Songwriters Under the Covers with Victoria Shaw

S1 E5 | FULL EPISODE

Pam Tillis & Marc Beeson; Billy Stritch & Natalie Douglas

A new, intimate music performance and storytelling series that puts the spotlight on the songwriters of some of music’s biggest hits across pop, rock and country. Songwriters featured in this episode include Pam Tillis and Marc Beeson, with special guests Billy Stritch and Natalie Douglas.

AIRED: November 13, 2019 | 0:55:27
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Oh, go on. Go on.

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

Thank you. Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

[ Laughs ]

Thank you.

I wrote this song for a group called Emerson Drive,

and it's supposed to be written --

supposed to be sung by a guy,

but I'm singing it anyway 'cause I wrote it.

So just picture me as a guy --

good-looking guy, but I'm a guy.

♪♪

♪ I don't need a whole lot of money ♪

♪ But I wouldn't turn the lottery down ♪

♪ All I need's some green in my pocket ♪

♪ So I can buy my buddies a round ♪

♪ All I want is a place to lay my head ♪

♪ With the woman I love laying in my bed ♪

♪ Kind of understated

♪ My dreams aren't that complicated ♪

♪ I want to be the one

♪ When all is said and done

♪ Who lived a good life, loved a good wife ♪

♪ And always helped someone in trouble ♪

♪ On the day they lay me down

♪ I want everyone to gather 'round ♪

♪ Saying, "He was a father, brother ♪

♪ Neighbor, and a friend

♪ He was a good man"

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Laughing ] What a nice audience.

♪♪

♪ I used to dream of being a rock star ♪

♪ Seeing the world in style

♪ Used to dream of having a fast car ♪

♪ Driving that miracle mile

♪ Well, I've heard tell those streets aren't paved in gold ♪

♪ They're full of pot holes and empty souls ♪

♪ Who never learn

♪ Love is something you got to earn ♪

♪ I want to be the one

♪ When all is said and done

♪ Who lived a good life, loved a good wife ♪

♪ And always helped someone in trouble ♪

♪ On the day they lay me down

♪ I want everyone to gather 'round ♪

♪ Saying, "He was a father, brother ♪

♪ Neighbor, and a friend

♪ He was a good man"

♪ When I'm gone, I want to leave a legacy ♪

♪ Of love and laughs and honesty behind me ♪

♪ Behind me

♪ I want to be the one

♪ When all is said and done

♪ Who lived a good life, loved a good wife ♪

♪ And always helped someone in trouble ♪

♪ On the day they lay me down

♪ I want everyone to gather 'round ♪

♪ Saying, "He was a father, brother ♪

♪ Neighbor, and a friend

♪ He was a good man"

♪ Yeah, he was a good man

♪ And I want to be a good man

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Laughs ]

Thank you!

Thank you so much.

[ Laughs ]

Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Welcome to "Songwriters Under the Covers"

with me, Victoria Shaw.

I am your server tonight,

and I would like to tell you about the specials on the menu.

Actually, how this works

is that I invite my very talented friends

who happen to be hit songwriters.

They come up on stage.

They play songs that you recognize.

They might try out new songs, and most importantly,

they tell you the story behind it of how it was written

because people want to know that, and so --

and then we all go home.

It's really a very easy show.

Actually, we go for a drink, and then we go home.

But anyway, I have wonderful friends today with me,

and I'm going to introduce first the man.

I'm gonna go this way to this way

since we're gonna start with you.

I have known Marc for quite a long time.

He is one of the most respected, most revered, successful,

and just liked songwriters in Nashville.

He has...

What I love about him, too, is that he just keeps --

in this business, to have one hit is amazing,

but to keep sustaining and sustaining

and having more hits and staying on the charts is amazing.

He's had cuts by Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes,

Blake Shelton, Josh Turner -- who am I leaving out? --

oh, Restless Heart, just -- oh, Billy Currington.

I mean, I really could go on and on.

He's been on, like, 25 million albums

I think your songs have been on, three number ones.

He's very cool. He's my friend, Mr. Marc Beeson.

[ Cheers and applause ] Thanks.

-Pretty great, pretty great. -Thanks.

And to my left is my friend who I just adore.

She is part of country-music royalty.

What I love about her is that instead of just...

Her father, Mel Tillis, was a country legend,

but instead of just trying to go on his coat strings --

coattails, as you say --

she went off and just really proved

that she is her own woman with her own sound.

She's a great songwriter.

She's one of the most recognized voices in country music.

She's just such a joy, and she is -- oh, gosh --

a two-time Grammy winner, a three-time MCA winner.

I think you've had nine ACM nominations.

She's the real deal

and really a great songwriter as well as a great singer.

Please make welcome Ms. Pam Tillis.

Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you, Vic.

It all sounds so good when you say it.

-[ Laughs ] -It's amazing.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Aren't we impressive?

Yeah, yeah. It's like, wow.

I did all that. Really?

Oh, yeah. So I'm gonna let you kick this off.

How it works -- we just kind of take turns,

and we're gonna jump in with harmonies

when we know it, and...

-I love it. I love it. -Yeah.

Well, you know, we were putting this all together

at sound check, and they said, "Well, go ahead

and tell some stories, you know, behind the songs."

You guys like that, right?

Well, this song was inspired by...

Ladies, I think the best way to explain it

is if you're single, it's about the kind of guy

that you really don't want to get hooked up with.

[ Laughter ]

I think in real estate they call them fixer-uppers.

[ Laughter ]

And I learned from personal experience

they don't make a tool belt for that.

I know 'cause I looked all over

the hardware store, never found one.

I did tell that on stage one night, and after the show,

I had a lady come up to me -- this little lady.

She said, "Oh, honey, I'm so sorry

they don't make a tool belt for that."

She said, "I will lend you my stud finder."

[ Laughter ]

She was 102. That was pretty cool.

[ Laughter ]

All right.

♪ Well, I said he had a lot of potential ♪

♪ He was only misunderstood

♪ You know, he really didn't mean to treat me so bad ♪

♪ He wanted to be good

♪ And I swore one day I would tame him ♪

♪ Even though he loved to run hog wild ♪

♪ Just call me Cleopatra, everybody ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm the queen of denial ♪

♪ Well, I knew he didn't have any money ♪

♪ Yeah, that's why he couldn't buy me a ring ♪

♪ Oh, and just because he bought himself ♪

♪ A brand-new pickup truck

♪ Really didn't prove anything

♪ And he never had to say he loved me ♪

♪ I could see it every time he smiled ♪

♪ Just call me Cleopatra, everybody ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm the queen of denial ♪

♪ Oh, queen of denial

♪ Buying all his alibis

♪ Queen of denial, yeah

♪ Just floating down the river of lies ♪

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ Whoo-hoo

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

If you can just imagine them down at Gilley's

two-stepping to this, it really happened.

♪♪

♪ Oh, yeah

♪ Well, I'm not gonna jump to conclusions ♪

♪ Or throw away this perfect romance ♪

♪ Oh, even though I saw him dancing last night ♪

♪ With Victoria Shaw in leopard-skin pants ♪

♪ He's probably stuck in traffic ♪

♪ And he'll be here in a little while ♪

♪ Just call me Cleopatra, everybody ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm the queen of denial ♪

♪ Oh, queen of denial

♪ Buying all his alibis

♪ Queen of denial, yeah

♪ Just floating down the river of lies ♪

Y'all want to sing it with me? Come on now.

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

If you can't get an in-tune audience

in New York, where can you?

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ Whoo

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ Ba-da-dum- ba-dum-ba-dum-da-dum-de-da ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

A little ad-lib there.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

That's what I'm talking about. Ms. Pam Tillis in the house.

-Thank you so much. -Yeah!

Thank you.

Whoo!

That was never supposed to be a hit record.

[ Laughs ] And yet.

And yet, somehow against all the odds...

These are two of the most talented women I know,

and just I love I can be up here with y'all...

Thank you. ...and noodle on your songs and try not to...

Yeah, noodle away.

That's a country thing -- wanted to noodle on your songs.

Yeah. We haven't practiced any of these songs,

so everything we're playing and singing,

we're just kind of doing like we would at the Bluebird.

You don't want to see something practiced. Yeah.

You want to see something raw and real and chill

like you're in our living room.

This actually looks like my living room,

which is really funny. It's cool.

But, really, you want the real deal, right?

Yeah. This actually is very,

very kind of Bluebird-like

in that it kind of feels like a big-living-room vibe.

-Yeah. It's good. -Really does.

Well, it's Birdland, you know?

-Yeah. -So there's Birdland, Bluebird.

I only play fowl places.

[ Groans and laughter ]

There she goes again.

Sorry. So sorry. So sorry.

Wow.

[ Laughs ]

But I digress. Go ahead.

Okay. Well, you know, we...

Victoria and I have, like -- are writers

that have pretty much made our living

writing for other people for most of our careers,

and for me, it's about 28 years now

and to varying degrees of success.

You know, you get a few hits,

and it seems like you're successful,

but, you know, it doesn't count the thousands of songs

that everybody said, "No. No. No way."

And so you talk about living in denial.

You kind of have to live in denial

a little bit to be a songwriter,

but, you know, we could sit in a room and craft a song

and write a song that we really love

and get it the best it can be,

but there's a part of songwriting

that's kind of a random thing

that would probably be hard for most people to live with

'cause it's a randomness.

Once it gets out of the room,

then you have no control over it anymore,

and a lot of times, we have this --

we're under the illusion that we write it, and we go,

"Oh, this is gonna be perfect for so and so,"

and we know exactly where the song's going.

And hardly ever does it go

where you think it's going because you write a song,

and no matter how well you write it --

you could write a great love song

and pitch it to the person you think it's perfect for,

but if they just went through a breakup,

it might be the last song that they want to sing.

But, you know, it's those things that you have no control over --

the things that happen in these people's lives, so...

And then when it does happen, it's really random.

It's not anything that we controlled,

so, like, this song is a perfect example of that.

We wrote this song for Sam Hunt

so that we could pitch it to Keith Urban

so that Billy Currington would record it and have a number one,

and that's the way it works, folks.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Summer coming through a rolled down window ♪

♪ Tearing down an almost two-lane back road ♪

♪ Freedom and fireflies in the air ♪

♪ The night's still young, never want to get old ♪

♪ Living for today like there's no tomorrow ♪

♪ Follow the grooves, the tires in the grass ♪

♪ Laying on the gas like we're never coming back ♪

♪ It's a Friday night It's a small-town girl ♪

♪ Everything is right and we rule the world ♪

♪ Two 12s in the truck back, beating ♪

♪ Bunch of rock stars on the riverbank singing ♪

♪ Whoa, whoa-oh-oh, whoa, whoa-oh-oh ♪

♪ Everything, oh-oh-oh

♪ Everything we want to be, oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Oh-oh-oh We are, we are, we are ♪

♪ Tonight

♪ Swaying back and forth Can't you feel the music? ♪

♪ Time stands still I don't wanna lose it ♪

♪ Her laugh, her tan, her touch ♪

♪ We're flying so high like we're never gonna crash ♪

♪ It's a Friday night It's a small-town girl ♪

♪ Everything is right and we rule the world ♪

♪ Two 12s in the truck back beating ♪

♪ Bunch of rock stars on the riverbank singing ♪

♪ Whoa, whoa-oh-oh, whoa, whoa-oh-oh ♪

♪ Everything, oh-oh-oh

♪ Everything we want to be, oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Oh-oh-oh We are, we are, we are ♪

♪ Tonight

♪♪

♪ Yeah, yeaaaah

♪ Ye-e-eaaah

♪ Toes in the grass with our hands up high ♪

♪ Dream as big as a midnight sky ♪

♪ So untamed and we're so alive ♪

♪ Tonight

♪ It's a Friday night It's a small-town girl ♪

♪ Everything is right We rule the world ♪

♪ Two 12s in the truck back, beating ♪

♪ Bunch of rock stars on a riverbank singing ♪

♪ Whoa, whoa-oh-oh, whoa, whoa-oh-oh ♪

♪ Everything, oh-oh-oh

♪ Everything we want to be, oh-oh-oh ♪

♪ Oh-oh-oh We are, we are, we are ♪

♪ Tonight

♪ We are tonight now Everything we want to be ♪

♪ Yeah We are, we are, we are ♪

♪ Tonight

♪♪

♪ We are tonight now, baby

♪ Oh, oh, oh, whoa, ohhhh

[ Cheers and applause ]

Love it.

Whoo! Love it.

-Thanks. -Mr. Marc Beeson.

-Thank you. -Wow.

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

Y'all just witnessed me having a brain aneurysm on camera.

Victoria: [ Laughing ] Why? What happened?

Phew! It's high.

It's high. Damn.

Oh, my goodness.

Well, I don't think Birdland's ever been this country.

I love this.

-I love it. -I love this.

Oh, I'm gonna jump around.

Instead of me taking my turn, you take this turn.

I've got things planned, so don't worry about it.

Don't you worry about me.

Okay. You kids go on ahead?

Yeah. I've got a whole dance routine I'll be doing later.

-Okay. All right. -It's great.

I grew up around great songwriters all my life,

so I never knew.

I thought everybody wrote songs.

Y'all all write songs, right?

I thought everybody wrote songs,

so I never knew to be afraid of it,

and one time I was playing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville,

and this lady showed up backstage,

and I didn't recognize her

'cause it had been quite some time.

She said, "I was your 4-year-old kindergarten teacher,"

and she said -- I was like, "Oh, my gosh.

I can't believe it." She said, "Yes."

She said, "You used to come to kindergarten every week and say,

'Would you like to hear my new song?'"

[ Laughter ]

So... That's great.

...that's how it starts, folks.

And I wrote a song about having a crazy life,

although I'd been touring in the Southwest,

and I'd been hearing a lot of --

it was the first time out, you know?

I'd always grew up in the South,

and I never really been out west a lot,

so we were traveling all through Texas

and New Mexico and Arizona and all that,

and I heard, you know, Tejano music

and all these kind of musical strains

that I'd never heard before.

So somewhere between those sounds

and, like I said, the fact that I had a crazy life,

I came up with a song with my friend

Jess Leary another song, too.

We got away with a lot in the early '90s at country radio.

Like, this should have never been a hit, either,

but somehow, it turned out to be all right,

and I got with -- but I had that idea.

"Mi Vida Loca" came from a Geraldo Rivera talk show.

Tell that. I heard that story.

Yeah, well, there was a girl gang on there. Deep.

And one of them had a tattoo, and it said, "Mi vida loca,"

and I thought, "That's cool."

And that was way before Ricky Martin.

I just thought, "Mi vida loca --

that's got a pretty good ring to it, right?"

Right, right. It did.

So I got with Jess, and I said,

"Hey, I got this idea, you know?

Let's write this song called 'Mi Vida Loca.'"

And so we get through the verse, and that's going pretty good,

and then we get to the chorus.

We get to where the hook should happen, you know,

and we're like -- I said to Jess, I go,

"Do you know Spanish?"

And she goes, "No. I thought you did."

So somehow, we wrote a song with a Spanish title

without knowing...

I know burrito, enchil-- salsa.

-You did great. -I know very little.

-You did great. -Thank you.

Somehow we pulled it off. I don't know.

Awesome. Really did.

-Chutzpah. -Just a little chutzpah.

And thank you, Geraldo, wherever he is.

Yeah. Thank you, Geraldo.

♪ If you're coming with me you need nerves of steel ♪

♪ I take corners on two wheels

♪ It's a never-ending circus ride ♪

♪ The faint of heart need not apply ♪

♪ Mi vida loca over and over ♪

♪ Destiny turns on a dime

♪ I go where the wind blows

♪ You can't tame a wild rose

♪ Welcome to my crazy life

[ Trills ]

♪♪

♪ Sweetheart, before this night is through ♪

♪ I could fall in love with you ♪

♪ Come dancing on the edge with me ♪

♪ Let my passion set you free

♪ Mi vida loca over and over ♪

♪ Destiny turns on a dime

♪ I go where the wind blows

♪ You can't tame a wild rose

♪ Welcome to my crazy life

[ Trills ]

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ Ooh-hoo, yeah

♪ Ah, go to "G," Marc

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Here in the firelight

♪ I see your tattoo

♪ Mi vida loco So you're crazy, too ♪

♪ Mi vida loca over and over ♪

♪ Destiny turns on a dime

♪ I go where the wind blows

♪ You can't tame a wild rose

♪ Welcome to my crazy life

♪ We'll go where the wind blows ♪

♪ I'll be a wild rose

♪ Welcome to my crazy life

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Trills ]

Thank you so much.

Arriba!

Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya!

You know what you are, Pam?

-[ Laughing ] What? -You're delightful.

-Oh, gosh. Thank you. -Yes.

-You know? -Well, that's nice to say.

She's just delightful.

She's adorable. She sounds great.

She's -- it's just delightful. Ah!

Can I hang out with you a lot?

Absolutely. I love that.

And you know Jess Leary, the cowriter on that --

she and I were roommates for the longest time

when we were struggling songwriters. I love Jess Leary.

Yes, and she had a Garth connection, too, didn't she?

She played with Garth for a little while.

-Love Jess. -I'll tell you a funny...

-Jess is awesome. -This is so embarrassing.

Well, first of all, that song -- it was out '94,

and it mentions that thing,

"Here in the firelight, I see your tattoo."

That's back when nobody had tattoos but sailors.

Right, right.

We thought, "Oh, this is so edgy."

[ Laughter ]

-Right! -We did, and...

-He was a bad boy. -Yeah, yeah, yeah, and...

-Go ahead, Marc. -Oh, me again?

I got things. Go ahead.

-Wow. -Yeah.

Okay.

Pam was talking about writing the truth.

And I can't remember whether

it was Harlan Howard or Willie said,

"Just tell the truth and make it rhyme."

And that's really the key to songwriting.

And I find nowadays that I've had to relearn so much

because music continues to evolve,

and nobody can sit on their laurels.

And, I mean, you may have had a hit at one time,

but you're never gonna have another hit

if you're not paying attention to what's happening, so --

I'm gonna have to get off my laurels?

That's what the problem is?

-Right. -Damn it.

I'm sorry. -Yeah.

-I'm sorry. -It's okay.

-I'm listening. -What was I saying?

Oh, yeah. Okay. No. I just, you know --

so I write with a guy named Allen Shamblin,

and Allen's one of my oldest pals,

and he and I are kind of

a couple of the oldest guys in town, and...

But somehow, we still continue to do it

because -- and as we were talking about earlier,

you know, like, for me,

I go into writes now as a student.

I don't ever go in trying to be a teacher.

I go in as a student because age

doesn't really have anything to do with music.

It's all about the heart that's delivering it, so...

And I find that when you get in the middle of a song

that you're really into,

nobody gives a damn about how old anybody is anymore.

You're just trying to get to the bottom of a song.

But anyway, this is a song

that Allen and I wrote a while back.

And when Allen and I write, we always get together

and sit for an hour or so

before we ever pull any guitars out

and just drink some coffee and just talk about

what's, you know -- what's on our minds,

you know, maybe what's going on in our families

or what's going on in our lives,

maybe in the world sometimes.

And one day, we were writing, and Allen said,

"You know, I went to a church a couple weeks ago,

and in the middle of the sermon, the preacher said,

'I'm really tired of hearing about what everybody's against.

I want to hear about what you're for.'"

And I just thought, "Man, let's write that.

Let's figure out a way to write that."

That felt so profound to me, so we spent a couple of days,

really fun days, writing that song,

and it was a great experiment for us.

I think we wrote 17 verses 'cause it was amazing

how many things that you can come up with

that you're for as opposed to

things that you're against

when you really think about it.

And a guy named Pat Green recorded this.

He's a Texas artist, and he did a really fine job on this.

I also did a version of it on a CD

that just recently certified double plywood.

[ Laughter ]

So there's probably a good chance

you've never heard this song, but anyway...

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I'm for wildflowers in the window ♪

♪ Mechanics you can trust

♪ I'm for crackers in my chili

♪ And leaving grudges in the dust ♪

♪ I'm for drive-through order takers ♪

♪ Who can muster up a smile

♪ I'm for letting Walmart greeters ♪

♪ Sit down for a while

♪ I'm for turning off the TV

♪ And getting off the Internet

♪ I'm for learning all the words ♪

♪ To the Gettysburg Address

♪ And I'm for dusty pawn-shop guitars ♪

♪ And boxers past their prime

♪ I'm for soaking up the wisdom ♪

♪ When an old man speaks his mind ♪

♪ I'm for laid-off factory workers ♪

♪ When the wolf is at the door

♪ You don't have to guess what I'm against ♪

♪ If you know what I'm for

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Well, I'm for Texas margaritas ♪

♪ And getting out of debt

♪ I'm for having faith in something ♪

♪ That hasn't happened yet

♪ I'm for the shy kid in the corner ♪

♪ Afraid to ask the girl to dance ♪

♪ I'm for the ex-con out of prison ♪

♪ Who just wants a second chance ♪

♪ I'm for the inner-city teacher ♪

♪ With her heart stuck in her throat ♪

♪ Who can still see God in every child ♪

♪ And never gives up hope

♪ I'm for dusty pawn-shop guitars ♪

♪ And boxers past their prime

♪ I'm for soaking up the wisdom ♪

♪ When my old man speaks his mind ♪

♪ I'm for laid-off factory workers ♪

♪ When the wolf is at the door

♪ You don't have to guess what I'm against ♪

♪ If you know what I'm for

♪♪

♪ I'm for taking care of soldiers ♪

♪ When they come home from war ♪

♪ Well, you don't have to guess ♪

♪ Noooo-ooo-ooo

♪ You don't have to guess what I'm against ♪

♪ If you know what I'm for

♪ What I'm for

♪ Whoa, whoa

[ Cheers and applause ]

Ah, good songwriting.

Thanks. Thank you.

Man.

[ Cheers and applause continue ]

Whoo-hoo! Thanks.

Wow. All right. Cool.

That's just a perfect song.

I mean, that is just the true craft of a Nashville songwriter.

Oh, my gosh, Marc. It's incredible.

-It's what it is right there. -Thanks, Vic.

-No, really. Beautiful. -Thanks, Vic.

So part of this show -- a lot of times

I have a friend in the audience

who also happens to be a hit songwriter,

and I like to bring him or her up

and just give you a little extra-special --

I mean, we got hit songwriters, hit songwriters

and more hit songwriters.

So tonight's no exception,

and this is a very dear friend of mine.

I actually first met him --

I was reminding him backstage that I first saw him

when he was playing pianos at this restaurant called Bobos,

which was just a few --

just a few blocks down from here.

I mean, it's been gone a long time,

but I remember seeing him play.

He goes, "I don't remember you." It's, like, I just --

"Because I don't think we met, but I remember seeing you play."

And he is an award-winning composer,

arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist

who is truly one of the finest musicians I have ever,

ever had the pleasure of playing with, of seeing.

When I grow up, I want tobe him, okay?

[ Laughs ]

He's had the most varied career,

literally, of almost anybody I've ever met.

He's been the musical director to Liza Minnelli

and Tony Bennett.

I mean, he's performed at Carnegie Hall.

He's performed all over the world.

Then he was also in the revival of "42nd Street" on Broadway.

I mean, these are really cool things,

and then he went and wrote a country song --

a Grammy-winning country song.

How do you do that?

I don't even know, but we're gonna find out,

so please welcome my dear friend, Mr. Billy Stritch.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Did you like that intro? -I love...

-Thank you. -That's the best intro ever.

First of all, I have to say

I am so inspired to hear these musicians tonight.

And the way you all play off of each other

and look at each other, it's like,

"Oh, this chord, oh, and this chord."

And it's like it's rehearsed, and I know --

I was here this afternoon. You didn't rehearse that much.

Victoria: No. We just checked the mics.

So it was good. It was good, and, you know,

and I did write this country song,

but I didn't intend to write it as a country song...

-Well, do tell. -...I have to say.

I was working with a vocal group in Houston, Texas,

called Montgomery, Plant and Stritch.

-Yeah! -How about that for a title?

But it was two glamorous girls and me,

and we mainly worked nightclubs and gay bars.

And my friend Sandy Knox, who was living in Houston

where we were all from at the time --

we befriended each other,

and she had already been writing songs,

and she said, "We should write a song for your group,

and it should be about a wife and a mistress."

I'm like, "Fantastic idea.

The gays will gocrazy for that,"

which they did, which they did.

So we started doing it in the clubs.

We wrote it in one afternoon over,

like, five bottles of Geyser Peak Chardonnay.

I'll never forget.

Oh, I'll never forget that day that we wrote the song.

And then we put it in the act, and we played it every night,

and it always the encore number,

and the crowd always went crazy for it.

But anyway, I am so incredibly fortunate

to be with you, to be presenting the song tonight.

Well, it's my pleasure that I actually --

when I asked you to come on the show, I said,

"And can I sing that? Would you mind?" Oh, my God.

And so he said he didn't mind,

and I thought I would invite

a very talented friend of mine to come sing it with me.

I've never sung this song, you know, live,

and I'm gonna invite

a very talented friend of ours to come up and sing. Yes, please.

"The Times" UK -- 'cause I Googled a little bit

about her -- "The Times" UK...

Well, because, you know, you know them as your friends,

and then you have to actually give a real introduction.

So "The Times" UK once referred to my next guest

as a true force of a nature and in a league of her own.

She is a nightclub diva... She is.

...which is the ultimate compliment.

She's recent appearances at Café Carlyle, Carnegie Hall,

Jazz at Lincoln Center... And numerous...

...and many cabarets, numerous cabarets,

including a residency she does at Birdland. Absolutely.

So she's very talented, and she's won basically

every New York nightlife award that you can win.

No, really, and she's my friend,

and I would really like to...

That's what's so cool.

She's my friend, and I would like to introduce

Miss Natalie Douglas. Yeah!

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Laughs ]

Playing the role of the harlot, Miss Natalie Douglas.

That's right. She plays the slut,

and Victoria plays the wife, the good wife.

-Typecasting. -I know.

It's the age-old story. Here we go.

-Okay. -Hi.

-You ready, girls? -Yes.

-I think we are. Yeah. -I'm excited.

I am, too. How can I look at you meanly when I love you so much?

-Yeah, you know... -I love you, too.

But just for the purposes of this...

But remember, we're rivals, okay?

Yes. Grr.

Do a lot of sneering at each other. Okay.

♪♪

♪♪

♪ I've known about you

♪ For a while now

♪ When he leaves me, he wears a smile now ♪

♪ As soon as he's away from me ♪

♪ In your arms is where he wants to be ♪

♪ But you're the one he rushes home to ♪

♪ You're the one he gave his name to ♪

♪ I never see his face in the early morning light ♪

♪ You have his mornings, his daytimes ♪

♪ And sometimes, I have his nights ♪

♪ Oh, but does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Does he think of you

♪ Does he think of you

♪ When he's holding me?

♪ And does he whisper

♪ Does he whisper

♪ All his fantasies?

♪ Does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he's been loving me?

♪♪

♪ But when he's with me

♪ He says he needs me

♪ And that he wants me

♪ That he believes in me

♪ And when I'm in his arms

♪ He swears there's no one else ♪

♪ Is he deceiving me

♪ Or am I deceiving myself?

♪ Am I deceiving myself?

♪ Oh, but does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Does he think of you

♪ Does he think of you

♪ When he's holding me?

♪ And does he whisper

♪ Does he whisper

♪ All his fantasies?

♪ Does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he's been loving me?

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Oh, shouldn't I lose my temper? ♪

♪ And shouldn't I be ashamed? ♪

♪ 'Cause I have everything to lose ♪

♪ And I, I have nothing to gaaaaain ♪

♪ Oh, does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Like he loves me?

♪ Does he think of you

♪ Does he think of you

♪ When he's holding me?

♪ And does he whisper

♪ Does he whisper

♪ All his fantasies?

♪ Does he love you

♪ Does he love you

♪ Like he's been loving me?

♪ Oh

♪ Does he love you?

[ Cheers and applause ]

Miss Natalie Douglas, Billy Stritch!

Whoo! Shaw!

[ Laughs ]

-That was great. Wow. -Oh, gosh. Mwah.

So good. Thank you.

Victoria: Thank you.

-Fun. -That was so much fun.

Sang the heck out of it.

Man. Yes, you did.

-Well, thank you. -It's a great melody.

Big ol' diva ballads are fun for me. Yes.

Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you.

All right, well, this is actually

the last two songs of the night.

Have you had fun? I know.

It goes too fast, doesn't it?

-We could go a long time. -We could.

Maybe there will be a party after this.

It's okay. but, Pam...

Thank you. Thank you...

-Oh, thank you. -...for having me.

-It's always such a pleasure. -Thank you so much.

I do appreciate it.

[ Cheers and applause ]

I mean, I have such talented friends,

but I have to always say they're not just talented.

They're so nice.

You have to understand these people are so nice

and so giving. [ Laughs ]

And what did I call her earlier?

What?

-Delightful. -Oh, delightful.

Thank you.

I like royalty better than pedigree.

I've gotten that before. That sounds like a poodle.

I don't like the pedigree thing so much.

So anyway... [ Laughs ]

Oh, me...

-So what you gonna play? -Can I do a new song?

You can do whatever you want.

That's one thing.

I always go rogue on the set list,

so I asked them backstage, and they said it was cool.

-That's cool. -But...

Do you want to hear a new -- it's cool to do a new song.

Can we do that? Can we do that?

[ Cheers and applause ]

It's like they're on the inside.

Thank you.

Well, you know, I'll tell you the way

this one came about -- around a kitchen table

like so many of the songs do.

But through the...

I've been on tour now for 30 years

and had a good long run at radio, about eight years.

That's good. That's a good, long time.

It's not like the Beatles or anything,

but eight years is pretty decent,

and now I'm still in --

I guess satellite radio still plays...

Oh, I hear it.

...you know, "Maybe It Was Memphis"

and all those songs, so that's awesome.

And people feel like they know you because, you know,

I've had through the years -- like, it used to be

I actually got letters, you know?

Now everything's Facebook posts...

-Right, right, right. -...and all that stuff.

But back then, it was, like, oh, you know,

"You kept me company as I moved across country,"

you know, "I was starting school,

and I moved all the way away from home for the first time."

And people would say stuff like, "Oh, you've been in the cab

up in my tractor while I planted every year."

And people would say things like, you know,

"We fell in love to 'Maybe It Was Memphis,'

and now we got little Junior"...

[ Laughter ]

...you know, stuff like that.

I've been invited to weddings and bar mitzvahs

and all kinds of stuff,

you know, just everything, and proms.

I've been asked to be prom dates, so it's really cool.

You forge a relationship with people

after you've been on their television and then their radio,

and you never take it for granted.

And sometimes the letters are sad, you know?

Sometimes they speak of loss and pain.

And those were always the hard ones to know what to say

because there's no easy answers, you know,

and we all go through those things.

And I also question the wisdom of asking country-music singers

for any kind of advice at all, so...

♪♪

Anyway, I started thinking about,

you know, some of the ways that I cope,

and I just thought I'd tuck some of them into a lyric

and hope they help somebody out.

♪♪

♪ Sometimes these bones, they get to aching ♪

♪ Oh, when I just get plain tired ♪

♪ Everybody wants some of me

♪ And I'm all worn out and wired ♪

♪ Oh, but I don't need no doctor ♪

♪ Something scribbled on a little white pad ♪

♪ 'Cause it don't come in a bottle ♪

♪ And all the side effects are bad ♪

♪ I find it walking in the woods ♪

♪ Floating on the lake

♪ And no one has to tell me how many I should take ♪

♪ And it comes in all the colors of a sunset-painted sky ♪

♪ And it makes me high

♪ You should try my kinda medicine ♪

♪♪

♪ Oh, it don't take long to notice ♪

♪ This world is full of God-shaped holes ♪

♪ And if you get me to preaching ♪

♪ Brother, I'll get on a roll

♪ 'Cause there's people out there peddling ♪

♪ All kinds of counterfeit hope ♪

♪ Don't get me wrong now I'm not meddling ♪

♪ But if you ask me how I cope ♪

♪ Well, I watch the same old movies ♪

♪ That always make me laugh

♪ And I throw that stick 100 times ♪

♪ Watch my dog bring it back

♪ And I saddle up the horses

♪ Get lost for hours out on a Sunday ride ♪

♪ Works every time

♪ My kinda medicine

♪♪

♪ Ooh, oooooh

♪ And I find it with a friend

♪ I can count on to be there

♪ And I find it in the quiet times ♪

♪ Talking to the man upstairs

♪ And it comes in all the colors of a sunset-painted sky ♪

♪ And it makes me high

♪ You should try my kinda medicine ♪

♪ My kinda medicine

♪♪

Victoria: Oh, yeah.

[ Cheers and applause ]

-Thank you so much! -Pam Tillis...

Thank you. I'm glad you liked that.

-...my friend. -Thank you much.

-That was beautiful. -Thank you.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Well, it's coming to the end.

We're gonna let Marc, as we say, take us home,

but beforehand, have you guys had fun?

-It's been good. -I'm so glad.

I'm so glad, but I got to tell you, what you saw tonight

is really what we would do if you guys weren't here,

is just sit around and play songs for each other

and just crack each other up,

so I'm really glad you could share this with us.

And I want to thank Natalie Douglas.

I want to thank Pam Tillis.

I want to thank Billy Stritch.

And my wonderful friend Marc Beeson

is gonna play a song that I requested

that was not just a country song.

It was a hit pop song, too.

I still hear it all the time,

and it's just one of my favorite songs.

So I'll let you tell the backstory on it.

Okay, so this is an oldie.

It's over 20 years, so that makes it an oldie

which guess what that says about me?

It's a classic.

But I wrote this with my buddy Sonny LeMaire,

and I was telling the guys earlier today

that I had the melody for this song for about a year,

and I just kept thinking

I was gonna be able to write it by myself,

and I didn't play it for anybody.

I loved the melody, but I just couldn't figure out

what it was saying.

And I got in this conversation with Sonny one day.

It was the first time we had ever written,

and we were talking about stuff.

And we got on the subject of, like,

"Man, back in the beginning when you're starting out,

and you've got these big dreams but you got nothing going on."

And, I mean, I remember playing in Ramada Inns

for happy hours at 5:00 playing cover songs for,

like, five drunk guys.

And, I mean, that's about as far away

from the music business, really, as you can get,

and, you know, and so it's not only that.

You sacrifice a lot because you're going for something

that doesn't promise any kind of security,

so that eliminates about 90% of the female population

'cause, you know, you know...

tying your wagon to a songwriter is not exactly --

it does not scream "security," okay?

But it's an interesting ride. I can tell you that much.

But if you find somebody that believes in you --

and this is not just songwriting --

singing, anybody in the arts that doesn't...

It's not a tangible thing where you do this, this, this,

and then for sure that's gonna happen.

That's not the way this works,

and you just work hard, and you say a lot of prayers,

and hopefully you have the talent and the --

as we talked about earlier,

you're in denial enough to be able to just do it.

Anyway, but if you find somebody

who will hitch their wagon to you

before you have anything going,

that's, like, man, you want something to hap--

you want it to happen for them.

And Sonny and I started talking about that,

and he spit this title out,

and we just knocked this lyric out,

and it was just so right,

and a band called Restless Heart recorded it

and really great band, great singers,

and they're still out there playing now.

They did a great job, and anyway,

thank you all for being here tonight.

Really appreciate it so much.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

♪ Road I have traveled on

♪ Is paved with good intentions ♪

♪ It's littered with broken dreams ♪

♪ That never quite came true

♪ When all of my hopes were dying ♪

♪ Her love kept me trying

♪ She does her best to hide

♪ The pain that she's been through ♪

♪ When she cries

♪ When she cries

♪ At night

♪ When she cries

♪ When she cries

♪ At night

♪ And she doesn't think that I can hear her ♪

♪ She tries

♪ At night

♪ At night

♪ She tries

♪ To hide

♪ She tries

♪ She tries

♪ To hide

♪ All the fear she feels inside ♪

♪ So I pray

♪ To hide

♪ To hide

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I pray

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I can be the man that she deserves ♪

♪ 'Cause I die a little each time ♪

♪ When she criiiies

♪ Yeah

♪♪

♪ She's always been there for me ♪

♪ Whenever I've fallen

♪ This time

♪ Nobody else believes

♪ She'll be there by my side

♪ This time

♪ I don't know how she takes it ♪

♪ And just once I'd like to make it ♪

♪ Then there'll be tears of joy ♪

♪ That fill her loving eyes

♪ When she cries

♪ This time

♪ This time

♪ When she cries

♪ At night

♪ When she cries

♪ When she cries

♪ At night

♪ And she doesn't think that I can hear her ♪

♪ She tries

♪ At night

♪ At night

♪ She tries

♪ To hide

♪ She tries

♪ She tries

♪ To hide

♪ All the fear she feels inside ♪

♪ So I pray

♪ To hide

♪ To hide

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I pray

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I can be the man that she deserves ♪

♪ 'Cause I die a little each time ♪

♪ When she criiiiies

♪♪

♪ Ooooooh

♪ Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

♪ Ohhhh, so I pray

♪ This time

♪ This time

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I pray

♪ I pray

♪ This time

♪ I can be the man that she deserves ♪

♪ 'Cause I die a little each time ♪

♪ When she criiiiies

♪ This time

Mr. Marc Beeson.

Thank you so much. Good night, everybody.

-Thank you. -Thank you. Thank you.

-Thanks, y'all. -Beeson.

Marc, Pam, Natalie, Billy.

-Thanks. -Thank you so much.

Thank you. -All right, guys.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪ This time

[ "Queen of Denial" plays ]

♪♪

♪ Oh, yeah

♪ Well, I'm not gonna jump to conclusions ♪

♪ Or throw away this perfect romance ♪

♪ Oh, even though I saw him dancing last night ♪

♪ With Victoria Shaw in leopard-skin pants ♪

♪ He's probably stuck in traffic ♪

♪ And he'll be here in a little while ♪

♪ Just call me Cleopatra, everybody ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm the queen of denial ♪

♪ Oh, queen of denial

♪ Buying all his alibis

♪ Queen of denial, yeah

♪ Just floating down the river of lies ♪

Y'all want to sing it with me? Come on now.

♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ This time

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