b. Celinda Cosby, 1957, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. The 90s country singer Celinda Pink once recorded ‘I’ve Earned The Right To Sing The Blues’ and the song could not be more appropriate. Her father was in the Alabama state prison and her mother abandoned her children when Celinda was only five. She absconded from foster homes and children’s homes and was sent to a reform school. A quick learner, she graduated at 16 and then went to Nashville to trace her mother. She married a local musician, Hal Brock, but their relationship was short-lived and she became a heroin addict. After a number of relationships, she teamed up with one of Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours, Pete Mitchell. He encouraged her to sing the blues as well as country. However, he left her on the day she was to record Victimised. ‘I felt he did that on purpose to upset me’, reflects Pink. ‘When I went in there, I sung those songs with pain and feeling.’ The album’s dedication reads, ‘Special thanks to Pete for breaking my heart.’ Her albums feature the throatiest blues in Nashville and yet have enough country to appeal to that market as well. Indeed, she records for one of the most traditional labels in Nashville, Step One. Her son Jonathan now plays guitar in her band.
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