wilma burgess (via jeffery k.)
Burgess opened a bar called The Hitching Post – described as Nashville’s first women-only bar – where she regularly performed. Burgess was openly a lesbian and preferred to record love songs with no gender-specific references. She did sometimes agree to record songs such as “Ain’t Got No Man” on condition that her producer Owen Bradley let her record a song she liked but he didn’t. LOVE HER! Thanks for the heads-up Jeffery k.
Wilma Burgess (born Wilma Charlene Burgess June 11, 1939 – August 26, 2003) was an American country music singer. She rose to fame in the mid 1960s and charted fifteen singles on the Billboard C&W charts between 1965 and 1975. In 1960 a songwriter friend of Burgess persuaded her to go to Nashville to record some demos of his compositions. One of the publishers Burgess sang for asked to manage her singing career and Burgess cut her first single in the fall of 1962 for the United Artists label.
Eventually Burgess came to the attention of Owen Bradley who heard in Burgess’ voice the potential for a successor to the recently deceased Patsy Cline who Bradley had produced. Bradley arranged for Burgess’ signing with Decca where she had her first session in June 1964.
Continuing to record with Owen Bradley, Burgess placed seven more singles on the C&W chart but only the first two of these: “Fifteen Days” (#24) and “Tear Time” (#15) both 1967 reached the Top 40.
Burgess association with Bradley and Decca Records ended in 1971; that same year she signed with Shannon a label owned by Jim Reeves Enterprises (Burgess was a close friend of Reeves’ widow Mary Reeves). Five of Burgess’ single releases on Shannon appeared on the C&W chart with the 1973 duet with Bud Logan “Wake Me Into Love” providing a on-off return to the Top 40 at #14. In 1975 Burgess left Shannon signing with RCA Records where her uneventful tenure lasted until 1978. In 1982 she ended her recording career with the album Could I Have This Dance on 51West a Columbia Records label.
Wilma Burgess died unexpectedly Monday, August 26, 2003 at 4:05 a.m. at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, after suffering a massive heart attack. She was 64, and had been hospitalized for a week for tests, and had seemed to be on the road to recovery.