On The Fly (12/17/00)

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About Me

The same songs that made up their NBC TV Special found their way on to this Westwood One radio special. This 90 minute special features a mixture of live tracks, studio releases, and a healthy dose of interviews interspersed between each track.

HOST: Charlie Cook
AIRDATE: December 16-17, 2000

(Some host comments not effecting the show have been edited out)

CHARLIE COOK: They've sold more than 17 million albums. They've won over 38 major music industry awards. They broke records on their first North American headlining tour. They were recently named the Country Music Associations entertainers of the year. And last month they made their prime time network television debut with their own concert special. They are the Dixie Chicks and this is Dixie Chicks On The Fly. Hi, I'm your host Charlie Cook. Over the next 90 minutes we'll look at the amazing rise of these 3 superstars who in only 2 short years have done much more than change the face of country music. They've shaken things up, rewritten the rules and have become musical trendsetters. You'll here exclusive backstage interviews plus great live music from their blockbuster fly tour and a whole lot more on Dixie Chicks: On The Fly.
In 1997 the Dixie Chicks signed a recording contract with Sony records. They left Texas for Nashville to begin work on their major label debut album Wide Open Spaces. The collection launched the Chicks into stardom and Wide Open Spaces has since gone on to become the best selling album of all time by a country duo or group. The song "I Can Love You Better" was the debut single from that album. Martie Seidel says that the group had a very specific reason for recording it.

MARTIE: What really struck me was the groove of it. It was something that just made you wanna get up and dance. And we did in a lot of live shows before we ever decided to put it on the album. Ya' know, all the people would pack the dance floor. Ya' know, it's not a real deep song. It's just a fun, fun song.

1. I Can Love You Better

CHARLIE COOK: After the success of their debut single the follow up "There's Your Trouble" hatched the Chicks first number one record. Emily Robison and Natalie Maines admit that originally the song wasn't the band's choice for their second single.

EMILY: It just shows off a lot of our strong points.

NATALIE: And it was really picked by radio and the fans. It wasn't gonna be our second single but we got such great feedback from it and people loving that song. So you can't ignore that.

2. There's Your Trouble

CHARLIE COOK: "There's Your Trouble", the band's first number one record and the one that helped the Chicks cement victories at the 1998 Country Music Association awards. That year, they took home trophies for Group Of the Year and the Horizon award. After the band's next hit "Wide Open Space", Natalie, Emily and Martie showed a different yet softer side musically. "You Were Mine" was written by Emily and Martie. Emily credits the song with inspiring her to write more of the band's material and she admits that "You Were Mine" was also very personal.

EMILY: It's a song about Martie and I's parents divorce. I was the last kid in the house when I was 16 and Martie was already off at college and we have an older sister that was off at college and our parents were going through a divorce and it's kind a song about her perspective.

3. You Were Mine

CHARLIE COOK: That was "You Were Mine" the Dixie Chicks emotional ode to love and loss. One of the trademarks of the Chicks is their musicianship. Natalie explains what Emily brings to the group.

NATALIE: Musically, she's a third of what this band is about. She has the banjo and the dobro and she brings a lot to arrangements and she's a great songwriter and she has a good heart.

CHARLIE COOK: The Dixie Chicks homespun style is showcased in the bands next hit song "Tonight The Heartache's On Me". The record landed on the charts thanks to a ground swell of support from their fans and it eventually became the Chicks next top five record.

4. Tonight The Heartache's On Me

CHARLIE COOK: A box office smash movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere got fans buzzing about their next single "Ready To Run". It was released as part of a Runaway Bride soundtrack and it was the band's debut single from their second album Fly. Hundreds of thousands have experienced the Dixie Chicks live in concert and Martie says that they enjoy starting their shows with "Ready To Run".

MARTIE: It's first in the show to kind of kicks it off with something recognizable and something catchy or Irish light, as my boyfriend puts it. Cause Natalie's sister's married to an Irishman and I'm dating an Irishman and people really from Ireland don't think it's very Irish.

5. Ready To Run (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: Another musical trademark for the Chicks is their signature sound. And Emily says it's no accident.

EMILY: Well, I credit a lot to our producers just for letting us do our thing and that's what make a signature sound is people doing their own thing. Ya' know, I may not be the best dobro or banjo player but I have my own sound and whatever that is, it's gonna sound different than the next person.

6. If I Fall You're Going Down With Me (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: Sure a lot of the band's songs have attitude but some have a deep emotional connection for the trio. Such is the case with their current single "Without You". If you've seen the video for the song you might be wondering about the dedication to Jackson Miles Ezell that appears at the end.

NATALIE: The girl that was pregnant in the video was having a healthy pregnancy and went full term. She knew they were having a little boy and we got a call when she went in to deliver the baby. He had to be put on life support and he had a heart problem. I believe he lived for 5 days. So we just felt awful about it and the video hadn't been out yet and we just left it up to the family whether they wanted her to be taken out of the video or whether they wanted a dedication and we hoped that they would want a dedication and they did.

7. Without You (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: While the girls were on the road, Natalie announced she was expecting her first child with her husband actor Adrian Pasdar. Natalie agrees that her impending motherhood has impacted the groups performances.

NATALIE: We are growing up and it doesn't have to be giggles all the time. But I did think being on stage when I started showing like this and things that I would really tone down how I acted on stage or whatever just cause it would look ridiculous. I just thought this is me. I never want to be one of those na-na moms (Martie laughing in background) who, y'all we can't sing Sin Wagon anymore. Slade is getting to be 5 and he understands what it means. (Martie laughing in background).

8. Give It Up Or Let Me Go (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: "Cowboy Take Me Away" was a song that was co-written by Martie and didn't hit the charts until after it made its debut at Emily's wedding to Charlie Robison in May of 1999. Emily explains why "Cowboy Take Me Away" is one of her favorites.

EMILY: When I first heard it I just loved the song overall. And it wasn't really 'til later that she told me that she'd kind of written it with me and my now husband in mind. So it was kind of touching that is was about me and we sang that at my wedding.

9. Cowboy Take Me Away (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: In any live show artists have a method to keep the crowd going. Natalie says that for her, "Cold Day In July" fits the bill. What she especially likes is the fan's reaction.

NATALIE: I enjoy it and its one of my favorite parts in the show too cause it comes after sort of a lull in the show. It's one of those songs that kind a wakes people up after we've done some album cuts. When the snow starts coming down I love to just look at their faces and they think we're God (laughter from all 3). Just this look and they'll look at us and they'll look at me like 'ahhhhh how did you do that'.

10. Cold Day In July (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: With the Chicks immediate success the band could have embarked on a headlining tour much sooner than they did. Instead, they took their time by building a fan base and opening for other established artists like George Strait and Tim McGraw. This year's been a big one for the girls. In June they kicked off on a record breaking 85 city North American tour. Natalie says that there were some surprises when they embarked on their first headlining tour.

NATALIE: I think attendance has been more than we expected. But I think the tour unfolded just the way we wanted to. But the audience reaction and the turnout is what you never know about when you're spending all this money. You hope they're gonna come but you're not really sure if you're gonna make your money back so that's always a nice surprise.

11. Sin Wagon (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: Another one of the more controversial songs the Chicks have ever recorded is "Goodbye Earl". And Natalie admits she loves perfroming the song on the Fly tour.

NATALIE: On a nightly basis, my favorite song to perform is probably Earl since we go out into the audience. That always seems to surprise them and we get a big reaction. So I always like that. And I feel very proud to see the little kids out there singing it and almost every kid that comes to the meet and greet, their favorite song is Earl and I just think hopefully it empowers them not to get in a situation like that when they get older.

12. Goodbye Earl (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: The Dixie Chicks with "Goodbye Earl" which earned the band their second CMA award for music video of the year. Their first CMA music video trophy was for "Wide Open Spaces". Natalie says the song takes her back in time whenever she sings it on stage.

NATALIE: To me, it's sort of history now. When we were singing it last year on the tour it was the here and now. It was still not far from the RV and all the days that we were driving ourselves around and lugging our own gear and doing all those things. Now in my mind, it's sort of a song that marks that time. I don't know that it feels as close to my heart as it did when we were performing it then.

13. Wide Open Spaces (Live)

CHARLIE COOK: As everyone gets ready for the holidays, Natalie, Martie and Emily have a little something to help get you in the spirit. It's "Merry Christmas From The Family" recorded with Rosie O'Donnell. Natalie explains that despite their hectic schedules, they found a way to record it.

NATALIE: She had asked us to do that last year and we couldn't. We were just so busy and then when she asked again this year we couldn't and we were busy again. So the only way we could find to put it in is if she came out and did it with us and we did it live during a show. There really wasn't a time that we could fly away and be in the studio.

14. Merry Christmas From The Family (Live)

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