Girl on a String
Safe in the Arms of Love
Walls (Coming Down)
Never Cross That Line
Heart to Heart
Don't Wanna Hold Your Hand
#50 released 7/1/86
#40 released 1/7/86
#51 released 3/14/86
Gail Davies, Larry Chaney and Kevin Welch
Larry Chaney and Pete Pendras
Gail Davies, Denny Bixby, Larry Chaney and Pete Pendras
Considered by many to be the forerunner of today's Americana movement, Wild Choir recorded
this self-titled album on RCA Records in 1986. It was the first female fronted country/rock band preceeding groups like Highway 101 and
Bailey & The Boys.. Gail got the idea of forming Wild Choir after a trip to England to perform at The Wembley Festival. In a pub, just outside of London, she
saw an unusual country band led by a British singer named Hank Wangford. Gail was so impressed with this group of Brits playing Hank Williams songs dressed in punk/country attire and
died purple hair that she returned to Nashville and put Wild Choir together.
After discussing the idea with RCA Record executive Joe Galante, Gail approached the drummer in her touring band
Bob Mummert and her guitarist Larry Chaney about joining Wild Choir. She then enlisted the help of a well respected musician from the Pacific Northwest by the name of
Pete Pendras, whom she had known since high school. Pete, who would co-produce the album with Gail, recommended a bass player he knew in Oregon named Denny Bixby.
Denny flew to Nashville for an audition and, with his brilliant musicianship and enthusiastic personality, immediately became the final member of Wild Choir.
Ed Thacker, known for his work with Cindy Lauper and George Harrison, was chosen as the
engineer for this project. The band was well rehearsed so the album's basic tracks, recorded at Emerald Studios in Nashville, only took four days to complete. It was later mixed in Orlando, Florida
on a British SSL console.
Although praised by their peers and music critics alike, Wild Choir was ahead of it's time. Their first single, Next Time
(written by Gail Davies, Pam Rose and Mary Ann Kennedy) stalled at No. 51 on the charts. The follow up, a song written by John Hiatt called Heart To Heart, barely made it into
into the Billboard Top 40. Country radio complained that the instrumentation, especially the drums, was too rock 'n' roll for their audiences. The sound of Wild Choir would later become the "new sound of
country music." Foster and Lloyd, who signed with RCA a few years after Wild Choir, sited the band as the inspiration for their sound.
David Hogan, who has worked with everyone from Prince to Shania Twain, produced and directed
a music video for Wild Choir's third single, Safe in the Arms of Love. It was scheduled to be shown on MTV, but the format for MTV changed and the video was never aired. It is now
only available for viewing on YouTube.
Wild Choir recorded a second album, which was never released. The group disbanded in 1987 and Gail signed with MCA Records
as a solo artist. Safe in the Arms of Love, would later be recorded by several other notable artists including Michelle Wright and
Bailey & The Boys. It would finally become a hit single for RCA recording artist Martina McBride in 1995.
Click here to read the review of this song.
This album has been out of print almost since it was released and has become somewhat of a collectors item. To
find a copy, try vintage record stores or contact The Great Escape in Nashville, Tennessee.