Contributor’s Note: Country music and Grand Ole Opry legend Jeannie Seely joined The Don’s Hit List with The Don & The Grizz for the 257th episode via FAB Radio International. Sign the petition at the end to get Jeannie Seely inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame! In this episode, the following points were discussed on the podcast, which you can find on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their official website. You can also find them via iHeartRadio and Google Podcasts. Fans can find Jeannie Seely on Facebook and her official website.
The Don was joined by country artist AJ Jansen for this interview with a country icon: Jeannie Seely.
0:00 – We start the show with a collaboration song between Dottie West and Jeannie Seely of “Here Comes My Baby”. We ask the rhetorical question, “How is Jeannie Seely not in the Country Music Hall of Fame yet?!”. Jeannie talks about what an honor it would be if she were inducted into the CMHOF. AJ mentions how much of an inspiration as a woman Jeannie means to AJ. Jeannie talks about receiving an honorary doctorate of the Arts degree at Lincoln Memorial University in regards to her breaking barriers and being a mentor. So now we refer to her as Dr. Seely.
“Two glasses of wine and call me in the morning” – Dr. Jeannie Seely
Jeannie also talks about if she is a white wine or red wine type of gal.
6:06 – We begin the discussion on Jeannie’s album “An American Classic”. Her first visit we covered a few of the songs and now we dig into the rest starting with “So Far So Good”. “So Far, So Good” – Songwriters Penn Pennington & Mitch Ballard – (Recorded with The Whites, (Sharon and Cheryl). We absolutely love the harmonies in this song. Jeannie goes in depth on why she chose The Whites to sing on this song with her and the relationship to the 40’s Big Band music
10:00 – “Teach Me Tonight” – Songwriters Sammy Cahn and Gene De Paul – (This was originally a hit for Jo Stafford in 1954; it has also been recorded by Janet Brace, Dinah Washington, Helen Graco, the De Castro Sisters and the McGuire Sisters. Written by legendary Tin Pan Alley writer Sammy Cahn and GeneDe Paul.) Going from 0:52 – 1:19 there is a lyric that is absolutely poetic: “The Sky is a blackboard high above you. If a shooting star goes by. I’ll use that star to write ‘I love you’ one thousand times across the sky.” Jeannie has been wanting to record this song since she was 14 years old. We talk about how Sammy Cahn wrote such an incredibly poetic line that is remembered to this day. Jeannie then talks about a song she wrote that people to this day tell her the line has such an impact on them. Her song, “LEAVIN’ AND SAYIN’ GOODBYE”. This is the line that affects people, “Cause every time I’d start to go I wouldn’t get ten feet. Till I’d come running back like a runaway child Who’s afraid to cross the street”. Jeannie shares the personal story around this song.
17:19 – “All Through Cryin’ Over You” 6. “All Through Crying Over You’” – Songwriter Jeannie Seely – (Recorded with Rhonda Vincent) (This is a country “shuffle” that features Rhonda Vincent, award winning bluegrass singer and instrumentalist) From the 1997 album “Personal”. We talk about the special friendship and relationship with Rhonda Vincent.
“I’ve watched Rhonda since I first met her as a young girl with the Sally Mountain Family. I remember The first time they came into the Opry and introduced them. I remember thinking this young lady is so confident and talented and one day she is going to step out on her own and then watch out world.”- Jeannie Seely. Jeannie talks about the wonderful bluegrass division of the Grand Ole Opry and the changes that are happening.
“Bobby Tomberlin and Erin Enderlin kept coaxing me to write with them…When I had the idea for “Like I Could”, we tried the writing appointment. Six weeks later we got together and the same came together in about an hour.” Rhonda Vincent wound up recording it and it became her single.
So in one day Rhonda recorded vocals for “All Through Cryin” and then she recorded “Like I Could”
Jeannie also talks about Rhonda being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and how Jeannie and Rhonda are ‘special sisters’ now. We focus on 2:18 – 2:41 – LYRICS AND HARMONIES of “All Through Cryin”.
23:27: “When Two Worlds Collide” Songwriters Roger Miller and Bill Anderson – (Recorded with Bill Anderson) (Roger Miller and Bill Anderson are both in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Was originally a hit for Roger Miller in 1961; later was a chart single for Jim Reeves and Jerry Lee Lewis.) We talk about the duet harmonies with Bill Anderson. She considers Bill of her best friends and Opry brother. For Jeannie, the intro gives her ‘cold chills’. We also play the goosebump moment for us at . 1:11 – 1:28 Music and harmony here are beautiful. AJ Jansen talks about the emotion in the harmonies for each have a different emotion. “I tease Bill, I have never harmonized with a whisper before”.
“I’m not a great singer. What I bring to the table is emotion. I don’t sing songs unless I like them and believe what they say” – Dr. Jeannie Seely
We talk about Jeannie’s humility with her voice. She had a book called “Pieces Of A Puzzled Mind” and this quote “At least I can look myself in the mirror every morning even if it is through tears”
“It’s like the Aaron Tippin song ‘You gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” – Dr. Jeannie Seely
30:55: “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” – Songwriters Pebe Sebert and Hugh Moffatt – (Recorded with Waylon Payne) (Was originally a hit for Joe Sun in 1978; was a number one single for Dolly Parton in 1980.Jeannie Seely sang it often with Jody Payne, Willie Nelson’s longtime guitar player. Waylon is the son of the late country star, Sammi Smith and Jody Payne. We play the section of the song from 1:02 – 1:51 Harmonies and then the music outro to the next verse is beautiful.
34:02: “That’s How I Roll” – Songwriters Tim Atwood & Brent Ronen – (Recorded with Lorrie Morgan vocals and Vince Gill on guitar is a rockabilly rockin’ song with super-slick piano.) We talk about Tim Atwood and his respect for Jeannie Seely and the special moment they shared on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Jeannie mentioned how she is going into the studio with Tim Atwood and they would both come on The Don’s Hit List together.
35:27: “Don’t’ Touch Me”- Songwriter Hank Cochran – (Jeannie’s first hit in 1967 and she won the Best Female Country Vocal Performance accolade at the Grammy Awards.) We talk about this lyric. “Don’t open the door to heaven if I can’t come in” and the meaning behind it.
38:43: “If You Could Call It That” – Songwriters Dottie West, Steve Wariner and Bobby Tomberlin – (Recorded with Steve Wariner) (Dottie West left a notebook of song ideas and Steve Wariner and Bobby Tomberlin finished the song. Dottie and Jeannie were close friends.)
Jeannie goes in depth on the emotional moment that Dottie was writing this song. She felt helpless watching one of her closest friends suffer.
We have started a petition to get Jeannie Seely to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Please sign it and share it with your friends.
Fans can find this episode featuring Jeannie Seely via SoundCloud below: