For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.
I was singing a lot of waltzes. And I was with Jerry Kennedy, my producer, and he was playing me some songs, and he said, hey, I want to play you this song that I'm going to get Jackie Ward to record.
Also, any older song, especially any World War II songs remind me of Mama. She goes around the house either whistling or singing all the time. It drives my sister Alice crazy when we're playing games and Mama does that while it's Alice's turn!
And I was mischievous. I was always into something. So when I got good attention from the singing, I knew that was probably where I needed to land.
I had lots of breaks. I guess the one that got my foot in the door was singing the National Anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City in '74.
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