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Dixie Chicks Complete Discography: The Hits (and Misses)
Page 2

Jump to: Fly - Groobees - Century - Keith Urban - Central Park - Unauthorized Story - Star Profile - Pickin' On - Big Mon - Future/Rumored (including Big Twang) - Karaoke!

This page details the releases and appearances by the Dixie Chicks and related artists after the release of their fifth album, Fly, their second major-label release. Fly spawned a top 40 hit ("Ready To Run") months before its release... and a big miss that led to another Dallas group's departure from their label.

Other sections of the Dixie Chicks Complete Discography:

[CD cover, 15k JPEG, from twec.com]

Dixie Chicks - "Fly" (August 31, 1999)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 9 songs (out of 13)

The hottest buzz on the Discussion List is about the Chicks' next release. They've been in and out of the studio since March 1999 (during breaks in the middle of their tour with the George Strait Country Music Festival) to record their second major-label release, which will actually be the Dixie Chicks' fifth album. Natalie has mentioned her fear of the "sophomore scare thing," but for Martie and Emily, this is "post-graduate" work.

The originally proposed title of the disc comes was Sin Wagon, from a song the Chicks have been doing in concert. Here's an article that was posted to the mailing list on January 8, 1999... unfortunately, the source is unknown.

Dixie Chicks Go Sinful

The Dixie Chicks have set up camp in Nashville while they record a sequel to their debut album, Wide Open Spaces. The new album sports a lot of creative style for the girls, and they're thinking about calling it Sin Wagon, after one of the songs they've got for the record. Group member Natalie Maines told us a little about the song:

"Emily and I wrote a song with Stephanie Smith that we played New Year's Eve, Sin Wagon, which, right now, you know, is in our minds to be the name. Of course everyone's going 'You're going from Wide Open Spaces to Sin Wagon?'"

And according to an article in the UK's BIRDpages (1/17/1999), the Dixie Chicks have been collaborating again with I Can Love You Better co-writer Kostas and with Matraca Berg, the songstress behind Reba McEntire's The Last One To Know and Trisha Yearwood's Wrong Side Of Memphis (this info from the All-Music Guide). You may have heard Berg on the radio singing her own song, Back In The Saddle.

Singles (in order of release)

  1. Ready To Run (6/22/1999)
    Martie Seidel and Marcus Hummon

    Natalie's vocals are great, and have the sort of unchained edge that made their version of Bonnie Raitt's Give It Up Or Let Me Go fun to listen to. But that wasn't the first thing I heard when the song played for the first time on the radio in the car. What I heard over the noisy kids in the back seat was Martie's fiddle. The next thing I heard was something I haven't heard since Little Ol' Cowgirl -- voice, fiddle, and by golly Emily's banjo turned loose with no NashVegas clutter in the background!

    The light percussion (and maybe a little keyboard) is in its proper place, behind the girls. Natalie wails to beat all, the fiddle is sparkling, and not only is the banjo audible, it even got its own section in the bridge. I haven't heard that since the instrumental Beating Around The Bush in Little Ol' Cowgirl -- even Shouldn't A Told You That didn't include as good a banjo solo that I can recall.

    And the lyrics are post-Tarabay Natalie all the way. "Who cares about love? I'm Ready To Run!"

    The song hit big. Sony had the guts to push it, and if the Program Directors at the radio stations had the guts to play a song with a (gasp!) banjo in it. The best news about the positive response was that it came while the Chicks and the label were still tweaking Fly. With the fans falling for Ready To Run, the Chicks were free to keep all the rockin' bluegrass sound that was in the early summer demo copy of Fly -- a return to the "Old Chicks" roots, with a "New Chicks" attitude.

    The song debuted at #37. In its fourth week, it hit #15! And that was before the video debuted on July 28, 1999, two days before the movie hit the theatres. While other strong songs kept Ready To Run out of the #1 spot, it spent several weeks at #2... then dropped all the way from the top 20 to out of the top 40 when the label attempted to release Goodbye Earl the first time.

  2. Goodbye Earl (10/1999?)
    Dennis Linde

    If Sony didn't want to release this track as a single, they wouldn't have "parted ways" with Sons Of The Desert, over it, would they? See the track list for more details.

    So they tried... and it flopped. It only hit the 50s on the Billboard charts, so Sony yanked it in favor of something sweeter:

  3. Cowboy Take Me Away (11/8/1999)
    Martie Seidel and Marcus Hummon

    Written by Martie (SonicNet) for little sister Emily's wedding. Word on the mailing list, based on the Chicks' statements in concert, was that this would be the first single released after Ready To Run. It wasn't, but the controversy surrounding Earl forced the label to go back to the original plan.

    Good idea. The song moved steadily up the charts, spending two weeks at #1 among strong competition.

  4. Goodbye Earl - again! (2/29/2000)
    Dennis Linde

    By the start of the new year, the Sons Of The Desert had signed with a new label -- breaking with Sony over the rights to issue a single of Goodbye Earl, the song they'd been performing in concert for years before letting the Chicks record it. So there was no reason for Sony to go ahead with the original plan out of loyalty to a group that was no longer even on the label. Maybe someone at Sony decided that they should do what they said they would?

    Not likely, but whatever the reason was, the label went all out after Earl's late-1999 fiasco. They lined up A-list Hollywood talent for a video, casting hard-boiled TV detective Dennis Franz as the abusive Earl. They selected the inflammatory track as the song the Chicks would perform during the Grammy Awards in March. And in a move reminicent of the old days, they actually issued a retail CD single -- something they hadn't done since the title track from Wide Open Spaces, the group's third hit.

    The strategy worked. Proving "there's no such thing as bad publicity", the Chicks and the label faced the criticism of the track's violent storyline head-on, even securing an endorsement from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They got enough press to drive retail CD sales of the single to the top of the sales graphs, and that translated into #40 on the Billboard charts despite still-light airplay.

    Once the track hit the charts, radio stations were stuck. The consolidation of the radio and music industry has straightjacketed all but a handful of country stations into playing the charts, and Earl was on the chart. Stations that had resisted the track found themselves playing it, then justifying their decision with "listener polls" and other made-up excuses.

    What really happened was proof that radio is being led by the nose by the charts. Sony knew (or guessed) that the song would sell, and forced its way onto the charts by going over the heads of the radio program directors -- directly to the fans. The label is to be commended for seeing past the big-hit trap that Nashville has built for itself... now, can they turn the same trick for other artists, like Charlie Robison, who are languishing on the fringes of Music Row?

    When the smoke cleared, "Goodbye Earl" peaked at #13 on the Billboard charts in April, 2000, earning the dubious distinction of being the only single not to make it to the top 10. But it should be noted that "Cowboy Take Me Away" remained in the top 20 the whole time "Earl" was climbing the chart -- stations like Dallas' KSCS 96.3 that wouldn't play "Earl" instead played "Cowboy" and other Dixie Chicks tracks.

    For an alternative take on the "Goodbye Earl" scenario, you've got to visit this darkly humorous site: The Goodbye Earl Handbook. Subtitle: "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes poisoned black-eyed peas." Also includes a rare photo of the Dixie Chicks' only release on 8-Track Tape.

  5. Cold Day In July (4/25/2000)
    Richard Lee

    In late April, members of the discussion list reported that "Cold Day In July" had suddenly appeared on radio, and this was reportedly confirmed by Radio & Records. Back in early 1999, long before Fly was released, Yahoo! reported (in their Discography) that this song would be the B-side of the first single off the upcoming album, with "Wherever You Are" as the main track. It was scheduled for a June 30, 1999 release... but plans changed when "Ready To Run" was selected for the Runaway Bride soundtrack and Deryl Dodd went in the hospital. Word on the list is that Dodd wanted to lay down another set of vocals on "Wherever You Are", but was way too sick. For details on this song, see the Track-by-Track Reviews.

    Now, almost a year later, the song is about to make the long trip up the charts as the follow-up to "Goodbye Earl", a song that didn't break the top 10 but sparked more buzz than any other release. "Cold Day In July" is about as different from "Earl" as any song on Fly -- a slow, soulful "cry when your man is gone" song. It's also a long song -- over five minutes on the early summer demo.

    I picked it as a non-radio album song, but another top 10 may not be the Chicks' goal with "July". "Goodbye Earl" threw the country world into a tizzy, and may have kept Fly at the top of the album charts for several weeks more than expected. But it's time to switch gears, and that's what "July" does. Even if it doesn't crack the top 10, it will set the stage for the Chicks' next release.

Full Track List

For complete details (including exclusive reviews from an early summer internal demo CD), see the Track-by-Track Reviews.

[CD Cover, 11k JPEG, from Blix Street]

The Groobees (October 5, 1999)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 5 songs (out of 10, but not "Wide Open Spaces")

The publicity (and the royalties) from singer-songwriter Susan Gibson's "Wide Open Spaces" allowed her Amarillo-based band, The Groobees (two O's, two E's) to move up a rung on the ladder of fame. But as the schedule on their web site (groobees.com) will attest, they are still working their butts off on the honky-tonk and high school cafeteria circuit where the Dixie Chicks spent their first ten years.

This self-titled release, their first on the Blix Street label (blixstreet.com), seems to represent a small step, rather than a big leap. Originally titled Central Standard Songs in early promos and on radio shows (including a spring 1999 show on Dallas' 99.5 The Wolf), the album doesn't include some of the group's most provocative songs. But the group may simply be biding its time -- in fact, during the radio interview, they played some very good songs that they said would be available "after two or three more releases".

Even if they're holding back, though, the ten tracks on The Groobees are excellent. "Take Care Of You" has echoes of the independence featured in "Wide Open Spaces", a few years down the road: "I'll take care of me, you just take care of you." And as an extra treat for Dixie Chicks fans, the group included one track from their independently released album Wayside: the song that started it all, "Wide Open Spaces".

[Logo, 5k GIF, from Sony Music]

Soundtrack for a Century - "Country-American Tradition" (October 12, 1999)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 10 songs (out of 53 on two discs)

Sony Music has assembled what they describe as "The Most Comprehensive Collection of Popular Music Ever Assembled!" (the exclamation point is Sony's), and they've included the #1 title cut from the Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces as the capper of the century, at least in the "Country-American Tradition" category. But it'll be hard to say they left anything out to make room for the Chicks, as "Country-American" is a two-disc set that in turn is part of the 26-disc 547-song "Soundtrack for a Century". It even has its own website: millennium.sonymusic.com.

The release was momentous enough to be profiled on National Public Radio's Morning Edition on October 7, 1999. The 9-minute profile, which starts with the first commercially sold recording (on Columbia, a Sony predecessor, in 1890), is featured on the NPR site in RealAudio -- quite a feat, since segments featuring music are often "blacked-out" due to copyright issues. Kudos to Sony for giving permission... and for seeing that it's in their best interest to let NPR rebroadcast the spot. Try this link, or go to the NPR Site and do a search for "Soundtrack for a Century". Note: the report, while good, does not mention the Dixie Chicks.

A look at the track list provides another surprise. Wide Open Spaces, the newest track on the set, is the last track of the second disc. There's another Dixie Chicks link, though on the first disc. I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart -- the Patsy Montana version -- is on disc 1. The Chicks covered that cowgirl track on their first release, Thank Heavens For Dale Evans. Unfortunately, CDNow sound samples aren't available for either track on this release -- but check out the sample available on Montana's discography.

[CD Cover, 8k JPEG, from CDnow]

Keith Urban (October 19, 1999)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 10 songs (out of 12, including "I Wanna Be Your Man")

This self-titled album by Australian native Keith Urban is the first US solo effort by the former lead singer of country party trio The Ranch. According to information originally posted on Nici's list, Emily Robison and Martie Seidel sing backup on the track I Wanna Be Your Man (Forever). Unfortunately, this album has not been taken seriously by some music critics, with VH1 describing Emily and Martie's track as "Cajun-Lite". They see the entire album as just another attempt by Nashville to co-opt the teen market, saying Urban has been "repackaged as a sensitive beau-hunk."

But didn't VH1 try to get the fiddle and banjo taken out of Wide Open Spaces? Kind of cuts their credibility on the country side, I'd say.

Interestingly, one of the songs on the 1997 self-titled release by The Ranch is Some Days You Gotta Dance -- a song that made it onto the Dixie Chicks' Fly. Check it out at the group's CDnow Discography -- I like their acoustic guitar version better than the Chicks' more polished (read: Shania-esque) version.

For more information on Keith Urban and the other members of The Ranch, see Abbey Lillie's The Ranch: Unofficial Webpage

[CD Cover, 18k JPEG, from CDnow]

Sheryl Crow - Live From Central Park (December 7, 1999)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 6 songs (out of 14, includes one of the Chicks' tracks)

In late summer 1999, the Dixie Chicks were part of a big outdoor concert in New York City's Central Park, organized mostly by Sheryl Crow. Fresh off the Lilith Fair tour (which also featured Crow), the Chicks did a few sets, though hardly enough to satisfy hardcore fans. The Live From Central Park compilation includes a live version of the Dixie Chicks singing Crow's Strong Enough (from her 1993 album, Tuesday Night Music Club). The Chicks are also included on the final track, Bob Dylan's Tombstone Blues, where Crow and all the guests close out the disc with an all-star jam. By the way... the news about this album broke on mailing list owner Nici's local rock station.

[CD Cover, 6k JPEG, from Tower]

Unauthorized Story (December 14, 1999)

[CDnow] CD available at CDnow
No sound samples

Michael Curtis (curtis28t@msn.com), from Nici's Dixie Chicks Discussion List, supplied me with this information:

I have a copy of this CD, and it's called Compact Dixie Chicks Unauthorized. Some online retailers just call it Compact Dixie Chicks, some call it Minimum Dixie Chicks & some Unauthorized. However, they all have the same cover, so I guess they're all the same.

The CD has 5 tracks, is 30 minutes 55 seconds, and it features cheesy, annoying "muzak" throughout.

Errors include:

  • 2nd indie CD is called "Little Ol' CowBOY" [should be Cowgirl]
  • Claims that Laura "left" the Chicks because she wanted to stay home with her daughter instead of touring in a pink RV & using "childish gimmicks".
  • Claims that Michael Tarabay was "THEIR bass player" [Natalie's ex-husband played for fellow Texan Pat Green]
  • Emily played STEEL GUITAR and banjo on "Sin Wagon"
  • Talks about their single "THAT'S Your Trouble" ["There's Your Trouble" spent two weeks at #1 in 1998]
  • Calls the forthcoming Chicks tour "Chicks OR Picks"
Other than that, it seems to be pretty accurate. :-)

By the way, is Martie's natural hair color red? I always thought it was brown-ish blonde, but the Chicks Unauthorized CD claims she's naturally a redhead.
[Editor's Note: The pictures from the early days are not very revealing on this issue, either.]

Thanks, Michael, for the great information!

[CD Cover, 7k JPEG, from CDnow]

Star Profile (March 28, 2000)

[CDnow] CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of all 5 (spoken) tracks

Michael Curtis (curtis28t@msn.com) gave the following review of this release on Nici's Dixie Chicks Discussion List:

Well, I just got the Dixie Chicks' Star Profile CD today. Wow!

The 100-page booklet alone was worth what I paid for the "Profile" CD - although after I'd already bought mine, I saw it for $3 cheaper somewhere else. The CD is cool although Emily's the only Chick that's on it, and there are several "inaccuracies" such as wrong song titles, etc. The only pictures I hadn't seen before were apparently taken during their '99 European tour.

The CD has 5 tracks & is 24min, 36sec long.

The booklet seems pretty accurate aside from the fact that it sugar-coats the story of Laura's departure. But there are some errors on the CD:

  • LP title - "Shouldn't A Told You" (no "That")
  • "Til I See You" was listed on Wide Open Spaces.
    [Editor's Note: They played it in concert, but did not include it on the album. See the Summer Lights Festival sound sample on the Special Treats Page.]
  • Song title errors: "Tonight The Heartache", "Once You've Loved Someone" (should be "..Somebody").
  • There may be a couple of other factual errors on the CD, but those are the ones that I heard & automatically thought "huh!?" lol
Thanks again, Michael!

[CD Cover, 14k JPEG, from CDnow]

Pickin' On The Dixie Chicks (March 28, 2000)

[CDnow] Tape and CD available at CDnow
Sound samples of 5 songs (out of 12, includes one "Old Chicks" track)

CMH Records (http://www.cmhrecords.com/) has produced a long line of tribute CDs, featuring bluegrass instrumental versions of songs by artists from Patsy Cline and Merle Haggard to Tom Petty and The Beatles. The latest installment in the "Pickin' On" series features songs from all five Dixie Chicks CDs -- one song from each of the three indie releases, plus nine selections from the group's two multi-platinum Sony discs.

Here's the blurb from the back cover:

Blazing fiddle, tender mandolin and furious pickin' on the 5-string banjo and guitar create an all-instrumental sensation on this tribute to the goddeses of bluegrass. Dedicated to the quality performances of old-time country's sweethearts, this collection of classic favorites and chart-topping hits strikes a chord and pulls heartstrings. The passion of the Dixie Chicks is captured by the powerful playing of America's hottest bluegrass performers. Pickin' On The Dixie Chicks is rooted in bluegrass tradition while it soars to the heights of modern country.
The music itself is wonderful. It's not the hard-edged sort of bluegrass you'd find on CMH's non-tribute bluegrass CDs (like "The 3 Tenors of Bluegrass", another CMH release)... rather, it's a soothing blend of acoustic sounds. It's great for relaxing to some familiar tunes -- their musicians have really captured the spirit of the songs and turned them into much more than just background music. On the other hand, I think radio stations may find these tracks very useful for playing behind ads, PSA's, or other announcements.

There's one other special thing about this release. Here is a line from the liner notes:

Special Thanks To:
Robert Brooks (http://www.dixie-chicks.com/)
and to D'Addario String Co.
The Project Coordinator for this Pickin' On project used the information from this site to help decide which tracks from the Chicks' indie releases would be the most appropriate for this tribute release. I'm happy and proud to have been a small part of the project!

[Ricky Skaggs, from CountryStars.com]

Various Artists - "Big Mon" (August 29, 2000)

[CDnow] Not yet listed at CDnow
See Bill Monroe's Bluegrass 1950-58 (disc 1) for a sample of "My Little Georgia Rose"

It's confirmed -- the Dixie Chicks will be joining bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs in a tribute to the "Father of Bluegrass", Bill Monroe. The album, titled Big Mon after the legendary bluegrass pioneer's nickname, will be produced by Skaggs, who was a friend and protegé of Monroe's. Since Monroe died in 1996, Ricky Skaggs has devoted his career to continuing the bluegrass tradition, forsaking the Nashville pop machine in favor of hardcore bluegrass releases like 1997's Bluegrass Rules. Not that Skaggs was a new convert to the traditional sound -- his 1982 hit "Highway 40 Blues" broke all the Nashville rules of song structure and instrumentation.

Ricky Skaggs has brought a variety of artists together for this tribute, from Bruce Hornsby and John Fogerty, to Dolly Parton and Charlie Daniels, to Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patty Loveless. Skaggs will be playing with the Dixie Chicks on "My Little Georgia Rose", a song Bill Monroe recorded in the 1950s. For more information about Bill Monroe, visit the detailed bio at CyberGrass (banjo.com).

The album will be released by Skaggs Family Records, but further information is not currently available. The web site (skaggsfamilyrecords.com) can not be accessed without the Flash plug-in. It looks like Skaggs' web design team doesn't understand the concept: stick to the traditional roots and leave the "Flash" to the NashVegas kiddies.

Ricky Skaggs' bluegrass-tinged tracks like "Heartbroke" and "Highway 40 Blues" went out of style with the dawning of the Garth Brooks era in the early 1990s, and Columbia Records (now part of Sony Music) dropped him in 1992. But Skaggs didn't give up... he just returned to his bluegrass roots. Timing is everything, and by the time the Dixie Chicks brought banjos back to the mainstream, Skaggs had become the successor to Bill Monroe in bringing full-bore bluegrass to the masses. This tribute promises to be a great return to the roots of Country... and to the roots of the Dixie Chicks.

Future/Rumored Releases

Not all of these may ever come about... in fact, some are known to be hoaxes! Keep that in mind as you read on...

[Logo, 9k GIF, from mp3.com]

Big Twang (Summer 2000)

After the breakup of the Domestic Science Club (see their Discography entry), Robin Lynn Macy stayed active in the music community -- even working briefly as a DJ at public radio station KERA 90.1 (kera.org) before they killed off all their local music shows. But eventually, Robin left Dallas for the wheat fields of southern Kansas -- close to Winfield, home of the annual Walnut Valley Festival (wvfest.com).

She continued to be surrounded by music, and married bassist and vocalist Mark Bennett. They and three members of the Theobald family formed a bluegrass group called Blue Plate Special. This group toured the Wichita-area coffeehouse circuit, and even made an appearance at the Walnut Valley Festival in 1999 (see their Performer's Page on the festival's site). This was familiar ground for Robin -- she played Winfield with both Danger In The Air and the early Dixie Chicks in the late '80s and early '90s.

Eventually, though, the active folk music scene in the Wichita area shook things up. In early 2000, Robin left Blue Plate Special, and joined four other members of the Kansas folk/bluegrass community to form Big Twang. The new group started out on the same folk circuit as Blue Plate Special -- in fact, both groups took part in the Kansas Bluegrass Association's (kansasbluegrass.org) Winter Bluegrass Festival in February 2000.

But the two groups' paths appear to be diverging. Blue Plate Special (still featuring Robin's husband) appears to be staying local -- in fact, if they were to expand outside Kansas, they might have some trouble from an LA-based swing band with the same name and several albums to its credit.

On the other hand, Big Twang may be about to hit the trail that Robin blazed -- several times -- over the past two decades. According to information that has come across the Winfield-L mailing list, Big Twang is working on an album due to release in Summer 2000. Meanwhile, the group has posted three full-length songs at MP3.com. Two of these will be very familiar to fans of Domestic Science Club and the pre-Sony Dixie Chicks:

MP3.com - Big Twang

  • Blame
    A new version of "I've Only Got Myself To Blame", from the Chicks' Shouldn't A Told You That A little slower, perhaps a little darker... the contrast between Robin's vocals and Laura's is facinating! Both are beautiful, but Robin's version is available (legally!) right now.

  • Stealing Away
    With Darren Wilcox on lead vocals and Robin on harmony, this track sounds very similar to the light bluegrass harmony on the Danger in the Air releases. Indications are that Wilcox is also the songwriter behind this tune.

  • Reserved For The One I Love
    This song was included on the second Domestic Science Club release, Three Women. But while the DSC version was strongly influenced by folk diva Sara Hickman, this version is all-Robin.
Bluegrass and other traditional country music forms are making a big comeback, thanks to groups like the Dixie Chicks and internet radio outlets like KHYI 95.3 The Range and TwangCast. Look for Big Twang to make a big splash in bluegrass and folk circles with their first album... and watch for the ripples to travel as far as Nashville.

One more note: along with Robin Macy (vocals, guitar) and Darren Wilcox (vocals, bass), the band also includes Ken White (vocals, mandolin), Jeff Scroggins (banjo), and Troy Gilchrist (resophonic guitar). Troy Gilchrist, along with sister Sharon, joined Emily and Martie Erwin in the '80s to form Blue Night Express when all four were teenagers. Things come full circle, again.

[CD Cover, 16k JPEG, from CDnow]

Bat Out Of Nashville (Proposed)

The May 8, 2000 issue of CDnow's allstar News led off with the headline, "Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell Goes Country." It turned out that the Dixie Chicks are among the country artists on the "wish list" to cover songs from Meat Loaf's '70s smash disc Bat Out Of Hell. Tentatively titled Bat Out Of Nashville, the producer aims high:

[Writer/Producer Jim] Steinman's wish list for the album is long -- Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam, Dixie Chicks, George Jones, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Wynonna, Leann Rimes, Clint Black, Alabama, and many others.

"I always dreamed of being a country singer," explains Steinman in a release about the album. "But, this big fella named Meat Loaf auditioned for me for a part in a musical I wrote at the New York Shakespeare Festival and I thought he'd be perfect to sing stuff from my more rock and roll side. But, like me, he had a lot of country in him."

Meat Loaf, who is from Dallas, was born Marvin Lee Aday. He changed his name, so the story goes, to keep from embarassing his silver-spoon family. Perhaps the local tie will entice the Chicks into contributing to the album... but it'll be tough to do, since they're going to be touring almost nonstop throughout 2000.

What song should the Chicks do? I only like two tracks on the Meat Loaf album... and "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" would be my pick.

Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed,
'Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed...

Cledus T. Judd (in concert and maybe a future album)

Proudly wearing the mantle of "the
"Weird" Al Yankovic of Country Music", Cledus T. Judd (no relation) has crafted a sendup of the hit title track to Wide Open Spaces... his version is called "NASCAR Races". According to a Chicks mailing list member, Judd played the song at the 1999 Swampstock concert in Louisiana... and said that the Dixie Chicks were "pissed off about him doing that song." It should be noted, though, that to publish a derivative work (such as a song parody), Judd needs the permission of the copyright owner. That's not the Chicks... it's The Groobees, whose lead singer Susan Gibson wrote and originally recorded the song before letting the Chicks use it. See The Groobees' own Discography entries on this page and in the Indie Releases section.

Will they let Judd record his version? Keep your eye out for the next Cledus release.

Various Artists - "How Sweet It Was" (Late 1999 or later - rumored)

The Dixie Chicks and Korn? That's what the Dallas Observer says we'll be seeing in an upcoming James Taylor tribute. Here's a clip from the
May 6, 1999 Out There section. But I wouldn't put it past Robert Wilonsky to make it up...

[...] the reformed Pixies are recording a song for How Sweet It Was, the James Taylor nod scheduled to include Korn backing the Dixie Chicks, and the Toadies with Bush. Shower the people indeed.

Wayne Newton - "Duets" (September, 1999)

It got reported everywhere: the Dixie Chicks were going to be one of the artists featured on an album of duets with
Wayne Newton, a hitmaker in the '60s who is better known now as a Las Vegas fixture -- the highest-paid nightclub performer in history (according to the All-Music Guide).

But it was all a hoax... yet another bit of humor by Natalie and the girls at our expense. Here's what Angie McIsaac had to say about it in her Cyber-Country.com Nashville Inside Reporter column on September 19, 1999:

I spoke to Maura Mooney at Front Page Publicity last week. Maura is the publicist for The Dixie Chicks. Maura is a great gal and she and I had a good laugh. I had called to follow up on an item I read in Country Music People. The magazine had reported that the Chicks were going to be included in an upcoming duet album with Wayne Newton. I also saw this item plastered all over the Internet on Insider pages like my own. Anyway, the rumor is not true. Maura confirmed that the Chicks have no plans to do any work with Wayne Newton. I asked her if she had any idea how such a rumor was started. She told me that the Chicks' new hobby is starting rumors about themselves. I guess they get a kick out of seeing how many "respected" media will report bogus information without so much as a phone call to confirm it. One recent example of their efforts was a rumor about Natalie being pregnant with Deryl Dodd's baby. Maura says Natalie started that one herself!

Tom Jones - untitled (sometime in 2000?)

Before you say, "Oh no, not again!", read the note that appeared on the
Young Country Gossip page on October 6, 1999:
The Dixie Chicks going to record a duet with Tom Jones -- maybe. Tom Jones just released a CD called Reload that features him singing with young British pop and rock stars. According to "Q" magazine, the plan is that if this CD does well, he'll do another one that will feature him singing with American stars. And "Q" magazine reports that the Chicks are, quote, "already lined up for a recording session." Since Reload has just hit #1 on the British album charts, the American album may become a reality. For their part, the Chicks just love Tom, because when they went to see him in Vegas, he let them come backstage. "We threw our bras at Tom Jones!" laughs Natalie Maines. (Westwood One)
Reload has now shown up in the Imports section of Jones' CDnow discography (4/2000). But the album notes say that the CD is not scheduled for release in the US... Tom Jones, like Wayne Newton, still has a hard time being taken seriously in the US (outside of Las Vegas).

Completely non-Chick related: Tom Jones was my favorite artist when I was a toddler. I made my grandparents play "What's New, Pussycat" on the 8-track in the Cadillac over and over and over and over and over and over and... (you get the idea). How they survived, I don't know.

[CD Cover, 5k JPEG, from Pocket Songs]


Yep, it's your turn to sing along with the Dixie Chicks. Karaoke compilations including arrangements of the Dixie Chicks hits started appearing in mid-1999 on CDnow, with a release on the Priddis label called simply Sing-A-Long. Unfortunately, CDnow does not include sound samples, or even a track list for this Karaoke release.

Another source that looks pretty reliable is Pocket Songs (pocketsongs.com), a company that boasts over 12,000 releases since 1985. Their Dixie Chicks Hits collection (with an incongruous picture of a duckling on the cover) includes eight tracks from Wide Open Spaces, including good album cuts like "Loving Arms" and "Let 'Er Rip".

[CD Cover, 23k GIF, from austinlinks.com]

For More Information...

For full details of the Dixie Chicks releases before they hit the big time, see the Dixie Chicks Complete Discography: The Indie Releases. You'll also find a little history about these pages, and an explanation of why you see so many CDnow links on my site.

To keep up with the absolute latest info on the Dixie Chicks, visit the Chicks' favorite web stop, the very first Dixie Chicks fan page ever: Nici's Unofficial Dixie Chicks Site. There, you'll find the latest info, some of it directly from the Chicks themselves. And you'll certainly want to join the discussion on her Dixie Chicks E-mail List. With 300 members, there's never a shortage of discussion. Add your two cents or just lurk -- send a blank email to dixiechicks-subscribe@egroups.com.

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Last update: 06/26/2000 by Robert Brooks
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