Reba McEntire – My Kind Of Country
In this week’s episode, we’re featuring Reba McEntire’s second album for MCA: “My Kind Of Country” (1984). After being plucked from the rodeo arena in 1974, Mercury Records took McEntire and turned her into a recording professional. Her signing with MCA in the early 80s was meant to cement her as a country superstar. However her first MCA release stalled. Reba was no fool – sensing a shift away from the post-Urban Cowboy polish, she rejected the country-pop offerings being pushed by the executives and instead, went digging in her own record collection for inspiration. She pulled out some of the best that the 50s and 60s had to offer, enlisted producer Jimmy Bowen, added fiddlers Johnny Gimble and Mark O’Connor along with steelers Sonny Garrish and Doyle Grisham. With that team, “My Kind Of Country” was born and Reba was afforded two singles for two Number One hits. With that team, Jimmy Bowen (who also produced George Strait around the same time) collaborated with Reba and her gut instinct for traditional country and did indeed cement McEntire as a bona fide country star. Highlights include two Ray Price covers in “I Want To Hear It From You” and “Don’t You Believe Him”, a revamped version of Carl Smith’s 1956 hit “Before I Met You” and the reserved lovelorn ballad “How Blue”.