Monday, January 3, 2011

Red-Headed Blood Runs Deep

Earlier this week my husband and I got into a little tiff over the equivalency between Reba and George Strait. I called them "equivalents" and my husband proclaimed that "Reba should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as George." As I pondered the argument and was baffled by the fact that my significant other could so despise a voice that I so dearly loved, I took an unexpected trip down memory lane.

The first cassette tape I ever listened to as a child was Reba McEntire's Greatest Hits. That was about 25 years ago and yes, she had already racked up enough #1 Hits to make up an entire album. I fondly remember climbing into our navy blue and wood veneer station wagon and hearing the click of the tape being pushed into the player.

...How Blueeeeee can you make me? How loooooooong till I heal? How can I go on lovin' you when your gone? How ba-luuuuue can I feel? Oh hoooooney why did you leave me? Ain't you got a heart left in your chest? I sweeeeeear to you that I'm dyin'... 'cause my miiiiiind won't let my body rest...

...I read a book, you watch TV. AS our love diiiiiiiies quietly. But what about those babies down the haaaaaaauwl. Somebdy should leee-eave. But which one should it be? You need the kids and theeee-ey neeeeeed meeeeee. Somebody should leee-eave. But we hate tooooo give in. We just keep hopin'... we might need each other... again.

...I've packed your bags and left them in the hallway, but before you leave again there's just one thing you ought to know. When the icy wind blows through you remember that its me. who feels the cold most of all. When whoever's in New England's through with you....Ohhhh and Boston finds better things to do....Oh you know its not too late. And you'll always have a place to come back to. When whoever's in New England's through with you.

Okay, so that's some pretty heavy stuff for a 5 year old. It probably should have scarred me, but I don't think it did. I sang my little heart out in the car and in my bedroom and right along to the CMT videos when that became a "thing." Reba was a red-headed pistol who could sing and I wanted to be just like her. I trained my voice to dip and drawl just like hers (THAT is still something I am trying to recover from.) I attended my first ever concert in Denton, Texas to see Reba perform for the workers of Peterbuilt, a Truck Manufacturing Company. It was amazing. As a college student I had the opportunity to take an Interior Design study trip to New York City. While there I saw Reba perform in Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway. Truly, one of the most magical experiences of my life. Talented--absolutely, no doubt.

So you see, Reba has meant a great deal to me over the years and I hold her and her music close to my heart even though I don't really listen to her stuff anymore or watch her television show. I think it is corny. Nevertheless, I tried my best to defend her honor. At one point the feud between my hubby and me got moved to Facebook as I was sure I could gain support for my position. The post generated quite a few responses, some valid and some asinine. (Someone said the male equivalent to Reba was Dan Seals. Seriously?)

In the end, I had to concede to the fact that no one in country music really has achieved all that George Strait has. While there is no denying this, I still think that Reba is to Female Country music what George is to Male Country music. If any female comes close to him in terms of success, popularity and talent, annoying as her talent may be, it has to be Reba.

Through it all, I learned 2 things I don't guess I really knew before:
1. Lots of men AND women like George Strait but mostly just women like Reba.
2. Red-headed blood runs deep.


  1. I always think about Jenna as a little girl singing her songs, too!!!

  2. i'm not a "Reba person," but i knew a guy in college (circa 2004) who was in LOVE with her! George > Reba in my book, but i love your memories of her!