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Pam Tillis

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Bio

The daughter of country legend Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis made her own way in the music business, eventually becoming a contemporary country star in the '90s. Tillis was born on July 24, 1957, in Plant City, FL, but raised mostly in Nashville and started taking piano lessons at age eight. She switched to guitar at 12 and played in talent contests during her teenage years. Somewhat wild and rebellious, she survived a near-fatal car crash at age 16 that required extensive facial reconstruction. Fortunately, she recovered fully and pursued music aggressively at the University of Tennessee, singing with the High Country Swing Band (which played country-rock and jug band music) and in a folk duo with Ashley Cleveland. She quit school in 1976 and worked at her father's publishing company, placing her composition "I'll Meet You on the Other Side of the Morning" with Barbara Fairchild. She also formed her own backing band, which soon relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and renamed themselves Freelight; they developed an adventurous style based on jazz and rock, not country. Tillis returned to Nashville in 1979, though, and sang backup for her father while raising her first child as a single parent, fronting an R&B band, and continuing to write songs, a couple of which were recorded by Gloria Gaynor and Chaka Khan. Tillis performed regularly at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe with several other female singer/songwriters and landed a deal with Warner Brothers in the early '80s. She released one album, the pop-oriented Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey, in 1983 and had her first chart single the following year with "Goodbye HIghway." Several more singles were released through 1987, but none even managed to make the Top 50; even so, Tillis was making her name as a songwriter for Tree Publishing, with compositions recorded by Highway 101 and Conway Twitty, among others. In 1989, the same year she acted in a Tennessee production of Jesus Christ Superstar, she landed a new deal with Arista. Tillis released her label debut, Put Yourself in My Place, in 1991, and the lead single, "Don't Tell Me What to Do," raced into the Top Five, giving Tillis her long-awaited breakthrough. Of the album's five total singles, "One of Those Things" and "Maybe It Was Memphis" also made the Top Ten (as did the album). 1992's Homeward Looking Angel was an equally successful follow-up, with "Shake the Sugar Tree" and "Let That Pony Run" both making the Top Five. Tillis co-produced her third Arista album, 1994's Sweetheart's Dance, which proved to be her most successful yet and earned her the ACM's award for Female Vocalist of the Year. "Spilled Perfume," "When You Walk in the Room," and "In Between Dances" all went Top Five, and "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)" became her first ever number one hit. Released in late 1995, All of This Love was the first album Tillis produced by herself, and gave her Top Tens in "Deep Down" and "The River and the Highway." Two new songs from 1997's Greatest Hits compilation, "All the Good Ones Are Gone" and "Land of the Living," both went Top Five as well. 1998's Every Time reflected her recent divorce from songwriter Bob DiPiero and gave her a near-Top Ten hit in "I Said a Prayer." A reshuffling at Arista delayed the release of Thunder and Roses until 2001, so in the meantime Tillis performed on Broadway in the Leiber & Stoller tribute production Smokey Joe's Cafe. Thunder and Roses found Tillis' commercial momentum slowing down, and she and Arista subsequently parted ways. She caught on at Epic's roots subsidiary Lucky Dog and debuted for them in 2002 with It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis, a collection of her father's material that finally found her embracing his legacy on her own terms. Rhinestoned appeared in 2007 from Stellar Cat Records. ~ Steve Huey
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Albums by
Pam Tillis

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    19 songs

    On Air

    Blue Rose Is

    18 songs

    On Air

    Pam Tillis - Live in Nashville

    10 songs

    On Air

    American Legend

    11 songs

    On Air

    Rhinestoned

    13 songs

    On Air

    It's All Relative

    12 songs

    On Air

    Thunder and Roses

    11 songs

    On Air

    Every Time

    10 songs

    On Air

    Sweetheart's Dance

    10 songs

    On Air

    Homeward Looking Angel

    10 songs

    On Air

    Put Yourself in My Place

    10 songs

    On Air

    Just in Time for Christmas

    10 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits [Arista 2004]

    16 songs

    On Air

    RCA Country Legends

    10 songs

    On Air

    Pam Tillis Collection

    9 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits [Arista 1999]

    12 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits

    10 songs

    On Air

    Pam Tillis Collection

    13 songs

    On Air

    Wind In the Willows

    12 songs

    On Air

    All American Country

    20 songs

    On Air

    Timeless Country: Pam Tillis

    10 songs

    On Air

    Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey

    18 songs

    On Air

    Mandolin Rain

    10 songs

    On Air

    All of This Love

    11 songs

    On Air

    Goldilocks & the Three Bears

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Pam Tillis

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Maybe It Was Memphis
  3.   Shake the Sugar Tree
  4.   Spilled Perfume
  5.   Mi Vida Loca
  6.   Don't Tell Me What to Do
  7.   All the Good Ones Are Gone
  8.   Deep Down
  9.   Put Yourself in My Place
  10.   It's Lonely Out There
  11.   Take Me
  12.   Let That Pony Run
  13.   When You Walk in the Room
  14.   The River and the Highway
  15.   Land of the Living
  16.   One of Those Things
  17.   Cleopatra, Queen of Denial
  18.   Emotions
  19.   In Between Dances
  20.   Someone Somewhere Tonight
  21.   Thunder and Roses
  22.   Every Time
  23.   Down by the Water
  24.   That Was a Heartache
  25.   We've Tried Everything Else
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Pam Tillis

    On Air

    Thompson Square: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    '90s Country

    On Air

    George Jones Tribute

    On Air

    Ladies of Country

    On Air

    Classic Country

    On Air

    Shania Twain: DNA

    On Air

    The Country Vault


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