband Kyle Jacobs, Tammie Kidd Hutton and Fred Wilhlelm.
The singer jokingly dubbed it A Little Bit Tipsy after being
presented with three shot glasses by TV host Ellen De Genres on her
"They're empty, what am I supposed to do with that?" Pickler
Immediately, DeGeneres pulled out some Jack Daniels as the star exclaimed,
"Ask and you shall receive!"
She threw back the first shot with ease, saying, "I love this.
This is great," and then held out her glass for more.
And DeGeneres gladly obliged.
you tryin' to get me drunk?" Pickler asked, adding, "I ramble
now, but if I'm drunk, I really ramble."
responding, DeGeneres simply motioned to the glass, which was still full,
but not for long.
This happened after our interview so Pickler had a more sober explanation
for the song source.
"It's a fun light song that had a lot of energy and felt good,"
Pickler told me.
"I loved the way it felt."
WOMAN I AM
I cry at night/ fall to pieces with Patsy Cline/ man I miss songs like
that/ but that's just the woman I am." - The Woman I Am - Kellie
won the latest season of Dancing With The Stars it gave her more
than just a higher profile and multi-media springboard.
"After I won Dancing With The Stars a journalist asked me
which song of mine best described me in a nutshell and I said you know,
honestly I don't know if I've written it yet, but I'm going to,"
"My husband came home that night and we wrote The Woman I Am.
I guess it's my song, who I am. I've always loved Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells,
Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn, always loved traditional
country. That is definitely sprinkled through my new work. Don't get me
wrong. I have my own sound."
The couple also wrote Bonnie & Clyde - with a little help from
"I love the song, it's so much fun, we're going to open up our shows
with it on the road," Pickler confessed.
"It represents that crazy love you might have for the person you're
with. We wrote that a couple of months ago. Liz came out on the road with
us for some shows when I was touring. My husband was also out there with
Although the album includes those collaborations with Jacobs it's one
of the tunes Pickler didn't write with him that she says might have a
"They were doing a writer's retreat," she recalled.
"I think it was during Dancing With the Stars. He was getting
ready to write another song. And I said, 'Well write a song for me, I
need a song. So him and the three other guys who were there, they wrote
No Cure for Crazy, so I don't know what they're trying to say.
I thought it was hilarious. It's so true."
Pickler admits it's a luxury being married to a hit songwriter.
"He writes every day with different people, he writes all the time,"
"He's coming down to Australian with me, it's both our first time
The songstress says that while she and Jacobs both make appointments to
write with other people, they rarely set aside time to write together.
I have never sat down and written specifically for another artist - never
pitched any of my songs to anyone. Anytime we write it usually happens
organically. It's just a random inspiration."
AND JASMINE - LUCKY AUSSIE GIRLS
girl, she got the Gucci gown the veil and curls/ I got your precious box
set of Merle/ so honey tell me who's the lucky girl." - Lucky
Girl - Catherine Britt-Brett Beavers-Tony Martin.
Pickler is touring here for the first time she already has strong
links with local peers, dating back to recording Novocastrian Catherine
Britt's original Lucky Girl in 2006.
"It's on my first album, I absolutely adore her," Kellie
said of Britt.
"She's such an amazing songwriter and singer, she's very talented.
She was respected in Nashville then she moved back to Australia.
Pickler also joined Fawkner singer-songwriter Jasmine Rae for a
duet on Bad Boys Get Me Good on Rae's third album If I
a powerhouse, she's an amazing singer and she's beautiful,"
heard 100 Proof - my last album - and was a fan of that record.
She tracked Luke Wooten down who produced that album and asked him to
produce her record. She came here to the states and asked my producer
if I would sing on her album. He told me she wanted me to come in and
sing on the record - she's so sweet too."
SATCHER AND TAMMY WYNETTE
gonna sleep in them cowboy boots/ on that couch tonight/ I'm gonna sit
at that kitchen table/ with a bottle of wine/I'm gonna search that midnight
radio/ til I find something that hurts/ where's Tammy Wynette when you
need her?" - Where's Tammy Wynette When You Need Her? - Kellie
Picker-Leslie Satcher- Don Poythress-Jimmy Ritchey
five songs by Texan Leslie Satcher on her previous album 100 Proof
including the title track.
The others were Unlock That Honky Tonk and Turn On The Radio
And Dance (both co-written with Kellie) and Where's Tammy Wynette
When You Need Her?
This time Pickler chose Tough All Over penned by Satcher and fellow
Texan Gary Nicholson.
"Leslie Satcher is amazing, such an incredible songwriter,"
"She's a country Texas girl from Paris, Texas. We hit if off great
from the start. Her song Tough All Over was on one of the CD demos
sent to me. I heard it and fell in love with it immediately - it's a beautifully
written song and had such a powerful message."
She also had a good reason for choosing to record the Chris Stapleton-Jim
Beaver song Ring For Sale.
"A friend of mine is going through a divorce right now," Pickler
"I heard the song on a demo and thought I had to cut that song for
my friend. It fits perfectly."
Pickler included I Forgive You - a sibling song to Mother's
Day - on her new album.
The singer had the song in her archives since the sessions for debut disc
Small Town Girl.
At 20 she co-wrote five tunes for the disc and charted with entrée
Red High Heels that shot the album to #1 on the Billboard charts.
"It just wasn't meant to be at that time," Pickler explained
about the belated recording because she wasn't ready to do it justice
at the time.
It reflects the pain suffered by the singer, raised by her paternal grandparents
after her mother abandoned her at a young age and her father drifted in
and out of prison.
"I think it has such a powerful message," Pickler revealed.
"I think we've all been hurt and we've all hurt somebody. There's
a lot of grace in that, not just inspired by my mother but inspired by
whoever you meet. I guess it's a closure song.
As I said we've all hurt people and we've all been hurt. It's just part
of life, part of being human.
We're not all perfect - we have to forgive and let go."
She elaborated on the song's genetic sources.
"I love this song because there's so much closure and healing in
it," she added.
"I think there's so much grace in the words 'I forgive you.' I think
people are really going to identify with that and I hope that song helps
a lot of people. It's in my bloodline. I know all the women on my father's
side of the family, and just looking down through the family tree. I have
strong women in my family from my great-great grandma Hall to my great-grandma
Drye to my grandma Faye that raised me. My aunts, my cousins, we got some
strong girls, some strong females in our family, and we've all had to
create something from nothing."
to count my blessings/ it's a long, long list/ for a girl who has so much/
there's so much that I miss on days like this/ I wish I could go to town/
buy you a card/ that says 'I love you' inside a heart/ and one that makes
you laugh/ pick you flowers from our yard/ you can set 'em in the window
in a Mason jar/ Dad will take our photograph." - Mother's Day
- Kellie Pickler- Kyle Jacobs.
said she didn't write previous song Mother's Day for her
"No, because I didn't write that song for her," Pickler
confided of the song that appeared on 100 Proof.
"I didn't write that for anyone but me. That might sound selfish,
but sometimes you have to do things for yourself. Kyle and I wrote
it on Mother's Day. You cannot get away from that day - it's on
billboards, in malls and restaurants, on the radio. So I was hurting
that day, and we wrote Mother's Day without intentions for anyone
else to hear it. We wrote this song because I needed closure. I
am happy that it's on the record, because I know a lot of other
people are in similar situations, so I hope they can connect with
the song and that it helps them the same way it helped me. That's
what music is for."
also wrote The Letter (To Daddy) and Long As I Never See
You Again with Dean Dillon and Dale Dotson on 100 Proof.
some of my favourite writers, we've written several songs together,"
Pickler said of her collaborators. I recently went up to Dean's cabin
up in Colorado a few months ago. He's amazing, so talented."
And the song?
"The Letter (To Daddy) on the other hand, is a song about
being proud of your father despite everything he put your family through
with his substance abuse problems and criminal past.
There are moments in that song where my voice cracks, because when we
were cutting it I was really emotional. I'm a Daddy's girl, and I will
always be a part of his life. I lived with my dad whenever he was not
incarcerated. And when he was in prison and I lived with my grandparents,
we wrote each other letters. Every time the mail came, my daddy had written
me a letter. I have them all - every single letter he's ever written me
since I was a kid. But I'd never been able to write this letter, because
he was never in the place that he is now. He's not in the same place he
was 20 years ago, thank God. This letter is something I've always wanted
to be able to say. He's struggled his whole life with alcoholism and drug
addiction, and that's something you never stop struggling with. When you're
an alcoholic, you're always an alcoholic - even if you're sober. You're
going to have those days where you feel like giving up. My dad is sober
today, but is he going to be tomorrow? I don't know. But I do know that
I love and support him, and this song is the most special song on my record.
I think it's a sweet way of saying, "We did it! We're still together,
Pickler's fourth album The Woman I Am is released here on Black
Kellie is touring Australia with Toby Keith and the Eli Young Band in
March - they play CMC Rocks The Hunter before Rod Laver Arena on
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