Matraca Berg

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Matraca Berg
MatracaBerg.jpg
Matraca Berg
Background information
Birth name Matraca Maria Berg[1]
Born (1964-02-03) February 3, 1964 (age 50)[2]
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genres Country
Occupations singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica[3]
Years active 1982–present
Labels RCA Nashville, Rising Tide, Eagle
Associated acts Deana Carter, Trisha Yearwood, Suzy Bogguss, Gretchen Peters
Website Matraca Berg Official Site

Matraca Maria Berg (/məˈtrsə/;[4] born February 3, 1964 in Nashville, Tennessee) is an American country music singer and songwriter. She has released five albums: three for RCA Nashville, one for Rising Tide Records and one for Dualtone Records, and has charted in the top 40 of the U.S. Billboard country charts with "Baby, Walk On" and "The Things You Left Undone," both at No. 36. Besides most of her own material, Berg has written hits for T.G. Sheppard, Karen Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Deana Carter and others. In 2008 she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Early history[edit]

Matraca Berg's mother, Icie Berg, moved from Harlan County, Kentucky, to Nashville in the 1960s to seek her fortune as a singer and songwriter shortly before Matraca was born. Her Aunt Sudie Callaway was a successful Music Row backup singer. Aunts Coleida Callaway and Clara Howard were backup vocalists on Kentucky’s Renfro Valley Barn Dance. Uncle Jim Baker was a steel guitar player who also spent some time running Mel Tillis's song publishing companies.

Berg's mother found only limited success in the music industry and eventually became a nurse. Berg herself then took up songwriting with her mother's encouragement. When Berg played her songs for songwriter Bobby Braddock, he volunteered to co-write with her. She found her earliest success in their collaboration, "Faking Love", which was sung by Karen Brooks and T. G. Sheppard, topping the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs) charts on February 19, 1983.[2]

Career history[edit]

After her mother's death in 1985, Berg continued to have great success writing songs for other performers. Reba McEntire had a No. 1 song with her "The Last One to Know", and Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, Marie Osmond, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Michelle Wright and others recorded her songs.

Berg signed to a recording contract with RCA Records Nashville in 1990, releasing her debut album Lying to the Moon that year.[2] Its first two singles, "Baby, Walk On" and "The Things You Left Undone," both charted in the country top 40 at No. 36, followed by the No. 43 "I Got It Bad" and No. 55 "I Must Have Been Crazy."

What was to be her follow-up album, Bittersweet Surrender, was recorded in 1991. It featured the single "It's Easy to Tell," which charted in November 1991. The album was rejected by the label, which wanted a more mainstream-sounding recording instead.[2] One of the songs from this canceled album, "Wrong Side of Memphis," later became a Top Ten hit for Trisha Yearwood. She continued to write for others, and in 1994, RCA issued a second album entitled The Speed of Grace.

Berg co-wrote "Strawberry Wine" along with Gary Harrison, which Deana Carter released as a single. Berg won the "Song of the Year" at the 1997 CMA (Country Music Association) Awards. The same year, she released the album Sunday Morning to Saturday Night via Rising Tide Records;[2] it produced the singles "That Train Don't Run" and "Back in the Saddle," the former of which was released by Pinmonkey in 2006. In 1999, RCA released a compilation album entitled Lying to the Moon & Other Stories which also included tracks from her 1997 Rising Tide release.

In 2004 and 2005, Berg was nominated for induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, making her one of the youngest nominees in history. She continues to be a prolific and respected country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Jeff Hanna, a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.[5]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US
Heat
CAN Country
Lying to the Moon 43
The Speed of Grace
  • Release date: March 1, 1994
  • Label: RCA Nashville
Sunday Morning to Saturday Night 48 22
The Masters
  • Release date: 1998
  • Label: Eagle Records
Lying to the Moon and Other Stories
  • Release date: August 10, 1999
  • Label: RCA Nashville
The Dreaming Fields 42 7
Love's Truck Stop
  • Release date: October 21, 2012
  • Label: Proper Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country CAN Country
1990 "Baby, Walk On" 36 61 Lying to the Moon
"The Things You Left Undone" 36 44
1991 "I Got It Bad" 43 30
"I Must Have Been Crazy" 55 58
"It's Easy to Tell" 66 Bittersweet Surrender (unreleased)
1997 "That Train Don't Run" 59 70 Sunday Morning to Saturday Night
"Back When We Were Beautiful"
1998 "Back in the Saddle" 51 74
1999 "Lying to the Moon" Lying to the Moon and Other Stories
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1990 "Baby, Walk On" Dave Bridges
"The Things You Left Undone"[6] Geoff Adams
1991 "I Got It Bad" Dave Bridges
"It's Easy to Tell"
1997 "That Train Don't Run" Roger Pistole
1998 "Back in the Saddle" Steven Goldmann
1999 "Lying to the Moon" Tony Baker
2012 "The Dreaming Fields"[7] Jon Morgan

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Made in Heaven Studio Singer Cameo; performed the song "We've Never Danced"

Singles written by Berg[edit]

Year Title Artist(s)
1983 "Faking Love" T. G. Sheppard and Karen Brooks
1987 "The Last One to Know" Reba McEntire
"Just Enough Love" Ray Price
1989 "Promises, Promises" Lori Yates
1991 "I'm That Kind of Girl" Patty Loveless
1992 "Wrong Side of Memphis" Trisha Yearwood
1993 "Hey Cinderella" Suzy Bogguss
1994 "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" Trisha Yearwood
"Somebody's Leavin'" Patricia Conroy
1995 "Walk On" Linda Ronstadt
"You Can Feel Bad" Patty Loveless
1996 "Strawberry Wine" Deana Carter
"We Danced Anyway"
"Give Me Some Wheels" Suzy Bogguss
"Wild Angels" Martina McBride
1997 "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road"
"Still Holding On" Martina McBride and Clint Black
"Everybody Knows" Trisha Yearwood
1998 "Somebody to Love" Suzy Bogguss
1999 "Fool, I'm a Woman" Sara Evans
"All I Want Is Everything" Mindy McCready
2001 "If I Fall You're Going Down with Me" Dixie Chicks
2003 "You're Still Here" Faith Hill
"On Your Way Home" Patty Loveless
2004 "98.6 Degrees and Fallin'" Jill King
2005 "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today" Gretchen Wilson
2006 "That Train Don't Run" Pinmonkey
2008 "They Call It Falling for a Reason" Trisha Yearwood
"Misery Loves Company" One More Girl
2011 "You and Tequila" Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Search results for "Berg, Matraca Maria"". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Huey, Steve. "Matraca Berg biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ "Sessions: Matraca Berg". American Songwriter. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  4. ^ Nash, Alanna (September 21, 1990). "Lying to the Moon review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  5. ^ "Matraca Berg, John Hiatt, Tom Shapiro in Hall of Fame". Great American Country. October 27, 2008.
  6. ^ "CMT : Videos : Matraca Berg : Things You Left Undone". Country Music Television. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ "CMT : Videos : Matraca Berg : The Dreaming Fields". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 

External links[edit]