Today in Country Music April 12th, featuring David Frizzell & Shelly West.
On this day in 2011, Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party topped Billboard's Country Albums chart for the third consecutive week… the album remains in the top five to this day
Today in 2006, Carrie Underwood celebrated the triple platinum success of her debut album Some Hearts at a party in Nashville
Garth Brooks' self-titled debut album was released on this day in 1989
And on this day in 1981, Shelly West and David Frizzell scored a number one song with "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma"
"You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" from the 1981film "Any Which Way You Can". It was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Larry Collins and Sandy Pinkard (of Pinkard & Bowden). The song would become Shelly West's debut on the country chart and David Frizzell's second hit on the country chart. It would be the most successful of seven country hits by the duo, staying number one on the country chart for one week and eleven weeks in the Top 40 country chart.
Shelly West was born in 1958. Her mother was Country star Dottie West. Dottie was trying to make it as a Country artist in Nashville, Tennessee. By the time Shelly was five years old, West finally made it big in 1963, with a hit called "Here Comes My Baby Back Again". Dottie West became the first female artist to win a Grammy award with this single.
Shelly got her start at age 17 touring with her mother's show. She started out singing backup, but was soon given lead vocals. While touring, she fell in love with her mother's lead guitarist Allen Frizzell; they married and left the band in 1977 to move to California. Allen was the little brother of Lefty and David Frizzell, the latter of whom had a regular gig in a neighboring town. The newlyweds soon joined his band and played with him for a few months. They toured the Southwest, and upon their return, David began looking for a record label. A demo of the duet "Lovin' on Borrowed Time" featuring West and her brother-in-law impressed record producer Snuff Garrett, who signed them both to Casablanca West. Unfortunately, Polygram took over the label and dumped the duo, who unsuccessfully tried their luck in Nashville.
Garrett still believed the two had potential and eventually played their song and its follow-up "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" to actor Clint Eastwood, who had just founded his own record label, Viva. Eastwood liked the latter song and added it to his film, Any Which Way You Can. The song hit number one on the country charts in early 1981. The duo became a popular duet group in the early part of the decades and released a big-selling album in 1981, Carrying on the Family Names. Between 1980 and 1982, they won the Country Music Association's Vocal Duo of the Year twice.
Their next four songs, beginning with the Top Ten hit, "A Texas State of Mind", were also successful, and the duo's considerable success continued through 1985, when they split up. (They cited a lack of good duet songs as their main reason; the fact that West and her husband had just divorced may also have been a factor). Their popularity started to drain following 1982 after the artists wanted to focus on solo careers. Their last studio album was released in 1983, In Session. However, they did record singles up until 1986.