Music Sheet: The Cinderella of Country Music is "Waiting in the Wings"




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Anir Senyah

Vicki Vann is often referred to as the Cinderella of country music and has been chosen to appear as the featured artist in a Country Music Television documentary called "Waiting in the Wings." The documentary focuses on the ongoing struggles of the African-American country music industry.

Not since Charley Pride has there been another African-American country artist to garner any kind of major recognition.

The documentary, which premiered on Feb. 28, 2004, tells the story of more than a century of contributions of African-Americans to country music and questions why the genre historically has included few African-American artists.

"Waiting in the Wings" also traces the roots of African-American influence on country music from the nation’s early days, including the split of Southern music in the 1920s to become "hillbilly music" for white audiences and "race music" for black audiences.

It also looks at the role black musicians played in shaping country music’s pioneers, including the legendary Hank Williams.

Vann discovered that she loved country music at a young age. Even though she was exposed to many types of music, she fell in love with country music because it has a story to tell. She explained that there is a beginning, middle and end.

A mix between Shania Twain and Halle Berry, Vann prefers not to wear cowboy hats while performing.

Vann said, "I think that people envision country music people walking around with a straw hanging out of their mouth and a corncob pipe, but we’ve got Jimmy Choo and Versace, too."

With her simple, elegant onstage style Vann appeals to fans of all persuasions. She brings something different to country music’s sound and to an untapped market of country music fans.

Vann has created quite a buzz in her home state California. She has performed at some of California’s largest venues. She has traveled to perform in Tennessee and Zurich, Switzerland.

Vann was born in Los Angeles as Vicki Denise Turnbough to a Baptist minister and a bookkeeper/homemaker. Her father is from Mississippi and was one of the original members of the Gospel group, The Mighty Clouds of Joy. Her mother, originally from Oklahoma, sang in their church choir on Sundays, every Sunday from sunup till sundown.

Vann, along with her two brothers, grew up in a very spiritual home in suburban Los Angeles. She sang all throughout school, idolizing music greats such as Patsy Cline, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton and Barbara Mandrell.

Vann wants emphasis placed on the fact that she feels chosen by God to share her soul with others by giving them her voice. To look at her, she brings a smile to your face and her internal beauty sings through her music. When you hear her sing she brings you deep into her soul and the soul of country music.

"I sing so that I can feel," Vann said. "When I can really feel it in my soul — I know my music is coming across the way I want it to. In that way, my music will have universal appeal because we all ‘feel.’"

Currently, Vann’s CDs can be purchased at or Also for more Vicki Vann info, photos, tour dates and merchandise, visit Please sign the guestbook while you are there and mention where you are from. Vann said she would like to thank you in advance for signing in.

The Cinderella of Country Music is "Waiting in the Wings" is reprinted with permission from The New Citizens Press.


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