Terri Clark recounts her early experiences in Nashville, her 1990s breakout, and new music during an interview held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 12, 2013 (in support of the exhibit “Terri Clark: Canadian Country Star”). She also performs several hits and classic songs by her country music heroes.
Clark opens with a solo acoustic performance of “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” and speaks with the Museum’s Michael McCall about her role on the radio broadcast “America’s Morning Show,” and how friend Reba McEntire advised her to diversify her own career and to keep things fresh. Clark also discusses an album she’s preparing with producer Michael Knox, and her 2012 album, “Classics,” which features songs that she says shaped her as an artist.
Clark tells the audience about her grandparents—professional musicians in Montreal who often opened for touring country artists from the U.S.—and about coming to Nashville in 1987 from Medicine Hat, Alberta, with her mother, a family friend, and hopes of becoming a recording artist.
To get to her job singing at Nashville honky-tonk Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Clark remembers, she would ride the city bus into town and secure her guitar by wrapping a shoelace around her wrist and then around the guitar case. She also recalls working at a local boot store, and how a coworker advised her to add a cowboy hat to her look—an image that ultimately set her apart from other female artists. She later reminisces about joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 2004.
“I still have that shoelace on that guitar case just as a reminder of how lucky I’ve been,” Clark says. “I think it’s easy for artists to get bitter and a chip on their shoulder if certain things don’t happen, but I’ve been given opportunities that I feel so blessed to have had. If I died tomorrow, I came to this town and everything I wanted happened. Sitting here today is one of those things.”
The program concludes with performances of “Better Things to Do,” “Girls Lie Too,” a medley of country classics (“Mama, He’s Crazy,” “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “How Blue,” and “Country Boy”), “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,” and “Gypsy Boots.”
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