McMinnville, Tennessee, USA
Place of Death
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Cause of Death
Accident - Automobile
Claim to Fame
Miss Country Sunshine
Country-Pop, Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan
Bittersweet, Earnest, Sentimental, Romantic, Amiable/Good-Natured, Earthy, Sweet, Yearning
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Profile Bio Text
Dottie West (born October 11, 1932 – September 4, 1991) was an American country music singer, and was one of Country music`s most influential and groundbreaking female artists. Dottie West`s career started in the early-60s, with her Top 10 hit, "Here Comes My Baby Back Again", which won her the first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1965. In the 1960s, West was one of the few female Country singers working in what was then a male-dominated industry, influencing other female Country singers to come to fame around that time, like Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. Throughout the 60s, West had major Country hits within the Top 10 and 20.
In the early 1970s, West wrote a popular commercial for the Coca-Cola company, titled "Country Sunshine", which she nearly brought to the top of the charts in 1973. In the late-70s, she teamed up with Country-Pop superstar, Kenny Rogers for a series of duets, which brought her career in directions it had never gone before, earning Platinum selling albums and No. 1 records for the very first time. Her duet records with Rogers have now become Country music standards, like "Every Time Two Fools Collide", "All I Ever Need Is You", and "What Are We Doin` In Love". In the early-80s, West`s image and music underwent a major metamorphosis, bringing West to the very peak of her popularity as a solo act, and even reaching No. 1 for the very first time on her own in 1980 with, "A Lesson in Leavin`".
Born Dorothy Marie Marsh outside McMinnville, Tennessee, she was the oldest of 10 children of Hollis and Pelina Marsh. The family soon moved to a bigger, better house. The family at the time was so poor, they made their own soap out of hog grease and lye. Like many rural families at the time, they also lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. Pelina eventually opened up her own restaurant.
West`s childhood was marred by a dysfunctional relationship with her father, an alcoholic who abused her both physically and sexually. The abuse continued until she was 17, when she finally reported him to the local sheriff. She testified against her father in court, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. After a brief stint living with the sheriff, she moved to McMinnville with her mother and siblings. West also joined her high school band, "The Cookskins", where she sang and played guitar. With the help of her mother`s business and a local entrepreneur, West attained a scholarship to attend college at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee in 1951. She majored in music. Her cousins were Tim and Danny West.
After graduation, the Wests and their two children moved to Cleveland, Ohio; there, Dottie began appearing on the television program Landmark Jamboree as one half of a country pop vocal duo called the "Kay-Dots" alongside partner Kathy Dee. At the same time, West made numerous trips to Nashville in the hopes of landing a recording deal; in 1959, she and Bill auditioned for Starday`s Don Pierce and were immediately offered a contract. Although the resulting singles West cut for the label proved unsuccessful, she nonetheless moved to Nashville in 1961. There, she and her husband fell in with a group of aspiring songwriters like Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Hank Cochran, and Harlan Howard; they also became close friends with Patsy Cline and her husband Charlie Dick. 
Patsy Cline would become one of West`s biggest inspirations to her career. The two met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and became friends. West and her family would often not have enough to pay the rent, so Cline would hire West`s husband in her band, and West to help with Cline`s wardrobe. When Cline got into a car accident in June 1961, West was one of the first people to arrive on the scene, picking out a piece of glass from Cline`s hair. On March 5, 1963, Cline died in a plane crash, on her way home from a benefit in Kansas City, Missouri, a benefit West also attended. West later said in Cline`s 1980 biography that she was one of the biggest inspirations to her career.
In 1963, Jim Reeves recorded one of West`s compositions, "Is This Me", which became a #3 hit that year. Reeves helped West secure a recording contract with RCA Records the same year.
West earned her first Top 40 hit in 1963 with "Let Me Off at the Corner," followed a year later by the Top Ten "Love Is No Excuse," a duet with Jim Reeves. Also in 1964, she auditioned for producer Chet Atkins, the architect of the Nashville sound, who agreed to produce her composition "Here Comes My Baby"; the single made West the first female country artist to win a Grammy Award (Best Female Country Vocal Performance), leading to an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.  "Here Comes My Baby" reached #10 on Billboard magazine`s Country charts in 1964.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Dorothy Marie Marsh
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Dorothy Marie "Dottie" West (October 11, 1932 â€“ September 4, 1991) was an American country music singer and songwriter. Along with her friends and fellow recording artists Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, she is considered one of the genre's most influential and groundbreaking female artists. Dottie West's career started in the 1960s, with her Top 10 hit, "Here Comes My Baby Back Again", which won her the first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1965. In the 1960s, West was one of the few female country singers working in what was then a male-dominated industry, influencing other female country singers like Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. Throughout the 1960s, West had Top 10 and Top 20 hits on the country music charts.
Music Genre (Text)
Country, Country Pop
Starday, RCA Victor, United Artists/Liberty, Permian
Jim Reeves, Don Gibson, Jimmy Dean, Kenny Rogers, Larry Gatlin, Steve Wariner, Shelly West
Music Genre (Text)
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