Press Reviews

Andrew Reschke: Syracuse Herald Journal — August 31, 1978

Miss West opened the program last night. Dressed in blue, she began with such selections as “I Believe in Sunshine,” and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” Next, she presented the number which she felt was really her life story, her smash single release “Country Sunshine.” Then, she had the audience clapping along with the lively “Rocky Top,” She followed this with her latest release, entitled “Come See Me And Come Lonely.” In a salute to Tammy Wynette, she sang that songstress’ “Stand By Your Man,” which she said was for the women in the audience. She prefaced her rendition of Larry Gatlin’s “Broken Lady,” by relating how she helped that singer-composer with his career and what a fan she is of his. Then, she concluded her stint with the moving medley entitled “The American Trilogy,” which included “Dixie” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Date: August 30, 1978
Venue: New York State Fair
Location: Syracuse, NY
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Joe X. Price: Billboard — January 20, 1979

It was veterans night the weekend of Jan, when West, Medley and Kenny Rogers made their individual appearances, the latter in the capacity of impresario (he collaborated with KLAC-AM which broadcast the show live) as well as performer.

West backed by a swinging four-piece band led off with a 13-tune set, getting ample support from Rogers towards the end of the 45-minute turn, when he lent his still sharp vocal prowes to “Two Fools” and the more country oriented “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight.”

The twosome dished up some tasteful harmonies here, which would seem to auger more of same on record, especially since both record for UA Records. After Rogers exit, the comedy West put the wraps on her portion of the show with a ebullient “Dixie” medley and drew a prolonge standing ovation from the sold-out house.

Date: January 5, 1979
Venue: The Palomino Club
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West & Bill Medley


Rick Bonino: The Spokesman-Review — April 26, 1979

Some times you can’t do anything wrong. Life’s a cinch. You’re in the groove. Everything you touch turns to gold. Kenny Rogers has been doing that a lot lately. Everything was easy when he and Dottie West sang to some 7,000 country cousins at the packed Spokane Coliseum Wednesday night.

Kenny and Dottie join for their smash duet, “Every Time Two Fools Collide.” She feins a grab in the vicinity of a crucial portion of his anatomy just as he strains for a high note.

The next tune is even lustier lyrically, Kenny grins mock-sadistically at Dottie’s off-stage husband, drummer Byron Metcalf. “If we don’t get in National Enquirer with that song, we’ll never make it,” he says. Ms. West, garbed in green glitter to open her warm up segment and back in blue to join Rogers for a few numbers during his set, tried to show she was something more than the sterotyped large lungs atop long legs.

“No one has me confused with Dolly Parton anymore,” she said after reeling off her Coca-Cola commercial hit, “Country Sunshine.” “You can tell the difference. My hair’s not big enough,” she said. “See you after the show,” Ms. West sweetly brushed off one male admirer who came to the stage to profess his love just as she slid into a soft rendition of “Dixie.”

Date: April 25, 1979
Venue: Spokane Coliseum
Location: Spokane, WA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Dale Goter: The Salina Journal — July 23, 1979

Singer Dottie West, a stunning beauty with a voice to match, more than held her own as she led off the concert and later teamed with Rogers on a few numbers. Unfortunately, Rogers and West could not cover up for the middle section of the concert, a disappointment barage of nasal twang and repetitious songs by The Kendalls, a father-daughter act signed to take the place of The Oak Ridge Boys who backed out at the last minute.

Date: July 22, 1979
Venue: Bicentennial Center
Location: Salina, KS
Headliners: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West & The Kendalls


Chris Cobb: The Ottawa Journal — August 27, 1979

As usual these days, Rogers’ show opens with Dottie West, one of the best country music performers around. She opens the show and joins Rogers during his set for a couple of hits. West, a veteran of 31 albums gives an energetic opening act and is well- chosen to compliment the more relaxed style of Rogers. West’s career has been rejuvenated since she teamed up with Rogers. She’s reaching new, vast and varied crowds- sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Kenny Rogers reaches them all and Dottie West is getting the benefit. But for sure, she’s no liability, far from it.

Date: August 26, 1979
Venue: Central Canadian Exhibition Grandstand
Location: Ottawa, ON
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Dave Mulholland: Ottawa Citizen — August 27, 1979

More than 22,000 country music fans filled the Central Canada Exhibition grandstand Sunday evening to hear the contemporary styling of Kenny Rogers and Dottie West. Currently the hottest road show in country, Rogers and West delivered the goods in two solid, slick, professional performances. West more than held her own during her opening set, and during her duets with Rogers.

West is a country artist, who has grown with the music, and she did powerful versions of Larry Gatlin’s “Broken Lady,” Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Mickey Newberry’s “American Trilogy.” But the highlight of her first show was Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch.” For that one song, West appeared to forget about the controlled slickness of her act and her passion bridged the gap between the Ex-stage and the grandstand.

However, most of her between-song patter, which was fair, fell off the front of the stage into the grass. Some of the raunchy lines were too much for a country audience; even a contemporary one.

Rogers and West sang three songs together: “All I Ever Need Is You,” “Every Time Two Fools Collide” and “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight.” Their voices blend, their personalities blend, but as with their solo performances, no chances are taken. The three songs sounded good, but there wasn’t any real emotion. The songs could be so much more powerful, if Rogers and West would just let go.

Date: August 26, 1979
Venue: Central Canadian Exhibition Grandstand
Location: Ottawa, ON
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Unknown: The Valley Music News — August 1979

In these days of the rapidly diminishing value of the dollar, the musical consumer could not have made a wiser purchase than tickets to see the recent Mel Tillis-Dottie West Show at the Convention Center. The beautiful Ms. West, whose progressive country sound is gaining widespread popularity due to recent 24 kt. collaborations with Kenny Rogers, opened the show for Mel and the Statesiders.

The sight of Dottie West in gold, skin-tight pants makes listening to a musical program extremely difficult. But Dottie has put together an excellent back-up band which helped her perform such featured selections as “Sweet Music Man” by Kenny Rogers, “Broken Lady” by Larry Gatlin (an artist she personally helped develop), and her biggest hit, “Raised on Country Sunshine,” originally written for a Coca-cola commercial.

This is an important tour for Ms. West because she has stated publicly that, despite her successful work with Kenny Rogers, she desires to retain her identity as a solo female country singer. Should future performances be of the same quality presented this evening, Dottie West will have no trouble in accomplishing her goal.

Date: August, 1979
Venue: Roanoke Civic Center
Location: Roanoke, Va
Headliners: Mel Tillis & Dottie West


Mary Lee Hagert: Waterloo Courier — September 24, 1979

Dottie opened the show with a series of songs, which showed off her versatility as a singer. Her two newest singles, “Pick Me Up (And Put Me Down)” and “A Lesson in Leaving” have upbeat, jazzy tempos. Gone is the country twang on which she and Rogers built their careers. The crowd seemed pleased with her new style, as the floor under the side seats shook from people tapping their feet with the music. The foxy redhead had no trouble warming up the crowd for its hero, Kenny Rogers.

He teamed up with Dottie for a number of songs. Her outfit of a shimmering purplish top and snug Mack pants was perfect for their suggestive antics as they sang, “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight.”

Date: September 1979
Venue: Unknown
Location: Unknown
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Paul Grein: Billboard — October 13, 1979

He was also joined by Dottie West for three duets, including the ballad “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” and their remake of Sonny & Cher’s endearing oldie, “All I Ever Need Is You.” West also opened the show with a 35 minute, eight song set featuring Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch,” Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” and Eddie Rabbit’s “Rocky Mountain Music.” West’s low-key, just folks charm worked best on ballads, like her hit “(I Was Raised On) Country Sunshine.” But she was in over her head trying to keep up with a hot rhythm number like Chicago’s “Alive Again,” her set opener. And the closing tune, “American Trilogy” was also a hit grandose for her vocal style.


Andrew Reschke: Syracuse Herald Journal — August 28, 1979

Two of the biggest names in “cross-over” country music, Kenny Rogers and Dottie West, returned to the State Fair Grandstand for a concert before nearly 15,000 of their fans in a pair of performances. The evening performance began with Grammy Award-winner Dottie West offering a combination of some of her biggest hits and a few newer selections.

She opened the proceedings with the upbeat “Bein’ Alive Again,” which set the pace for the entire concert. The native Tenesseean then saluted her home state with “Rocky Top,” a real crowd-pleaser. One of her best-known tunes, “Country Sunshine,” followed. This is not only her theme song, but also provides the jingle for a soft drink company’s commercials, which she readily admitted.

In a change of pace, she offered the pop hit “Sometimes When We Touch,” before tipping her hat musically to a contemporary country composer — Larry Gatlin with- “Broken Lady” — and a more traditional country songwriter — Hank Williams with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” She sang another of her hits, “Rocky Mountain Music,“ before she closed her compact stint in the same rousing manner she did last year — by singing “American Trilogy.” This number, which she acquired from the late Elvis Presley, featuring “Dixie” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” was both a fitting conclusion and a most moving experience for her audience.

Miss West’s style, and pleasant voice are the hallmarks of her enduring popularity. Her way with a song is not restricted solely to country, as she amply demonstrated last night. Her six-member band provided just the right accompaniment, enriching her vocals, and offering back-up vocals when required.

The pairing of the two singers (Kenny & Dottie) is a natural and the good- natured ribbing they give each other enlivened the proceedings.

Date: August 26, 1979
Venue: Kentucky State Fairgrounds
Location: Louisville, KY
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Chuck Palmer: San Bernardino County Sun — January 22, 1980

West, who sang for 40 minutes before Rogers strolled onstage, skilfully mixed hits with selections from her new album “Special.” She’s a polished performer, one who has been in the star category since 1964. When she came back to share the spotlight with Rogers, she proved she is the key to the success of their duet efforts.

Date: January 20, 1980
Venue: Swing Auditorium
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Walt Trott: Madison Capital Times — March 15, 1980

Maybe Rogers’ act doesn’t change much, but his sometimes singing partner (more on that later) Dottie West gave us a new image to savor, with songs that rock a bit like “You Pick Me Up,” “A Lesson in Leavin” and a Bob Seger song “We’ve Got Tonight.”

What hasn’t changed very much through the years has been that fabulous form and the healthy head of auburn hair that proved a definite turn-on for the males in the audience Friday night. Her stage presence was agreeable making it one of her warmest local appearances.

Date: March 14, 1980
Venue: Dane County Coliseum
Location: Madison, WI
Headliners: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West & Dave and Sugar


Jennifer Williamson: Spokane Daily Chronicle — June 20, 1980

If he was good alone, he unbelievably got even better when joined by Dottie West, who had performed solo earlier in the show. They sang an energetic rendition of the Sonny and Cher hit, “All I Ever Need Is You,” making it a sing-along; then performed exquisitely on the ballad, “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer,” a song that could become a classic. Ms. West offered a number of excellent songs during her portion of the show, the most notable being “I Was Raised On Country Sunshine,” Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight,” and the Grammy Award nominee “Sometimes When We Touch.”

Date: September 14, 1979
Venue: Universal Amphitheatre
Location: Universal City, CA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Dick Hogan: Cedar Rapids Gazette — August 3, 1980

Kenny Rogers, along with Dottie West, delighted about 16,000 Eastern Iowans with two shows Saturday. Both shows, which were sell-outs, were taped and are destined to become part of a Rogers’ television special this fall on CBS. Dottie West was called upon for a couple of duets with Rogers.

Dottie West opened the show with a fine 45-minute set, including several of her hits. West was dressed in all white — including stetson, boots, pants, and a low-cut blouse with’ a silver-embroidered cape.

The sultry-voiced singer also won warm acceptance from the crowd with “I was Raised on Country Sunshine,” “Sometimes When We Touch,” “American Trilogy,” and “You Needed Me.” West has played in Cedar Rapids before, but it was the first time for Rogers. The ticket sales raised a furor, because many people waited hours, and rumors flew that some people bought much more than their share. But the fact that both show easily sold out and the wild acceptance by the crowds probably means you’ll see Rogers in Cedar Rapids again.

Date: August 2, 1980
Venue: Five Seasons Center
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West.


Mike Kalina: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — September 22, 1980

About halfway through the show, Rogers brought on Dottie West, and they sang three songs together. Dressed in an outfit that looked a bit like early Liberace, West upstaged Rogers both visually and vocally. She’s a brassy, gutsy singer with an enthusiastic stage presence that was quite the antithesis of Rogers’.

They sang the old Sonny and Cher hit “All I Ever Need Is You,” “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight” and the standout “Dont Fall in Love With a Dreamer,” which was not only the highlight of their set together, but of the entire concert.

Date: September 20, 1980
Venue: Civic Arena
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Headliners: Kenny Rogers, Dottie West & Dave and Surgar


Bill Fletcher: The Nashville Banner — March 4, 1982

It was homecoming night in Nashville and singer Dottie West was the queen. Dottie played the Bullpen Lounge at the Stockyard Restaurant Wednesday night like a well tuned banjo, prompting friends, fans and family to raise drinks and fists into the air to cheer her on as she fought the flu to pay tribute to her hometown fans.

After being off the road only four days, Dottie hit the Stockyard like a western tumbleweed blown by a tornado, reeling off old songs, new songs and country classics. “This is homecoming for me,” she said while resting in her bus after a three-hour set on the crowded Bullpen stage. Today, she said, she will be flying to rejoin her band at the University of Florida at Gainesville after a night of sleep to put the influenza bug behind her.

Flu or not, she and her band put on, a show as seamless and tight as her, bright red Spandex pants. “Turn it on, Dottie,” shouted a man wearing an Armadillo decorated cowboy hat. She did.

It is the kind of country show that Nashville seldom sees since the last thing most singers want to do is perform while at home.

The McMinnville native pumped out a series of songs in a medley including “There’s Gonna’ Be a Heartache Tonight” and “Somebody’s Gonna’ Hurt Somebody” before singing the 1972 song that brought her national attention, when Coca Cola turned the tune: “I Was Raised on Country Sunshine” into a jingle.

Dragging a stool out of the mass of humanity at the Bullpen, she sat to offer a soulful rendition of Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” before bringing daughter, Shelly, and singing partner David Frizzell to the stage. The trio cranked out a set including “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma.”

Just to help complete the evening, Dottie came back to the stage to sing “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” the first duet she cut with Kenny Rogers. She finished with “American Trilogy,” a trio of songs designed to make any latent confederacy in a Southerner cry for mercy.

In a reflective mood on her bus after the show, she said Larry Gatlin would produce her next album and recalled her first meeting with Gatlin in Las Vegas. “I believed in Larry,” she said, remembering that she convinced Fred Foster, owner and president of Monument Records, to place Gatlin’s “Help Me” on the B-side of Kris Kristofferson’s now-famous single “Why Me Lord?”

She said they have already decided to title the album “Full Circle” because of the reversal that has taken place with Larry Gatlin now in a position to produce Dottie West.

“It is funny how things come full circle,” she said, cutting a circle in the smokey air of the bus with a wave of her perfectly manicured hand.

Date: March 3, 1982
Venue: Stockyard Restaurant/Bull Pen Lounge
Location: Nashville, TN
Headliners: Kenny Rogers & Dottie West


Marcia Borie: The Hollywood Reporter — April 13, 1982

The Celebrity Room of the MGM Grand turned into a country and western jamboree as the sold-out crowd whistled and stomped at the stellar duo of Davis and West.

Dottie West oozed on stage in an ice cream white outfit, dripping rhinestones and topped with a Western hat. Looking every inch the glamour doll, she slipped smoothly into “Love Cruise” followed by “Heartache Tonight” and “Country Sunshine,” which she wrote, nursing every note tenderly.

In-between there was her usual charming patter. “I was raised on cornbread, butter beans and fiddle,” she said, and proved it. Completing her turn were two exciting selections: the “Orange Blossom Special,” done by her backup group, and “American Trilogy.

Date: April, 1982
Venue: MGM Grand
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Headliners: Mac Davis & Dottie West


Dee Ann Rexroat: Cedar Rapids Gazette — September 2, 1984

What began as a sweltering day Saturday ended on a better note as heat subsided and Dottie West filled the air with country music at the Kirkwood Labor Day Weekend Festival.

Several hundred country fans sat scattered on the grassy hill behind Linn Hall, soaking in sun and music as West gave her smooth 55-minute afternoon show. The girl who was raised on “Country Sunshine” is now near 50 and a grandmother, but looks and acts as if she’s in her early 30s.

“Remember — I’m Dottie, not Dolly. I figured you’d know who I am. I mean . . . her hair’s a lot bigger than mine,” she quipped. And midway through the show she tossed her high-heeled gold sandals off stage, claiming they were “crampin’ my style.”

It was easy to like West. Her layered blonde hair blowing in the wind, she was a natural on stage and very gracious towards both her band and audience. The music sounded just as it does on record, which is basically what most fans want to hear. No musical experimenting here, just classic, formula country. West’s five-piece band provided a solid background and two female vocalists added a gospel-choir dimension.

Her own voice sounded hoarse in its bottom registers, but otherwise the 25-year country veteran soared through each song like the professional she is. Among her best songs were “Rocky Top,” Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” her first duet with Kenny Rogers — “When Two Fools Collide,” and a single released yesterday — “What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander.”

The last piece before the encore, “Look Away, Dixieland,” was a patriotic goose-bumper. It brought a standing ovation and people moved nearer the stage for an encore. Low security made it possible to stand only about 15 feet away from the stage, and children leaned on the flimsy wooden fence erected there.

Preceding West for an hour-long set of clean, strong western tunes was the Shoppe, a Dallas-based, six-man band.

Date: September 1 1984
Venue: New York State Fair
Location: Syracuse, NY
Headliners: Dottie West


Joe Peacock: The Argus-Press — July 23, 1985

Dottie West showed Star Theatre of Flint audiences Tuesday why to a whole lot of folks there are only two kinds of music in the world — country and western. The self-assured, confident, red-haired grandmother (wow, all grandmas should look so good), demonstrated how to have a “good ole time” and made everyone feel like they were “raised with country sunshine.”

Miss West, whose last appearance at the Star Theatre three years ago was as Miss Mona in “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas,” was supported superbly by her musicians, “The Wild West Band,” and the sensational backup voices of Nicky Test and Nanette Britt.

Both singers were allowed solo spots and showed they are definitely superior talents. Ms. Britt was especially good on an impromptu version of the old Lenny Welch tune, “Since I Fell for You.” The Wild West Band, directed by keyboard and piano player Barry Walsh, aided by Steve Marshall on bass guitar, Tom Britt on lead guitar, Mark Edward on drums and Ron Levine on guitar and fiddle, was one of the best to play in Star Theatre in a long, long time.

Never, as has been a continuing problem in many productions lately, did the music drown out the star and/or the background singers. And for those patrons of long standing that was a welcome relief.

Instead, the band complemented and was complemented by Miss West on a long string of songs that made it a very enjoyable show. It’s true that Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Sometimes When We Touch” aren’t really country and western songs, but why quibble when they are given such fine treatment by a talented singer like Miss West, a singing star for more than 20 years.

She more than showed she was “country when country wasn’t cool” by belting out such classics as “Rocky Top,” “Nothing Like a Woman To Take a Woman Off Your Mind,” her big hit, “Here Comes My Baby Back Again,” and “What Are We Doin’ In Love,” which was a big hit for her and country “teammate” Kenny Rogers.

Mighty fine, indeed, was her Patsy Cline medley featuring “I’m Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams” and the brilliant “I Fall To Pieces.” And if that wasn’t enough, her Elvis Presley medley featuring “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “All My Trials, Lord,” is guaranteed to tear your heart out.

Early on in the proceedings Miss West advised that she was in town to make sure her audiences had a real good time at her show. And her warm personality, stunning good looks (two knockout white, sequined dresses), her assuredness and poise and her sharing of the talent by showcasing Test, Britt, Walsh and Levine, showed her to be true to her word.

One other reason Miss West was so good in this reviewer’s opinion is the universality of country and western music. It’s long been a belief here that, if people would be honest, deep down in their hearts of hearts, all people really like country music a lot. It may not be cool to admit it, but everybody does, no matter what they say.

Putting all those elements in place, the Dottie West Show made the audience feel good all over and at least one person ‘in the audience is pleased to say that, deep down in his heart of hearts, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy!” The Dottie West Show continues through Sunday at the Star Theatre.

Date: July 23, 1985
Venue: Star Theatre
Location: Flint, MI
Headliners: Dottie West


Juiliann Johnston: Flint Journal — July 24, 1985

We’ve all heard about Southern hospitality. You know, the kind of “kick your shoes off” coziness that makes you feel right at home moments after making the acquaintance. Well, welcome to the great big, living room of Dottie West and the, Wild West Band, an evening of down-home, good times at Whiting Auditorium this week.

It doesn’t matter that the hostess is decked out in feathers and rhinestones and silver-toed boots. She’s just as casual and chatty as you might expect if she were wearing dungarees, an old shirt and no shoes at all. It doesn’t seem to matter that West probably had the show all mapped out ahead of time. If one of her guests requested a favorite old song, well that’s just fine by good old Dot. Anything to keep the company happy.

And so the evening goes, gracious and funny and one fine singer, Miss Dottie West took a Las Vegas-style format and carved out her own brand of glitter and glamour.

Opening with “Ain’t Nothin’ Like A Woman,” and following it with her signature song, “Country Sunshine,” West got the audience clapping in rhythm early. From there, a tribute to rock ‘n’ roll star Bob Seger came about when her rich contralto voice decorated the song, “We’ve Got Tonight.”

Yet West is not selfish with her stage. Throughout the evening the spotlight fell on one or another of her band members and backup vocalists.

And it seemed quite unplanned when West gave a portion of the evening to Nicky Test for a solo demonstration of his vocal prowess. Whether or not his surprise was genuine, Test deserved the recognition. His spectacular range with “Maybe Tomorrow” is a treat that should not be denied future audiences.

And Nanette Britt in her solo feature made one think, “I’ll be able to say I saw her sing before she became a star.” Yet surely the highlight that left the audience clapping for more came when Ron Levine kept up with every challenge by West for “more and faster” as he danced his fingers and bow across the fiddle.

But this is the Dottie West Show, right? Well, she certainly doesn’t diminish her own status by sharing the wealth. She obviously has plenty of her own. With a Patsy Cline medley consisting of “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Sweet Dreams,” West acknowledged her heroine.

Among the many nice moments during the show – which, by the way, had very good sound – was West’s duplication of her hit duet with Kenny Rogers, “What Are We Doin’ in Love?” In Rogers’ absence, West’s son, Kerry, sang harmony – from the booth where he is also a sound engineer.

West concluded the evening with a medley of songs recorded by Elvis Presley, including “Dixie” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” By then, the only regret was that the medley wasn’t longer; the evening with the classy country lady was at an end.

Date: July 23, 1985
Venue: Star Theatre
Location: Flint, MI
Headliners: Dottie West


Margaret Warner: Bangor Daily News — July 31, 1985

It was a day of delays for Dottie West. At 3:45 p.m Tuesday, three quarters of an hour after a scheduled press conference, she was apologizing to reporters about the “mix-up in the office.’ She and the band had arrived in Bangor from Flint, Mich., at 5 p.m. She was half asleep, she said, when she was awakened and asked if she was going to get ready for the press conference —which she knew nothing about.

At 5 p.m., she was apologizing to the Bangor State Fair audience that had waited — some in the grandstand but most in chairs set up on the track at Bangor Raceway — for a performance that should have begun an hour earlier. Minutes earlier, the audience had begun chanting with impatience.

The audience was enthusiastically forgiving, however. “She puts on a fabulous show,” said one woman after it was over. “She has such a nice personality,” said another.

Others left exclaiming over the brief solo performance by one of West’s back-up singers, Nicky Tess. who may very well follow in the footsteps of Larry Gatlin and Steve Warner, both former members of West’s band.

For the most part, the praise was deserved. Tess gave an awesome — if short — performance, and West does have a nice personality. But the show itself, although it was good, fell short of fabulous.

West is not a physical performer; she picks a spot near the center of the stage and doesn’t move far to either side. Any dancing she does is almost an afterthought, not an integrated part of the show. She’s not flamboyant in her gestures: in fact, at times she kept her arms tucked in close, as if she didn’t know what else to do with them. The flashiest thing about her performance in Bangor was her white sequined costume.

But she dose hold the audience’s attention. Tuesday afternoon, she did so by wrapping her throaty voice around old songs: “Here Comes My Baby,” her first hit in 1965 and the song that won her a Grammy; newer songs: “Country Sunshine,” which won her a Clio award for the Coca-Cola commercial that featured it.

She told the audience she’s written more than 400 songs, and kept promising to “do every one of them.” But she only did a few of her own, including two from her new album, “Just Dottie”. “Ain’t Nothing Like a Woman” and “What’s Good for the Goose (Is Gond for the Gander).”

For the most part, she performed other people’s songs: “We’ve Got Tonight,” the Bob Seeger classic; “Your Cheating Heart” by Hank Williams; and “Sometimes When We Touch,” originally recorded by Dan Hill in the ’70s: and old standards: a medley of “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “All My Troubles.”

She played with the audience. “I’m Dottie and not Dolly,” she teased. “A lot of people confuse us. Her hair’s a lot bigger than mine.”

During the show, she waved to a man dancing alone on the track; at the end, she squeezed the hand of a female fan who came up to the stage for a photo. At some point she kicked off her spike heels and danced onstage in pantyhose.

Earher, at the press conference, she spoke proudly of her daughter, Shelly West, who is following in Dottie’s foot-steps — almost literally. She will appear at the fair Friday. Mother and daughter are discussing cutting an album together in the near future.

West began as a back-up singer and was one of the first to make the country western big time. She shrugged of suggestions that she was a “pioneer” for women in the music business. “I don’t feel that way,” she said. “It took 25 years. I have so much more planned to do, so much more I want to do.”

One of those goals is about to be realized in her soon-to-be released movie, “The Aurora Encounter.” In the movie, she plays a Texas woman in 1897 who is visited by an alien.

Date: July 30, 1985
Venue: Bangor State Fair
Location: Bangor, ME
Headliners: Dottie West


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