Along with the presentation of that Father’s Day classic – a new tie – Sunday presents the opportunity to share with dad a little bit of classic country music, as Marie Bottrell’s Greatest Hits Show takes to the stage at the Commercial Tavern.
The award-winning singer will be joined by Bill Culp and the Memphis Cats band as she presents a mix of classics, her how Canadian country hits and a smattering of Canadiana as we head toward July 1.
The songs of Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and many others will certainly be on the list.“Nice country classics that I grew up singing as a kid. Everyone will know them and be able to sing along,” said Bottrell in a phone interview from her London home.
“You can’t do a country show without a little Patsy,” she laughed, noting the Commercial Tavern is the ideal spot for her show, the kind of venue you could easily picture Cline, Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette getting on stage to perform.
“We always love going there. There’s not a lot of places like that.”
She’s no stranger to the Maryhill landmark, having performed there many times in a career that got an early start: she was 11 when she began performing as part of a family band, and just 16 when she went professional.
Her early childhood experience was “a good education” for what followed in the next four decades.
After earning her days with the Whitestone County Band, Bottrell began recording for the Mercey Brothers’ MBS label at just 17. She released her self-penned composition “Just Reach Out And Touch Me” in 1978. The positive reaction led to an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry Show on its Canadian tour.
After a successful second single made its way up the charts, Bottrell was rewarded with a nomination at RPM’s Big Country Awards in the Outstanding New Artist category. She was voted Outstanding Female Performer by RPM in 1979 and over the course of her career she has scored eight JUNO nominations and two wins as the CCMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1983 and ’84.
Eighteen of Bottrell’s singles made the RPM Country Tracks charts, including five that reached the Top Ten.
Bottrell began touring with her own band, Marie Bottrell & Cottonwood, and appeared on all of the popular shows of the day, including Tommy Hunter, The Joan Kennedy Show, Ronnie Prophet, The Family Brown Show and Ray St. Germain. Bottrell was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Honour in 2010.
In vein of country classics, she’s performed with Nashville stars such as Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins, Tom T. Hall and Minnie Pearl.
While the country music scene has changed at points over the years, there’s always a demand for the classic stuff. Even as the music sometimes strayed from its roots, from the pop-influenced stuff that marked the period of her early recordings in the 1980s to the New Country of the 1990s, it’s always made its way back toward the traditional country sound, she suggests.
“It will always come back around … to the traditional part of it,” she said of the music.
Marie Bottrell’s Greatest Hits Show takes to the stage June 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at the Commercial Tavern, 1303 Maryhill Rd., or by calling 519-648-3644.