kd lang: Tears Don‘t Care Who Cries Them
Patsy Cline. Brenda Lee. Loretta Lynn. Female country singers who had (or have) big voices. You think of them singing in front of a small band augmented with real strings. And, I at least think, this is what country music sounds like.
But were it not for producer Owen Bradley, country music might not sound like that at all. Bradley was the producer of all of these ladies’ biggest songs. And he was one of the chief architects of the “Nashville sound”.
By 1987, kd lang had made one album that had anything to do with country music. Absolute Torch and Twang had more to do with Texas country, including western swing. At this point, lang decided to do her next project in Nashville.
Mary Martin had been a friend of lang’s in Canada. Martin relocated to Nashville, and went to work for RCA’s country operation there. It was she who introduced lang to Owen Bradley. In Bradley, lang found a legend who was willing to take chance on a young singer. In lang, Bradley found a singer who blossomed, and proved able to more than hold her own as a classic country singer. The result was an album that sounded like it could have been made 35 years earlier. The album was Shadowland.
Most of the songs on Shadowland are covers that match up well to the originals. I have been unable to determine who may have done an earlier version of Tears Don’t Care Who Cries Them. But the song fits write in with the vintage material here.