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 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 the modern day Americana movement, Wild Choir recorded this self-titled album on RCA in 1985. It was released in 1986, one year before the group disbanded. This was the first female fronted country/rock band preceeding groups like Highway 101 and Bailey and the Boys.
Gail got the idea of forming Wild Choir after a trip to England. In a pub, just outside of London, she saw an unusual country band led by Britain's Hank Wangford and was so impressed that she returned to Nashville and put the band together. Her initial idea was to be the lead singer for Wild Choir but still continue recording country records under her own name. After discussing the idea with RCA label head Joe Galante, she approached her drummer Bob Mummert and her guitarist Larry Chaney to see if they were interested. She then enlisted the help of an old school chum, Pete Pendras, from Washington State. Pete, in turn, recommended Denny Bixby, a bass player he had met in Oregon. Denny flew to Nashville for an audition and, with his brilliant musicianship and enthusiastic personality, immediately became the final member of the group.
Although not actual members of Wild Choir, Kevin Welch, who had previously played in Gail's touring band, played acoustic guitar, along with Gene Sisk who played piano. Ed Thacker, known for his work with Cindy Lauper and George Harrison, was chosen as the engineer for this project. The band was well reheased so the album's basic tracks, recorded at Emerald Studios in Nashville, took around four days to complete. It was mixed in Orlando, Florida on a British SSL board.
Country radio complained that the instrumentation, especially the drums, was too rock 'n' roll for their audiences. The sound of Wild Choir eventually became the "new sound of country music." Foster and Lloyd, who were signed as artists to RCA Records a year later, were greatly influenced by the sound of this band.
Praised by their peers and music critics alike, Wild Choir was ahead of it time. Their singles were not able to break through on country radio and sales suffered. RCA also produced a video for the band's third single, scheduled to be shown on MTV, but the format of the program changed and the video was never seen. Ten years later,that same single, Safe in the Arms of Love, became a #1 record for RCA recording artist Martina McBride. Click here to read the review of this song.
This album has been out of print almost since it was released and is very difficult to find. Try vintage record stores like The Great Escape.