This past weekend I recorded with some other Positive Music artists, and it was so much fun to get back to doing what I love. I recorded a song called “I Will Surrender,” by David Roth, Karen Drucker and Faith Rivera, as well as an original song called “I’m Not Alone.”
Then later this month, I’ll be traveling to Nashville to start recording some songs for a new record (I will always call ’em records) that I’m working on that’s tentatively titled Burnin’ Karma.
I’m planning on recording a few songs written by other songwriters — including “Train Leaving Dallas” by Thom Bishop and Billy Panda and “Empty Hands,” a beautiful song by Daniel Nahmod — as well as some of my own. I can’t wait to get back into the studio and see what magic happens!
To date, I have recorded 19 albums — seven of which are compilation CDs, including five with The Four Bichin’ Babes (we are celebrating out 25th year this year!) and some Christine Lavin projects, including On A Winters Night, Just One Angel and holiday classics.
I recorded my first record when I was just 14 years old, after a family friend submitted a reel-to-reel tape of my original folk songs to the “WLS Big Break Radio Contest” and I WON FIRST PRIZE! One of the prizes was a recording contract with Mercury Records. I cut two singles, as many as Mercury said they’d make, and — well — they released me instead of the record. But it was still amazing to be able to record my first record at Universal Studios in Chicago with Mini Ripperton as one of the background singers! I was in heaven.
A man named Bobby Monaco produced the two songs for Mercury, and we stayed in touch after my deal was over with Mercury. I would get home from high school, change clothes and either take the train to the city from Crystal Lake, or drive downtown to his office and play him my latest songs. There were always cool rock musicians at the office working on songs too. More heaven.
One day Bobby called to tell me he and his partners were moving their production company to LA to start a label, and maybe I could come out too and he would try to get me a record deal! So, I finished my junior year of high school, packed my bell bottoms and headed west. Hippy heaven.
I got a record deal in about six months with Wooden Nickel Records/RCA; a manager, Jerry Weintraub; and a tour with John Denver after I recorded my first LP, In The Megan Manner. To this day, it is my favorite recording of mine. Songs I had written to heal from grief and loss and now loneliness for the same small town I couldn’t wait to leave a year earlier.
I was in way over my head. I fell in love with a guitar player who, it turns out, had “a thing for young girls.” I was definitely a girl from Crystal Lake, IL. Naïve and groomed by a pro, I recorded three more LPs, and then before I knew it, I became privy to an affair that a certain someone who had a hit song for his wife on the charts was having. I checked it out with Guitar Man, and next thing I knew, it all went away — the tour, the record deal and the love of my life, the married guitar player.
Opening acts are dispensable.
I came home to Crystal Lake to help my mom out, and slept for a summer. I didn’t get back into the studio for four years. Shame will silence a person so completely that I feel blessed it was only four years.
And luckily, my love of making records hasn’t stopped since.
Thank you for the love, and support, and for being on this journey with me. So far, heaven.