Skip to main content
Select Source:

Bogguss, Suzy

Suzy Bogguss

Singer

The youngest of her family by eight years, Suzy Bogguss didn't mind growing up as a latchkey kid in the small Midwestern farming community of Aledo, Illinois, explaining in Country Sounds that she "had a lot of freedom and there was really nothing to be afraid of." This sense of independence was later expressed in the singer's recording of "Letting Go," about a college-bound daughter and her mother adjusting to changes in their relationship. This predicted a move Bogguss herself made: after graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in metalsmithing, she left to make her living out West.

She scheduled and promoted her own gigs and soon built up a following in bars, coffeehouses, and on college campuses in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Though she lived out of her van, she was quick to tell the New Country Music Encyclopedia, "I wasn't really a rebel. I was just adventurous. My mom always knew where I was … sort of." Much of that time she was on stage, strumming her Taylor guitar and delivering songs in a clear soprano that Country Music's Michael Bane reported "has echoes of Linda Ronstadt, echoes of Kitty Wells, and a little touch of Billie Holiday."

In 1985 Bogguss moved to Nashville, where she quickly got jobs singing at a restaurant and on demo tapes. She soon became a headliner at the Dollywood amusement park and was discovered there by Liberty Records (then Capitol Records) and signed to a singles deal in 1986. Her first hit was a cover version of the 1953 Patsy Montana classic "I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," which reflected her own penchant for the "western" in country western. In fact, on a trip to California to visit her grandparents when she was 12, Bogguss had met the family's good friend Roy Rogers, and Bogguss told the New Country Music Encyclopedia that Rogers "had a real profound influence on me."

In 1987 Bogguss recorded her first album, Somewhere Between, which featured liner notes by legendary country guitarist Chet Atkins praising her voice, and garnered her the Academy of Country Music's Best New Female Vocalist award in 1988. The year 1987 also marked her marriage to Doug Crider, whom she had met when she performed his song "Hopeless Romantic." He has helped engineer her albums, and continues to provide her with songs.

Bogguss's second album, Moment of Truth, was released to tepid sales in 1989. Stereo Review's Alanna Nash felt that it lacked the grit of the artist's debut. This was perhaps due to the influence of Liberty's new label head and the record's co-producer, Jimmy Bowen, and to what has been termed "tasteful production" by some, but was derided as "faux Reba McEntire Vegas arrangements" by Bane, in a review of a later album. Bogguss's own explanation for the album's poor showing was that she hadn't asserted herself enough in the recording studio. She told Sandy Lovejoy of KNIX Country Spirit, "Maybe I wasn't hungry."

Other profitable ventures were indeed occupying her time—designing jewelry to sell while she was on the road, and putting together deals to market her own line of clothing in partnership with California-based Baguda Wear. Or maybe Bogguss was just avoiding confrontation. She had established a reputation for being easygoing in the studio, admitting to Lovejoy, "It has always been a part of my character to try to make a lot of people happy. I mean, I was the homecoming queen!"

Bogguss's strength and self-reliance ultimately enabled her to pressure Bowen to locate first-rate material for her third album, Aces. She also came up "with the unusual technique of recording in a large room in the studio instead of a small booth," according to David Zimmerman in USA Today. Bogguss revealed of the new method, "It gives my voice a real big sound. I never felt comfortable singing in a booth, and now I sing like I'm onstage." Her redoubled efforts paid off; Aces went gold at about the same time that Bogguss won the 1992 Horizon Award from the Country Music Association. In fact, she had been so confident that the album would do well that she booked studio time for her next project, Voices in the Wind, before completing Aces. In the meantime, she had been nominated for a 1991 Grammy Award for "Hopelessly Yours," her duet with country stalwart Lee Greenwood.

Voices in the Wind went gold in short order. Bogguss's video of the Nanci Griffith song "Outbound Plane" also received considerable airplay and exposed the singer to a wider audience that became captivated by her torch-like delivery and intelligent selection of songs. Songs like John Hiatt's "Drive South," from her 1993 release Something up My Sleeve, harkened back to the vibrancy of her earlier work.

In 1993 Bogguss appeared on The Tonight Show and Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. She performed "Take It to the Limit" for a Walden Woods benefit album of Eagles covers, and the swing tune "Old Fashioned Love" for a Bob Wills tribute album. In 1993 she also honored her mentor, Patsy Montana, on the CBS television special The Women of Country, and co-hosted the TNN/ Music City News Country Awards with Ricky Van Shelton and George Jones. She also mounted a sold-out national tour with Dwight Yoakam. Bogguss seemed to be relishing the exposure, telling Margie McGraw in Country Sounds, "When I'm 65 or 70 years old and sitting on my porch, I'm not gonna be sitting there going 'Remember when Boyd lost his bike?' I'm gonna be remembering when I was in Brazil, playing at a rodeo in front of 65,000 people."

Later in the 1990s, Bogguss no longer drew crowds of that size. The recordings she released weren't always suited to the brash "young country" radio formats of the period. After 1998's Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt, Bogguss parted ways with the Liberty label. But she retained a strong core of admirers in the music industry, and she found backers for the release of an independent album, Suzy Bogguss, in 1999. A pause in her career in the early 2000s coincided with home responsibilities centered on her young son, Benton Charles.

For the Record …

Born on December 30, 1956, in Aledo, IL; married Doug Crider (a songwriter and engineer), 1987; children: Benton Charles. Education: Illinois State University, degree in metalsmithing.

Performed throughout the West, early 1980s; performed at Dollywood amusement park, Pigeon Forge, TN, c. 1986; signed with Liberty Records (then Capitol), 1986, and released single "I Want To Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"; released album Somewhere Between, 1987; co-hosted TNN/ Music City News Country Awards, appeared on The Women of Country, CBS-TV, and toured with Dwight Yoakam, all 1993; released Simpatico (with Chet Atkins), 1994; Give Me Some Wheels, 1996; Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt, 1998; Suzy Bogguss, 1999; signed to Compadre label; released jazz vocal album Swing, 2003; designed jewelry for sale at concerts; marketed own line of clothing for Baguda Wear.

Awards: Academy of Country Music, Best New Female Vocalist, 1988; Country Music Association Horizon Award (with Lee Greenwood), 1992.

Addresses: Booking agent—Suzy Bogguss Concerts, Attn: Suzy Fan Mail, PMB 186, 8161 Hwy. 100, Nashville, TN 37220. Website—Suzy Bogguss Official Website: http://www.bogguss.com.

In 2003 Bogguss signed with the Compadre label and went to Austin, Texas, to record Swing. The album was produced by Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson, a friend to Bogguss since her early touring days in the West. Benson injected a slight Western tinge into what was essentially a jazz album, and critics and audiences reacted warmly to the album, which mixed standards and originals from the pen of Nashville songwriter April Barrows. People declared that "Bogguss has the phrasing of a big-band singer and the timbre of her voice evokes Helen Forrest, the best of the white female swing-era vocalists."

In 2004 Bogguss followed up Swing with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a Christmas album in the same vein. The year 2005 saw her involved with Kid Pan Alley, a Nashville project that put top country songwriters together with groups of children in a group songwriting process, and then enlisted vocalists, Bogguss among them, to perform the resulting compositions. Though her days at the top of the country charts seemed to be over, Bogguss remained a member of the country music community with a deep commitment to quality work.

Selected discography

Somewhere Between, Liberty, 1987.

Moment of Truth, Liberty, 1989.

Aces, Liberty, 1991.

Voices in the Wind, Liberty, 1992.

Something up My Sleeve, Liberty, 1993.

(Contributor) Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, Giant, 1993.

(Contributor) Asleep at the Wheel: A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Liberty, 1993.

(With Chet Atkins) Simpatico, Liberty, 1994.

Give Me Some Wheels, Liberty, 1996.

Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt, Liberty, 1998.

Suzy Bogguss, Platinum, 1999.

Swing, Compadre, 2003.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Compadre, 2004.

Sources

Books

Richards, Tad, and Melvin B. Shestock, New Country Music Encyclopedia, Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Periodicals

Billboard, June 19, 1993.

Billboard Bulletin, April 9, 2003, p. 2.

CMA Close-Up, November/December 1992.

Country Music, November/December 1992; January/February 1993; November/December 1993.

Country Sounds, March 1993.

Entertainment Weekly, September 24, 1993.

First for Women, April 5, 1993.

Hollywood Reporter, December 9, 1992.

KNIX Country Spirit, February 1993.

Music City News, November 1992.

Nashville Banner, February 2, 1993.

New York Times, December 6, 1992.

People, August 19, 1996, p. 26; May 18, 1998, p. 41; June 30, 2003, p. 37.

Stereo Review, March 1991.

Tennessean (Nashville, TN), March 14, 1992.

USA Today, November 4, 1992.

Online

"Biography," Suzy Bogguss Official Website, http://www.bogguss.com (March 27, 2005).

"Suzy Bogguss," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (March 27, 2004).

Additional information for this profile was obtained from a Liberty Records press biography, 1993.

JohnMorrowand

JamesM.Manheim

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bogguss-suzy-0

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bogguss-suzy-0

Bogguss, Suzy

Suzy Bogguss

Singer

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The youngest of her family by eight years, Suzy Bogguss didnt mind growing up a latchkey kid in the small midwestern farming community of Aledo, Illinois, explaining in Country Sounds that she had a lot of freedom and there was really nothing to be afraid of. This sense of independence was later expressed in the singers recording of Letting Go, about a college-bound daughter and her mother adjusting to changes in their relationship, which also prefigured an even more dramatic move Bogguss made; after graduating from Illinois State University with a degree in metalsmithing, she left to make her living out west, singing on the road.

She scheduled and promoted her own gigs and soon built up a following in bars, coffeehouses, and on college campuses in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. Though she lived out of her van, she was quick to tell the New Country Music Encyclopedia, I wasnt really a rebel. I was just adventurous. My mom always knew where I was... sort of. Much of that time she was on stage, strumming her Taylor guitar and delivering songs in a clear soprano that Country Musics Michael Bane reported has echoes of Linda Ronstadt, echoes of Kitty Wells, and a little touch of Billie Holiday.

In 1985, Bogguss moved to Nashville, where she quickly got jobs singing at a restaurant and on demo tapes. She soon became a headliner at the Dollywood amusement park and was discovered there by Liberty Records (then Capitol Records) and signed to a singles deal in 1986. Her first hit was a cover version of the 1953 Patsy Montana classic I Want To Be a Cowboys Sweetheart, which reflected her own penchant for the western in country western. In fact, on a trip to California to visit her grandparents when she was 12, Bogguss had met their good friend Roy Rogers, who, the singer said in the New Country Music Encyclopedia, had a real profound influence on me.

In 1987 Bogguss recorded her first album, Somewhere Between, which featured liner notes by legendary country guitarist Chet Atkins praising her voice and garnered her the Academy of Country Musics best new female vocalist award in 1988. 1987 also marked her marriage to Doug Crider, whom she had met when she performed a song of his called Hopeless Romantic; he helps engineer her albums and continues to provide her with songs.

Boggusss second album, Moment of Truth, was released to tepid sales in 1989. Stereo Reviews Alanna Nash noted that it lacked the grit of her debut. This was perhaps due to the influence of Libertys new label head and the records co-producer, Jimmy Bowen, and to what has been termed tasteful production by some, but was derided as faux Reba McEntire Vegas

For the Record

Born December 30, 1956, in Aledo, IL; married Doug Crider (a songwriter and engineer), 1987. Education: Degree in metalsmithing from Illinois State University.

Performed throughout the West, early 1980s; performed at Dollywood amusement park, Pigeon Forge, TN, c. 1986; signed with Liberty Records (then Capitol), 1986, and released single I Want To Be a Cowboys Sweetheart; released album Somewhere Between, 1987; co-hosted TNN/Music City News Country Awards, appeared on The Women of Country, CBS-TV, and toured with Dwight Yoakam, all 1993. Designed jewelry for sale at concerts; marketed own line of clothing in venture with Baguda Wear.

Awards: Named best new female vocalist by Academy of Country Music, 1988; (with Lee Greenwood) Grammy Award nomination, 1991, for Hopelessly Yours; Country Music Association Horizon Award, 1992; gold records for Aces and Voices in the Wind.

Addresses: Record company Liberty Records, 3322 West End Ave., 11th Floor, Nashville, TN 37203.

arrangements by Bane in a review of a later album. Boggusss own explanation for the albums poor showing was that she hadnt asserted herself enough in the recording studio. She told Sandy Lovejoy of KNIX Country Spirit, Maybe I wasnt hungry.

Indeed, other profitable ventures were occupying her timedesigning jewelry to sell while she was on the road and putting together deals to market her own line of clothing in partnership with California-based Baguda Wear. Or maybe Bogguss was just avoiding confrontation. She had established a reputation for being easygoing in the studio, admitting to Lovejoy, It has always been a part of my character to try to make a lot of people happy. I mean, I was the homecoming queen! After all, her desire to please had helped her in the early days when, as an unknown, she was forced to keep her varied audiences happy.

Ultimately, Boggusss strength and self-reliance enabled her to pressure Bowen to locate first-rate material for her third album, Aces. She also came up with the unusual technique of recording in a large room in the studio instead of a small booth, according to David Zimmerman in USA Today. Bogguss revealed of the new method, It gives my voice a real big sound. I never felt comfortable singing in a booth, and now I sing like Im onstage. Her redoubled efforts paid off; Aces went gold about the same time that Bogguss won the 1992 Horizon Award from the Country Music Association. In fact, she had been so confident that the album would do well that she booked studio time for her next project, Voices in the Wind, before completing Aces. In the meantime, she had been nominated for a 1991 Grammy Award for her duet with country stalwart Lee Greenwood, Hopelessly Yours, which resulted from the time she had spent opening for Greenwood, Alabama, and Clint Black, before her record sales began to pick up again.

The success of Voices in the Wind confirmed that Bogguss had arrived; it too went gold in short order. Boggusss video of the Nanci Griffith song Outbound Plane received considerable airplay and exposed the singer to a wider audience, who were captivated by her torch-like delivery and intelligent selection of songs. Bogguss continues to present the best of a variety of songwriters, concerned less with focus than depth and versatility. Songs like John Hiatts irresistible Drive South, from her 1993 release Something up My Sleeve, harkened back to the vibrancy of her earlier work.

In 1993 Bogguss appeared on The Tonight Show and Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. And she performed Take It to the Limit for a Walden Woods benefit album of Eagles covers and the swing tune Old Fashioned Love for a Bob Wills tribute album. Also in 1993something of a breakthrough year for Boggussshe honored her mentor, Patsy Montana, on the CBS television special The Women of Country and co-hosted the TNN/Music City News Country Awards with Ricky Van Shelton and George Jones. As if this werent enough to keep her busy, she also mounted a sold-out national tour with Dwight Yoakam. Bogguss seemed to be relishing the exposure, telling Margie McGraw in Country Sounds, When Im 65 or 70 years old and sitting on my porch, Im not gonna be sitting there going Remember when Boyd lost his bike? Im gonna be remembering when I was in Brazil, playing at a rodeo in front of 65,000 people.

Selected discography

Somewhere Between, Liberty, 1987.

Moment of Truth, Liberty, 1989.

Aces, Liberty, 1991.

Voices in the Wind (includes Outbound Plane), Liberty, 1992.

Something up My Sleeve (includes Drive South), Liberty, 1993.

(Contributor) Take It to the Limit, Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, Giant, 1993.

(Contributor) Old Fashioned Love, Asleep at the Wheel: A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Liberty, 1993.

Sources

Books

Richards, Tad, and Melvin B, Shestock, The New Country Music Encyclopedia, Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Periodicals

Billboard, June 19, 1993.

CMA Close-Up, November/December 1992.

Country Music, November/December 1992; January/February 1993; November/December 1993.

Country Sounds, March 1993.

Entertainment Weekly, September 24, 1993.

First for Women, April 5, 1993.

Hollywood Reporter, December 9, 1992.

KNIX Country Spirit, February 1993.

Music City News, November 1992.

Nashville Banner, February 2, 1993.

New York Times, December 6, 1992.

Stereo Review, March 1991.

Tennessean (Nashville) March 14, 1992.

USA Today, November 4, 1992.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from a Liberty Records press biography, 1993.

John Morrow

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bogguss-suzy

"Bogguss, Suzy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/bogguss-suzy