Susan Raye

Wheel of Fortune

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Susan Raye's country version of "Wheel of Fortune," a number one hit for Kay Starr in 1952, dispensed with the original's roulette wheel sound effects and reached the country Top 20 in 1972. That song forms the foundation of the album Wheel of Fortune, which contains mostly new material rather than the raft of covers heard on typical country albums of the period (although, to be fair, that practice was on the wane in the '70s). Raye was an artist with Buck Owens Enterprises and recorded several hit duets with Owens, and while none are included on the album, he features heavily on it. The recordings were made at Owens' Bakersfield studio, he wrote (or, in one case, co-wrote) half of the material, and his son, Buddy Alan, contributed the lovely ballad "I've Never Had a Dream Come True Before." In fact, Owens -- not Capitol -- has retained ownership of Raye's master tapes through the years. Raye's roots in rock & roll seemingly made her a strong candidate to become a crossover country singer but, perhaps due to Owens' influence, she cleaved to an identifiably country sound that is heard most pronouncedly on the banjo accompaniment of "Hide and Watch Me Go."

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