Pregnancy Latest of McEntire's Many Blessings
BY Milton Kent
Sep 4, 1989
If good fortune were measured in raindrops, Reba McEntire
might be past flood stage right about now.
The reigning queen of country music has been showered lately
with any number of blessings, not the least of which was
her June marriage to her manager, Narvel Blackstock.
To add to that, McEntire is pregnant, and well, she is just
happier than a speckled pup.
"We're just thrilled to pieces," said the Stringtown native
over the phone recently from her Nashville offices. "We're
still hitting all our tour dates and doing all the interviews
and getting some work done. We have time for some R&R every
other hour. It's been fun."
Of course, it does not hurt that McEntire, 35, has been
making the sweetest music this side of heaven and the Grand
Old Opry. And her fans, whose numbers seem to be growing
by leaps and bounds, are snapping it up.
Her current album, "Sweet 16," has been at or near the
top of the country charts for most of the summer, following
the trend of most of her recent albums. McEntire's exposure
is increasing, too, especially in the urban North, where
country music, steeped in Southern rural tradition, has
not often found a home.
"It's (the North) a very good place to tour," she said.
"There's a lot of people up there, of course. And there
are a lot of fans of country music. I really can't answer
(why country has developed a Northern following). I just
know that in the past two or three years, our music has
really taken off.
"I think `Whoever's In New England' (a 1987 hit) was a
big turning point," she added. "Maybe with a Northern
song, maybe people felt real comfortable. Maybe they realized
that we knew they were there. We have a very good relationship."
McEntire was discovered singing the national anthem at the
opening ceremonies of the national rodeo finals in Oklahoma
City in 1974, while a sophomore in college.
Since she took over the bulk of production chores in 1984,
McEntire's career has skyrocketed, with a Grammy in 1987,
six straight gold albums, four Country Music Association
"Female Vocalist of the Year" awards and five similar
designations by Music City News.
McEntire has mastered a more stylized version of country,
as typified by "Cathy's Clown," the first single from
Although her sound is the kind that made her the only country
singer to be named in a 1988 Gallup poll of American youth
for their 10 favorite female singers, McEntire has weathered
her share of criticism for injecting pop flavor into the
"That confuses me," she said. "There's only two types
of songs to me and that's good or bad.
"When I sing it," she explained, "it's going to come
out country. I'm proud of it being country, but all I hope
it to be is a good song, a good quality and I hope to sing