Acclaimed Nashville vocal stylist Tracy Nelson lost her house and most of her belongings in a fire last Saturday (6/5).
According to friend JoAnne Gardner, Nelson’s home studio was destroyed. It was where she was recording an upcoming CD titled Victim of the Blues. Nelson, her boyfriend/engineer Mike Dysinger and most of their pets are safe. But the status of the computer files that stored her new music is uncertain.
“It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever been through, but we’re OK,” Nelson said yesterday. “We’re safe. People have been incredible. Our neighbor gave us a house across the street to stay in. We lost two of our 11 animals, but it could have been even more horrible.”
The house contained her grandmother’s grand piano as well as her extensive collection of mementos from the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. She did not have enough insurance to cover these and other losses.
A benefit fund has been set up at US Bank under the name “Rosehips Music/Tracy Nelson.” Since she hopes to rebuild on the site in Burns, TN, she says she would also welcome gift certificates to Lowe’s or Home Depot hardware stores.
Tracy Nelson began singing in coffeehouses when she was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She recorded her first blues album, Deep Are the Roots, in 1964 for Prestige Records.
Relocating to San Francisco, she became the lead singer of Mother Earth in 1968. The group moved to Nashville in 1969, becoming one of the first rock bands to settle in the country capital.
Mother Earth recorded three LPs for Mercury and two for Reprise Records. Its 1968 debut collection introduced her classic song “Down So Low.” It has now been recorded by more than a dozen other artists, including Etta James and Linda Ronstadt.
There was also a Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson country album on Mercury in 1971, and she has returned to the country repertoire several times since. She went solo in 1973 and has recorded LPs and CDs for Columbia, MCA, Rounder, Flying Fish, Atlantic and other labels. In 1974 she had a country hit as the duet partner of Willie Nelson (no relation) on “After the Fire Is Gone.”
Her most recent release was 2007’s You’ll Never Be a Stranger at My Door on Memphis International Records.
Powered by Facebook Comments
About the AuthorRobert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.
View Author Profile