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Leona Williams Interview

 

(CSC) 1. Please tell us about your latest release “New Patches.”

 

(Leona Williams)

New Patches is a song that I like very much, it was written by Tommie Collins. Ever since I heard Mel Tillis sing it, I thought it would be a good song for a girl to record. So, it’s the title of my new CD. I really hope everybody enjoys it as much as I did recording it!

 

 

(CSC) 2. How is this record different from the previous styles of music you’ve recorded in the past?

 

(Leona Williams)

It’s basically the same as I have always done, except for the last four or five CD’s that I have recorded for Heart of Texas records. Those are filled with steel guitars and fiddles that I love.

 

 

(CSC) 3. At just 15 years old, you landed your first radio show in Missouri. How did that opportunity first come together for you?

 

(Leona Williams)

When I was fifteen years old, my brother Warrren was playing fiddle with a dance band called “The Johnnie Boys.” The band leader was Johnny Music; he owned a radio station in Jefferson City, Mo called KWOS. My brother asked me if I could sing with them. After Johnny heard me sing he told me that if I could find some sponsors, I could have my own radio show. So my Dad drove me to town, and I asked several businesses if they would be interested in sponsoring my radio show. The show was called “Leona Sings.” The rest is history…. (Laughs)

 

 

(CSC) 4. Who were some of your musical influences growing up as a young girl?

 

(Leona Williams)

Kitty Wells, Jean Shepherd, Wanda Jackson and Jimmy C. Newman… Above all of them, my favorite is George Jones.

 

 

(CSC) 5. What was your first big break as an artist after arriving in Nashville?

 

(Leona Williams)

That would have to be when I came to Nashville and worked with Loretta Lynn. I was in her first band called the “Blue Kentuckians.” About a year later I got my own record deal with Hickory Records. I started recording for them, and released songs like, “Once More,” and “Yes Mam He Found Me In A Honky Tonk.” I also did a cover song of the Louvin Brothers called, “When I Stop Dreaming.”

 

 

(CSC) 6. You played upright bass and sang harmony for Loretta Lynn, how did you two first meet before becoming good friends?

 

(Leona Williams)

I first met Loretta at a show that she was doing with the Wilburn Brothers way back when. I really liked her music a lot, and she had just released her first record, “I’m A Honky Tonk Girl.” She said to me, “If I ever make it, I’m going to make sure to help you kids!” We had the opportunity to tour with her for about a year on the road. She was one of the very first artists to record one of my songs called, “Get What You Got And Go.” I wrote that song with my husband Ron. Loretta is a very sweet woman, and I enjoyed working with her.  

 

 

(CSC) 7. What did you learn from working with Loretta Lynn?

 

(Leona Williams)

One of the many things that Loretta told me was, “Always look as good as you can on stage, and treat your fans the best that you know how.” Her advice really meant a lot to me as a newer artist back then. She was always willing to share her time, and give of herself to others around her. She truly is a great singer, and a wonderful person!

 

 

(CSC) 8. You’ve written many hit songs for several artists in the business, Merle Haggard in particular. What is it like for you as a singer/songwriter to see those songs come to life through other artists?

 

(Leona Williams)

To be honest, there is no way to describe how proud that it makes me feel. There is nothing better than seeing your treasures take on such the life that they have. I like the songs whether they are recorded by a huge star, or just a newer artist. There’s a young girl named Melody Hart from Branson that plays fiddle with Buck Trent at his show and she recorded one of my songs called, “I’ve Got To Stop Loving You,” it’s on her latest album, “My Fiddle And Me.” A new act named Mack and Dyan out of Texas recorded a song that I wrote with my son Ron, and a dear friend of mine Dave Kirby called, “Things I Almost Had With You.”

 

 

(CSC) 9. Out of all the duets you’ve recorded with fellow “legendary” male country artists… who’s your favorite to perform with? Are there any stories behind the duet you’d like to share?

 

(Leona Williams)

I have really enjoyed singing with all of my duet partners; although my newest favorite is my son, Ron Williams. Who might be the best singer that we have today in Country Music. (Laughs)

 

 

(CSC) 10. Out of all your accomplishments in the music business, which one of those means the most to you? (Please tell us about your recent Nightingale Award from R.O.P.E.)

 

(Leona Williams)

I’m proud of every award that I’ve ever gotten, and there have been several given to me throughout the years. Just recently I got what they call, “The Mac Wiseman Nightingale Award,” from an organization called ROPE (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) this is given to someone who gave their love and devotion beyond the call of duty. I got this award for helping bring my really great friend, Ferlin Husky back to the stage of Country Music, and also my husband who had throat cancer… who passed away five years ago. I took care of him for several months and gave him my all until the end. He was a great songwriter and guitar picker. I was married to him for nearly twenty years, and I’m speaking of Dave Kirby.

 

 

(CSC) 11. What’s one thing you’ve done in your career that you regret or wish you could’ve changed for the better?

 

(Leona Williams)

I really don’t know of any regrets. My life in Country Music has been wonderful!

 

 

(CSC) 12. You have been taking care of a very well known Country Music legend, Ferlin Husky, please tell us how you first met him, and have now come to be such great friends!

 

(Leona Williams)

We’re both from Missouri and we were always fans of each other, and most of all really good friends. Justin Trevino and I co-produced a record for Heart of Texas Records on Ferlin. I had him come out on the road with me and do some shows, I always thought he was the very best entertainer, and the fans also think so from the great response that he gets on stage.

 

 

(CSC) 13. Looking to the future, what can your fans expect next from you?

 

(Leona Williams)

A guarantee of much more “Real Country Music Records…” Nothing or no one can take that away from me. I really love my music and I’m true to the name “Country.”   

 



For more information on Leona Williams, please visit her offcial website here; http://www.leonawilliams.com/

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