By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Emmy, Grammy and Tony-winning singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper is heading to Nashville for her latest record. Detour is the “True Colors” singer’s eleventh studio album, and it also marks her first full-length country music record. To celebrate this particular project, Lauper recruited one of recording industry’s most illuminated figures.
“Recording a country album was on my bucket list and I always wanted to work with Seymour Stein.” Said Lauper. “He is one of the last great record producers.”
As Lauper began the early stages of the recording process, Stein delivered several songs that he thought would be perfect fits for Cyndi’s iconic voice. Most of the tracks that Stein sent shared one common thread.
“Seymour suggested that I record songs from the 1950s and 1960s,” said Lauper. “This was the era that Elvis (Presley) kicked the door down, and I happen to love that period in music.”
One track that caught the music icon’s eye was the Patsy Montana-penned “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Ms. Lauper found the track “fun and contradictory.”
“You have to remember the time that “I Wanna Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” was written. For women, you could not have a career.” Said Lauper. “You could be a homemaker or a librarian, but you could never be a businesswoman. When she (Patsy Montana) wanted to be a cowboy’s sweetheart, she never mentioned the guy again. However, when she mentioned the cow…it made me laugh.”
When Ms. Lauper wanted to record Rosalie Allen’s arrangement of the Patsy Montana track, she faced a challenge; the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” singer could not yodel. Despite Lauper’s peers encouraging her to follow Peter Gabriel’s footsteps of learning to yodel, she had other ideas.
“Everyone told me that Peter Gabriel learned to yodel in three days, but I am so not Peter Gabriel.” Stated Lauper.
With the help of friend and Detour collaborator Allison Krauss, Lauper was able to get a hold of one artist that was able to yodel and participate in the recording process: singer-songwriter Jewel.
“I was able to obtain Jewel’s phone number, and I texted: “Hi! This is Cyndi Lauper. Is this Jewel?” said Lauper. “Then, she texted me back, and I asked her if she sill yodeled. One thing led to another, and we were able to have her come into the studio to yodel on the track. I think my favorite part of the song is: “Take it, Jewel!” and she wailed away.”
In addition to “I Wanna Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Lauper recorded rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love,” Guy Mitchell’s “Heartaches by the Number” and three additional duets: the title track with Emmylou Harris, “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” with Vince Gill and Willie Nelson’s “Night Life,” which she recorded with the music legend.
“The songs are a part of history.” Said Lauper. “No matter where we are whether it is the Midwest or the Southwest, we are connected by our history. I thought that these were great songs to do to showcase country music history.”
The two-time Grammy winner will be promoting the album on her 14th concert tour. For the Detour tour, Cyndi will be traveling across North America in Nashville, Chicago, Boston, Kansas City, New York City and Los Angeles. She will also perform in Europe with several concerts scheduled in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. For several dates on her tour, fellow 80s icon and Voice UK coach Boy George will be opening up for her.
“Boy George did the Home for the Holidays show that my foundation, the True Colors Fund, has every year. We had so much fun that we decided that we needed to do something together.” Said Lauper. “I need to call him and figure out what we are going to do together.”
While the Detour tour is scheduled to kick off May 9 in Nashville, the album is planned to be released on May 6.