Ep. 161 - JEANNIE SEELY ("Leavin' and Sayin' Goodbye")

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By Paul Duncan and Scott B. Bomar and American Songwriter. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Summary: Grand Ole Opry legend Jeannie Seely. a Grammy winner who placed nearly 30 singles on the Billboard country charts as an artist, joins us to chat about her craft as a BMI award-winning songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Irma Thomas, Rhonda Vincent, Faron Young, Connie Smith, Dottie West, Willie Nelson, and others. She talks about co-writing with Randy Newman and Glen Campbell, shares her perspective on Nashville’s songwriting community as the former spouse of Hall of Fame songwriter Hank Cochran, tells us what she learned from Porter Wagoner, and sheds insights on the challenges women of her generation faced while making their way as respected country songwriters.
PART ONE: The guys chat about Paul's recent songwriting success with artist Lauren Daigle and look ahead to what they have planned for Women's History Month.
PART TWO: Our in-depth interview with Jeannie Seely.
ABOUT JEANNIE SEELY:
Singer, songwriter, producer, actress, author and radio show host Jeannie Seely has been a staple of the Grand Ole Opry cast for more than five decades, and is now the Official Ambassador for the Opry. She rose to prominence with the #1 hit “Don’t Touch Me,” a multi-million selling single written by her ex-husband, songwriting legend Hank Cochran, that earned her a Grammy award and recognition from Billboard, Cashbox and Record World magazines as the Most Promising Female Country Artist. Earning the nickname Miss Country Soul, Seely placed nearly 30 songs on the Billboard country chart, including “It’s Only Love,” “A Wanderin’ Man,” “I’ll Love You More (Than You Need),” “Can I Sleep in Your Arms Tonight Mister,” the Grammy-nominated Jack Greene duet “Wish I Didn’t Have to Miss You,” and the self-penned songs “Farm in Pennsyltucky” and “He Can Be Mine.”
Before she hit the charts as an artist, Jeannie found early pop songwriting success with “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand),” a pop and R&B hit for Irma Thomas that she co-wrote with Randy Newman. Soon, country artists such as Connie Smith and Dottie West began recording Jeannie’s songs. Since then, her compositions have been recorded by Willie Nelson, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Little Jimmy Dickens, Tex Williams, Merle Haggard, Lorrie Morgan, Doyle Lawson, and Faron Young, who scored a Top 10 pop hit with “Leaving and Saying Goodbye,” which earned Jeannie a BMI award.
Recording for the Monument, Decca, MCA and Columbia labels, Seely is credited with breaking barriers for women in country music, and the four-time CMA Awards nominee hasn’t slowed down. She hosts her own radio show on Willie’s Roadhouse on SiriusXM, and co-wrote “Like I Could,” a recent bluegrass chart topper recorded by Rhonda Vincent. Her recent albums include Written in Song, which spotlights her own compositions, and American Classic, her most recent album which features “Not a Dry Eye in the House,” a duet with Willie Nelson that was released on Jeannie’s 80th birthday in 2020.

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