by Irene Martinko
The female singer-songwriters below have each changed the American musical landscape through their honest, moving, and genuine songs. These women are as much legendary staples of the past as they are energizing cultural influences today. Still the subjects of musicals, plays, films, and tribute concerts, icons like Dolly Parton and Carole King continue to inspire contemporary artists like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. Here’s what a few of these amazing women are doing today:
Dolly Parton: At the age of 72, Dolly Parton has not yet tired of the spotlight. Continuing her work in the public eye, she is still creating music, acting, and wearing her signature sparkly outfits. Most recently, Parton partnered with pop music icon Sia, to record a new version of her song, “Here I Am.” Having topped iTunes charts, the song is featured on the soundtrack for an upcoming Netflix movie called Dumplin’, a fictional story about the plus-size daughter of a former beauty queen.
Carole King: The hit Broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which came out in 2013, has kept King in the public eye. The production is currently playing in New York City and has toured across the United States and around the globe in countries including England, Australia, and Japan. Featuring many of Carole King’s hits, the show tells the story of her rise to musical stardom and celebrates her incredible passion and talent. Carole King has even surprised audiences several times by joining the Broadway cast onstage during their curtain call and performing her own songs to end the night.
Loretta Lynn: At the age of 86, Loretta Lynn is another singer-songwriter whose love of making music is still flourishing. In September of 2018, she released a brand new album called Wouldn’t It Be Great. Initially postponed because of a stroke she suffered in 2017, Lynn was filled with excitement to share her new music and celebrate her recovery. Receiving rave reviews, the new album contains songs co-written and performed by Lynn and is remarkably her 41st studio album.
Joni Mitchell: At the age of 75, Joni Mitchell has taken a step back from the pressure and stress of the music industry in favor of a quieter life. Choosing instead to focus on her well-being after a series of health scares in 2015, Mitchell rarely makes public appearances. Still, she is frequently the subject of tribute concerts and various celebrations of her incredible work.
Mary Chapin Carpenter: Having performed at four different Florida venues, Mary Chapin Carpenter spent the fall of 2018 touring across the country, sharing the songs from her new album Sometimes Just the Sky. This fresh project is a celebration of Carpenter’s 30 years of recording, and features a re-imagining of 12 hits from her past, as well as a brand new title track. She wanted to explore the idea that it is often the simplest things in life that can make you the happiest.
Guitar Girls is now playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. Get your tickets by calling (941) 366-9000 or online at www.floridastudiotheatre.org.