31 Years Ago: Suzy Bogguss Releases Her Major-Label Debut Album
On March 21, 1989, Suzy Bogguss released her major-label debut album, Somewhere Between. The full-length project followed her two earlier, independent releases -- including one that the Illinois native recorded during her tenure as a featured performer at Dollywood -- and several briefly charting singles, "Love Will Never Slip Away" and "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire."
Performing at Dollywood was invaluable career prep, Bogguss told The Chicago Tribune in 1987: "At Dollywood, I got to meet a lot of hardcore country music fans and kind of learned what makes them tick," she says. "I think I learned what they want, what really makes them happy. Which is real simple, and not something that demographic statistics or anything else can figure out: They just want people who sing to them genuinely, because they like to. If you can do that, I think they`re gonna give you all the love you need to keep you going."
However, Bogguss landed her deal with Capitol Records after cutting the mid-tempo folk ballad "Hopeless Romantic," a song written by her husband, Doug Crider, which was a showcase for her keening, rich voice. "Hopeless Romantic" ended up appearing on Somewhere Between, which strikes a perfect balance between country ballads and brisker vintage nods.
The album is named for (and opens with) Bogguss' gorgeous take on Merle Haggard's "Somewhere Between." A kicky cover of Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart" features Bogguss showing off her yodeling skills, which she reprises on the mellow album-closer "Night Rider's Lament." Haggard is name-checked on the upbeat "I'm at Home on the Range," while fiddle drives the slinky "My Sweet Love Ain't Around" and jump-blues piano matches Bogguss' torchy vocals on "Handyman's Dream."
Somewhere Between peaked at No. 41 on the country charts, although the ballad "Cross My Broken Heart" peaked at No. 14. Bogguss was named the Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 1989.
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