Thursday, October 09, 2008
Six Days on the Road - Colleen Peterson
Colleen Susan Peterson died on October 9, 1996. She was born November 14, 1950. You do the math, and see she died too young.
Signed to Capitol, she released "Beginning to Feel Like Home" in 1976, and the reason for her classy, lilting style with country-rock was obvious to anyone reading her publicity material: she wasn't from America. She was Canadian. So, like members of The Band, or like Neil Young...she had a fresh sound...call it shit-kicking without the smell.
While cross-over C&W artists like Crystal Gayle add down-home warmth to their mainstream recordings, Peterson added Canadian cool to redneck numbers like "Six Days on the Road."
The Ottawa artist who'd won "Most Promising Female Vocalist" Gold Leaf honors in 1967, and was later part of the group 3's a Crowd, had a decade of mileage by the time she was ready to take on America, and she did reach the Billboard charts with "Souvenirs." But she never did make a major dent in the USA, and after "Colleen" (1977) and 1978's "Taking My Boots Off," she was off Capitol, and less the spotlight attraction than the support. She guested on some Charlie Daniels records, and sang back-up for Waylon Jennings, Marty Stuart and others.
Colleen staged a comeback in Canada in 1986. She scored a hit with "I Had it All" and released her first album for the new decade, 1988's "Basic Facts." She had many more hits in Canada, and in 1994 became part of a new group, Quartette, for albums and touring. But just two years later, Colleen was dead of cancer, age 45. A posthumous album, "Postcards from California," was cobbled together from demos Colleen Peterson and writing partner Nancy Simmonds had put together over the previous few years. Some of the profits from the album go to winners of the annual "Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award."
SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD...smoothed out by the late, great Colleen Peterson