View Single Post
Old 11-17-2008, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
Jim Colyer
Jim Colyer's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 40
Default The return of Shania Twain

Shania is back in town. She recently appeared at the CMA Awards and is preparing to release another CD. I re-read and reviewed this book which has graced my bookcase for a number of years.


Michael McCall's biography begins with the anticipation of Shania Twain's 1998 tour. Could she do it or was she simply a studio creation of Mutt Lange's? The Woman In Me had sold 13 million copies. Expectations were high. The concert at the Nashville Arena on September 25, 1998, showed country music insiders that Shania was for real. My son and I were in the audience.

Shania was actually born in Windsor, Ontario, in Canada and taken to Timmins by her mother when she was two. McCall leads us to believe that Jerry Twain was Shania'a father when in fact he was her step-father. Shania herself had given this false impression early on. I have problems with people who claim to be related when they are not.

McCall paints young Shania and her family as humble and long-suffering, almost saintly. Shania's mother dragged her around clubs in Timmins to perform for hard-drinking miners and loggers. Music became the center of Shania's life as she worked to downplay her sexuality.

A Canadian singer named Mary Bailey became Shania's manager, and it was she who started the ball rolling which led to Shania being signed by Mercury Records in Nashville. The first album at Mercury stunk. It was Shania's belly button in her first video which caught Mutt Lange's attention. It caught everyone's, and I noticed that the crevices of her navel took the shape of a peace symbol.

Even the Mutt-produced record The Woman In Me had a few clunkers. It was the upbeat songs: Any Man Of Mine, You Win My Love and (If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here which sold it.

It was Mutt and Shania's second record, Come On Over, which made her a superstar. Released in November, 1997, it sold steadily for two years. I recall driving down Broadway in Nashville listening to Love Gets me Everytime on the radio and thinking, "Those guitars sound like The Rolling Stones."

McCall finally admits on page 110 that Clarence Edwards was Shania's father, not Jerry Twain. Things got nasty as the real truth leaked out. Shortly afterwards, Shania broke all ties with Mary Bailey, the woman who sacrificed so much. Such is loyalty in the music business!

Even though Shania used her beauty and body to sell records, Mercury stressed that she was more about music than image. Come On Over crossed over to the pop genre. Sales skyrocketed, and McCall takes us full circle with the success of her concerts.

Shania was nothing without Mutt. He put the melodies together. And even though Mutt had sold tons of records as a producer before Shania, I cared nothing for his work. It was the "one plus one equals three" idea, and it was that third entity which created the magic.

McCall gives a sense that Shania had arrived, that all hard times were in the past and would remain there. Of course, life is not that way. I originally read his book when it was published in 1999. Shania was on top. She has since had a kid and gone through a divorce. She is back in Nashville at square one looking forward to an album without Svengali.
Jim Colyer is offline