Jerry Foster—who, as a member of renowned songwriting team Foster and Rice, delivered country hits for stars including Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Paycheck—surveys his career and creative partnership with Bill Rice during a September 10, 2011, conversation at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
During the program—part of the Museum’s Poets and Prophets series—Foster tells host Michael Gray about growing up poor in Missouri as the son of a sharecropper, and traces his path from the Marine Corps through working as a performer on television and radio. Jerry Foster also shares the story of how he met Bill Rice, and gives insight into their unique writing process, with Foster supplying most of the lyrics and Rice focusing on melodies and arrangements “His melodies would sing to me,” Foster recalls.
Highlights of Foster and Rice’s award-winning catalog include Charley Pride’s “The Day the World Stood Still” and “The Easy Part’s Over,” Johnny Paycheck’s “Someone to Give My Love To,” Conway Twitty’s “Ain’t She Somethin’ Else,” and Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Would You Take Another Chance on Me,” “Think About It Darlin’,” and “Thirty Nine and Holding,” among others.
At various times throughout the program, Foster picks up a guitar to perform, his selections including “The Fight,” “I’ll Think of Something” and “It Wouldn’t Hurt to Have Wings.” (Mark Chesnutt found success at country radio with the latter two songs in the 1990s.)
He tells the audience why Ferlin Husky’s 1973 version of “Rosie Cries a Lot” is his favorite song that he’s had recorded, and as the program concludes, talks about his career as an actor, ranging from film to a role in Carrie Underwood’s music video for “Temporary Home.”
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