A COUPLE of years ago, Laura Cantrell was invited by the Country Music Hall of Fame to take part in a showcase of ‘Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music”.
The concert inspired a song, “Kitty Wells Dresses,” and an album that celebrates the achievements of Wells, who was country music’s first female superstar, dating back to 1952 with the splendidly named breakthrough hit “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”.
Wells, at 91 the oldest living member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, dispelled the myth that women couldn’t sell records in country music and paved the way for the likes of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette.
Nashville-born Cantrell has made her own mark, not only through her faithful interpretation of Wells’ songs, but as an acclaimed country singer songwriter in her own right.
Now based in New York, she is on a tour that comes to the Memorial Hall in Sheffield on Wednesday. The album “Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs of the Queen of Country Music” is out this week.