Suzy Kay Bogguss, 30 December 1956, Aledo, Illinois, USA. Bogguss grew up in a farming family that loved music but had diverse tastes: her father favoured country music, her mother big bands, and her brothers and sister the 60s hits. Bogguss gained a degree in art at Illinois State University, but sang in clubs and coffee houses to earn extra money. She included country songs in her repertoire such as I Want To Be A Cowboys Sweetheart and Night Riders Lament. After five years of touring in a van, she secured a residency at a restaurant in Nashville. A tape made in 1986 to sell at Dolly Partons Dollywood impressed Capitol Records. Both I Dont Want To Set The World On Fire and Merle Haggards Somewhere Between did reasonably well on the US country charts in 1987 and her 1989 debut album had an appealing mixture of old and new songs.
Bogguss sang Happy Trails with Michael Martin Murphey on his Cowboy Songs set, and she and Lee Greenwood had a US country hit with the duet Hopelessly Yours. Her strategy paid off with the bestselling Aces (1991, her third album) and a Horizon Award for the most promising artist at the 1992 Country Music Association Awards ceremony. The poppy Voices In The Wind (1992) spawned the number 2 hit Drive South (a John Hiatt cover) and went gold like its predecessor. Something Up My Sleeve (1993) built upon her success and contained some excellent radio-friendly songs that were able to cross over to mainstream appeal. Hey Cinderella, for example, fell comfortably into both pop and country genres, while the sparkling Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison song Diamonds And Tears was pure country rock. Bogguss admiration for Chet Atkins led to him to being jointly billed for Simpatico (1994) and sharing centre stage on the video for the engaging One More For The Road.
After a brief hiatus to start a family, Bogguss returned in 1996 with Give Me Some Wheels. This accomplished set featured the stand-out title track, co-written with Berg and Harrison, but the artists sales were well down on her earlier releases. The follow-up, Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt (1998) featured Somebody To Love, co-written with Berg and husband Doug Crider, but it was overlooked next to product by the new wave of glitzier, photogenic country starlets that had emerged during this period.
The album was Bogguss last for Capitol Records, and she has subsequently struggled to maintain her commercial profile on smaller labels (including her own Loyal Dutchess) even though the quality of her work has been maintained. The Western swing album Swing (2003) gave her career a boost insofar as she reached a new jazz audience. She became one of the very few who charted in the jazz and country listings with the same album simultaneously. Both this album and the belated follow-up Sweet Danger (2007) received warm praise from the international press.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.