Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shelby Does Dusty, Possibly Other Women


"I hope I remembered to set my TiVo for The L Word."

What did we learn from Rob Hoerburger's fascinating profile of Shelby Lynne in this weekend's New York Times Magazine? Well, for starters, she digs booze, college football and Gladys Knight. And she doesn't like modern country music, explaining, "The new stuff all sounds the same. I’m not ragging on anybody, but it doesn’t require emotional involvement. What Carrie Underwood is singing about has already been heard. It’s in a beautiful package. But my duty is to take the hard route."

We learn that Barry Manilow, who is a fan of her music, is the one who suggested she record an album of Dusty Springfield covers. (She did, and "Just a Little Lovin" comes out later this month.) And we learn that Shelby, who has been known to get a little cranky herself when asked about her sexuality, still isn't ready to come out of the closet -- though she's not exactly shutting herself in, either. Of Lynne's similarities to Springfield, Hoerburger writes:
There are some solid parallels, though, musical and non-, between the two women. “Dusty in Memphis,” for all its acclaim, wasn’t much of a hit when it was released, just as “I Am Shelby Lynne” wasn’t. Springfield, like Lynne, could be temperamental; she was a perfectionist who frequently delivered the goods in the 59th minute of the 11th hour, and watch out if you got in her way before then. And then there were the gay rumors that dogged Springfield most of her career, which in her case turned out to be true, though she never used the word “lesbian” officially. That same speculation has followed around Lynne, who was married briefly when she was 18, and neither will she confirm nor deny, saying only that she goes where the love is. “I’ve done everything on every corner of the universe,” Lynne said, “but I’m not going to make an announcement about it.”
I'm not sure an announcement is necessary, given how dykey (if ever-gender neutral) the song "Lonesome" is, but there you have it. Here's a clip of Shelby singing "I Only Want to Be With You."

UPDATE: If you found this page while looking for Shelby Lynne's interview with the gay magazine The Advocate, you can find it here.

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