(Photo credit: Gor Megaera)
Peggy Sue isn't the first name that comes to mind when you hear the country classic "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind", but it was Peggy Sue who co-wrote big sister Loretta Lynn's very first #1 song in 1966. It wasn't long after that Decca Records signed Peggy Sue to a recording contract of her very own. Peggy's very first single as a recording artist titled, "I'm Dynamite" debuted on the Country Charts in 1969 and climbed all the way to #28. Decca soon released Peggy's debut album, of the same name, produced by the legendary Owen Bradley. Such hits as "I'm Gettin' Tired of Babyin' You", "Love Whatcha Got At Home" and "You're Leavin' Me For Her, Again" soon followed after with each one finding a place in the Top 40 Country Charts. Peggy Sue quickly returned to the studio to record her follow up album, “All American Husband,” that was released in 1970. The singles, "All American Husband" and "Apron Strings" found a safe place on the Country Charts. During the seventies, Peggy Sue continued to release singles and finding chart success.
Peggy Sue married singer/songwriter Sonny Wright, who fronted Loretta's band in the 60's, and traveled with Sonny as a duo during the seventies and eighties. Peggy then decided to step back from her own spotlight and tour wit her baby sister, Crystal Gayle as her back ground vocalist. When not touring full time with
Country Stars Central recently caught up with Peggy Sue at her home just outside of
(CSC) 1. Thanks for your time! What’s the latest with you?
Well I’ve been out there on the road with
(CSC) 2. What has it been like being able to tour with your sister Crystal Gayle?
It’s good. It doesn’t put a lot of stress on me like it does on her. You know I do the back up vocals, so I can just chill out while she’s out there stressing and a’ singing (Laughs) I like that part!!
(CSC) 3. I know you’re quite the jokester. What are some of your funniest moments from the road?
Oh Goodness! This is one is a story from
(CSC) 4. What are the first and the last thing that runs through your mind before you take the stage and after you get off of it?
First thing, I usually stand beside the stage and I’ll say mommy and daddy help me get through this; I’ll talk to you later. If nothing happens then when I get off I just go whew!! I always ask for their help. You know I get so nervous anyway sometimes because you don’t know how the people are going to accept you. So I ask my parents for help even though they probably don’t hear me but I believe they do.
(CSC) 5. Coming from a large family, tell me where do you fall into place, and what was life like growing up in
I was number six out of eight. I was born at home at Butcher Holler.
(CSC) 6. What did your parents teach you musically? Does the musical influence come from both sides?
It was mom, she sang more but the music was on that side and my daddy’s side. We all sat around and played the mandolin, fiddle and different things and singing all the time. It came from both sides. After everybody had everything done we’d have a big bonfire out in the yard and we’d sit around and sing and play. I can remember the popcorn. We’d pop enough for everybody. It’s like today the people go out and camp, we had it all the time. We were carrying the water in. We didn’t have water so we’d bring it in. We didn’t have all that stuff like flashlights, we had candles. We didn’t have any of that stuff to make sure there wasn’t anything around. We shared beds with each other. You wonder how in the world I ever read a book. (Laughs)
(CSC) 7. Tell me about your sisters Loretta Lynn and Crystal. What do you treasure most about them as entertainers and as your siblings?
Loretta was second oldest. She was thirteen or fourteen. She took care of me ‘til I was nine. She has the charisma. Some people have it, some don’t. A lot of people have to work at it. You can see it around her, it’s like an aura. I wanted to sound like her so bad when I was younger that I would listen to all of her records and I would sit there and sing them. Then when I started singing I sounded so much like her that they didn’t want me. They told me I sounded too much like her. So then I tried a different thing and then they told me “No you’re trying to sound too pop.”
I still can’t say some words today the way that they’re suppose to be. I just laugh and go on because that’s the way you are. No need in trying to change. Loretta will get up and sing with her back hurting, I still don’t know how she does it. The dresses she wears are so heavy and hot. Once she put them on, now they expect it from her. She said “I can’t let ’em down. They want to see that.” I treasure everything about her. I can call her up when I want to any time. She’ll give me advice. Her being my sister is an extra! She’ll say “Peg you need help?” She’s always been good to me. I just treasure her. She is down to earth. If she wasn’t it just wouldn’t be her. I’m happy to be her sister.
The same thing goes for
(CSC) 8. You’ve written many songs in your career, what are a few of your most memorable?
Don't Come Home A Drinkin' is one for obvious reasons. My bank account loves that song as much as I do and I would have to say "I'm Getten Tired of Babying You".
(CSC) 9. Tell us about your playful performance of “Tippy Toeing” with Loretta and Crystal from the Crook and Chase TV program!
We got up there and said “Do we know the words?” I said I’ll try to just follow you guys (Laughs) that was fun! I don’t know if we got the words all right on it or not. Gosh! So we had fun playing together.
(CSC) 10. Will you ever record an album of solo material again?
Well I’ve been writing Native American songs. If I try to write anymore it has to be a song that’s got meaning to it, I start thinking about my daughter that passed away. It gets to where I can’t write about it. I got to get out of that and get back into doing it right. The Native American songs are more like truth, there not like a love song. A lot of people don’t write the truth. I did a lot of research.
(CSC) 11. You mentioned losing your daughter. When did she pass away and how?
In 1991; she was twenty-three. Her husband shot her in the head. So to write a song that’s got anything in it that I might feel, it’s hard. So I’ve got to write something funny or something else. He got five years of what they call second degree homicide because he was drunk at the time. He spent almost two years. I talk about it all the time, just like she was here. When I go on stage I smile up at her.
(CSC) 12. Your mother had a very special gift. Can you tell us about it?
Oh yes she did. She could read your coffee grounds and tell you when something was going to happen. They would pour a cup of coffee and put a little grounds in it that were left over from the old time pot. They’d drink the coffee. Then after you drink all the coffee down to the grounds you turn your cup upside down on the saucer. You start turning the cup and as you’re turning that cup you start thinking about something that you might have on your mind that you would like for her to tell you a few things about or whatever. Then she would pick the cup up, look close at the top of the cup at the grounds that was the road closest to your life. The bottom of the grounds was the past. She could read them right out there.
I know she told
I think everybody has psychic ability if they’ll only use it and meditate. She would tell us stuff that her grandma would tell her. She used all the same old remedies to heal that the Native Americans used. She learned all that. It’s just a gift I guess, that if you want to use it you can. We can feel and sense. I know when we were out in
(CSC) 13. What is your favorite song to sing onstage each night with
“Talking In Your Sleep” and “Coal Miner's Daughter” are two of my favorites. It's too hard to pick just one.
(CSC) 14. When you’re not working, what dish do you enjoy cooking up most in the kitchen?
Pinto beans, turnip greens, mustard greens and corn bread (Laughs) I’m an old hillbilly at heart! I make the corn bread in an old iron skillet. That’s the same way that Loretta makes it. Oh it’s good! A lot of people say “Don’t you ever get tired of eating corn bread?” I say “No cause we were raised on it.” I don’t eat that much meat. I like a good old piece of bologna, I guess! We eat a lot of chicken on the road. I try to keep myself a’ going out there!
(CSC) 15. What are you most thankful for at this point in your life?
Just to get out of bed each morning and to be able to do what I love to do for a living makes each day wonderful.
(CSC) 16. Out of all the places you’ve visited, where do you enjoy traveling the most?
(CSC) 17. Who are some fellow Country Music stars (male/female) you listen to?
Vern Gosdin. He has more heart and soul in his voice than any other male singer. Then I like
(CSC) 18. Name THREE traits about yourself that Crystal and Loretta also share!!
1. We love the same kind of food, beans, potatoes & cornbread; you know Country food. We all love to use Mommy's old recipes and do canning 2. We all three love to paint and we're very artistic. 3. We have the love and respect for our Native American history and culture. And I have to give you a 4th too cause it's true, we all love to gossip, usually about each other. I have so many more traits we all three share, but we can't talk about it here. (Laughs) Also our humor and our love for the
Just different little things like that. It wasn’t like they had to get rid of everybody and say you’re going to be exterminated. It’s just the things that they did to them. I read these things and I think how can we say we were civilized when our ancestors did things like that? If it hadn’t been for them they wouldn’t have survived another winter. They didn’t even have to give them any food or show them how to grow anything the first time. There was mean ones just like the whites. It just still bothers me that they think they’re better and they’re not.
They never put it in the history books that we did all the things that we did to them. We have Cherokee in us plus I was looking it up the other day on daddy’s side, a great, great grandpa that married a full blood Chickasaw.
(CSC) 19. What’s one thing in life that you would never do?
Prostitute! That would be it. I’d have to be down!