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Vicki lawrence the night the lights went out in georgia

Vicki lawrence the night the lights went out in georgia

Vicki lawrence the night the lights went out in georgia

Vicki Lawrence was just a waitress when, in 1965, she testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating the Georgia Power Company’s nuclear power plant. Beginning with a set of six employees and one reactor, she watched as Georgia Power grew to more than 40,000 customers in 16 states and $3 billion in revenue. Some of the workers she testified before became her husband, including one past midnight, who arrived at her door in a telegram.

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That is a lot of story to cram into less than four minutes, still making room for a chorus and for some instrumental flourishes. It’s probably too much story for a two-hour movie. It’s too convoluted, too full of arbitrary plot twists. Like: If the sister hid the wife’s body, why didn’t she hide Andy’s body, too? What happened to the other guy who was sleeping with the wife? Why were the sheriff and the judge so desperate to find a fall guy? How bad was the guy’s lawyer, anyway? And yet the country songwriter Bobby Russell — the same guy who wrote Bobby Goldsboro’s execrable “Honey” — still jammed all that into “The Night The Lights Went Down In Georgia,” and the song still made it to #1. In 1973, Lawrence had been on The Carol Burnett Show for nearly six years. She’d married Russell the previous year. (They divorced in 1974, the same year that Lawrence married her current husband.) When Cher turned down “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,”

Lawrence recorded it with Snuff Garrett, Cher’s producer. The Wrecking Crew, who’d played on Cher’s records, backed Lawrence up. Lawrence basically did everything Cher would’ve done with the record. This made sense. Cher was, after all, a funny lady on TV. And if you plugged a different TV funny lady into her role, her formula still worked. Lawrence did release a few singles after “The Night The Lights Went Down In Georgia,” and a couple of them even charted in the lower reaches of the Hot 100. But she was clearly more focused on TV. Lawrence stayed on The Carol Burnett Show for all of its 11 seasons. When the show finished its run in 1978, Lawrence was the only non-Burnett performer who’d been there the whole time. On The Carol Burnett Show, Lawrence developed the character Mama, a sort of stereotypical Southern working-class grandmother. After The Carol Burnett Show ended, Lawrence starred in Mama’s Family, a spinoff sitcom that ran for six seasons in the ’80s. (When I was a kid, it felt like Mama’s Family was on every single time I turned on the TV.) (Source: www.stereogum.com)

 

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