I CAN'T HELP IT (IF I'M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU)
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
What do I have in common with Barbara Mandrell? (I can’t believe I am even asking this question!) . I was also country when country wasn’t cool! If I were to begin to rewrite a verse of her signature song, it would go something like this:
I was dreamin’ of the Opry
watching Hee-Haw on TV
While friends were waitin’ in line for Springsteen,
Is this even in my gene pool?/afraid of ridicule
I was Country, when Country wasn't cool
During my high school years, I was frequently in my parent’s living room, watching Hee Haw and the Barbara Mandrell Show. I was grateful for Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Roy Clark, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells and others, entertaining through comedy skits, music and dance, awakening me to all things country!
I was mesmerized by the Mandrell sisters as they shared their immense talent. It was during those shows that the sounds of the steel guitar, fiddle, banjo, dobro, the string bass and even the accordion (which was comforting to me from my Italian upbringing) began to resonate with me. Don’t’ get me wrong, as a classically trained vocalist, I enjoy listening to and performing multiple genres of music, but the simple structure, harmonies and heart-rending lyrics of the Classic Country style is still my favorite to sing.
One song that I have never been able to get out of my mind is "I Can't Help It if I'm Still in Love with You" written by Hank Williams in 1951. I would perform this song at coffee houses and open mic nights in the late 70’s and early 80's, while feebly trying to accompany myself. What a thrill it was for me to record this song at Beaird Music Group in Nashville with an amazing band. Special thanks to renowned fiddle player Wanda Vick (Burchfield) for making this recording so special for me! I hope you enjoy it!