Jeannie Carolyn Stephenson, 19 October 1944, Anson, Texas, USA. Stephenson wanted to be a country singer, and after marrying her childhood sweetheart, Mickey Riley, she persuaded him to move to Nashville. He worked in a filling station, while she became a secretary on Music Row for music publisher Jerry Chesnut. She also recorded demo records for his writers and her voice appealed to record producer Shelby Singleton, who felt that Alice Joys voice was too smooth on the demo for Tom T. Halls song of small-town hypocrisy, Harper Valley PTA (which owed much to Bobbie Gentrys Ode To Billie Joe), and was more suited to a female singer than Hall himself. Riley recorded the song in one take and then rang her mother to tell her she had recorded a million-seller. It was an understatement, as Harper Valley PTA topped the US charts and sold over six million. It was also a UK hit but only reached number 12. With her...
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