Dottie West: Country Sunshine

Dottie West: Country Sunshine

(Nashville, TN-11.9.12) A new spotlight exhibit will be opening today (Friday, November 9th) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to honor singer and songwriter Dottie West.  The display, titled Dottie West: Country Sunshine, will be located within the Museum’s permanent exhibit on the second floor.  It will run through May 2, 2013.

Dottie West: Country Sunshine traces the singer’s journey from humble beginnings and an abusive father to her zenith as an award-winning member of the Grand Ole Opry to her untimely death in 1991 at the age of 58.  Dottie placed over 60 records on the Billboard country singles chart, five of which went to No. 1.  She was the first female to win a Grammy Award in country music, and she helped artists such as Larry Gatlin, Jeannie Seely and Steve Wariner begin or boost their careers.

Dorothy Marie Marsh was born October 11, 1932, in Frog Pond—near McMinnville, Tennessee.  (Dottie would have turned 80 last month.)  The oldest of 10 children, she grew up playing guitar and even fronted a band with her fellow high school students.

Dottie married steel guitarist Bill West in 1952.  The couple, with their children, moved to Nashville in 1961.  In the mid-1960s, RCA’s Chet Atkins signed her to a record deal and produced her self-penned “Here Comes My Baby.”  The song launched her career and earned her the Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance, Female.  Among other accolades that Dottie received throughout her career were BMI Awards, CMA Awards, Billboard Awards, and a CLIO Award.

Dottie co-wrote “Country Sunshine” in 1973 and although it was a jingle for Coca-Cola, the tune became a huge country hit and Dottie’s signature song.  Dottie is also known for her hit duets. Kenny Rogers and Dottie met in 1977 and recorded “Every Time Two Fools Collide.”  The song went to #1 and sparked a string of hits for the duo.   Among others with whom Dottie recorded duets with were Hall of Fame members Jim Reeves, Don Gibson, and Jimmy Dean.

By the late 1970s, Dottie had become known for a signature style of glamorous, custom-designed ensembles. Most notable were her stage costumes created by Hollywood–based designer Bob Mackie, and some of those outfits will be included in the museum exhibit.

In 1991, while en route to A Grand Ole Opry performance, Dottie sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident.  She died a few days later, on September 4, 1991.

Today, there is a strong push for Dottie's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  That campaign includes a new Facebook Page titled “DOTTIE WEST Needs Inducted Into the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME” which is dedicated to preserving Dottie’s legacy, with special emphasis on encouraging the Country Music Association (CMA) to induct Dottie next year. 

You can access the Facebook Page and “LIKE” it via this link:   

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