Editor's note: This story is featured in the Dec. 14 print edition of CityBeat.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s what “Maybe It Was Memphis” singer Pam Tillis did back in the late 1980s, and country fans everywhere thank her for it.
Tillis’s music career launched with a disco song, “Every Home Should Have One.” It’s a catchy bop that could very well get your hips swinging. But Tillis wasn’t finding commercial success with her pop career. After a few tries in the pop industry, the singer-songwriter returned to her roots. With legendary outlaw country artist Mel Tillis as her father, country music may have been Pam Tillis’s destiny.
But Tillis claims it wasn’t her father’s career that inspired her to give country music her all. In a 2014 interview with Anchorage Daily News she names three female country icons: Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. These country queens wrote their own music and played their own instruments; that sounded like the kind of country career Tillis could get behind.
In 1991, she released her debut country record, Put Yourself in My Place on Arista Records. The album featured five singles, including the hit “Don’t Tell Me What To Do.” In the following years, Tillis had three platinum albums, six number one songs, two Grammy awards and even received the 1994 CMA’s Female Vocalist Of The Year Award and became a member of The Grand Ole Opry, to boot.
Tillis continues to write, record, and tour in various outfits. This month, she’s bringing her holiday special, “Belles and Bows,” to the Queen City. The show will feature “country hits and Christmas favorites.”
Pam Tillis plays Ludlow Garage on Dec. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Info: ludlowgaragecincinnati.com.
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