|Birth name||Norma Jean Bowman|
|Also known as||Miss Satin Sheets|
|Born||January 30, 1937|
|Origin||Pell City, Alabama, U.S.|
|Genres||Country, country pop, honky-tonk|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, Songwriter, TV host|
|Associated acts||Marty Robbins|
Jeanne Pruett (born Norma Jean Bowman January 30, 1937 in Pell City, Alabama) is an American country singer and Grand Ole Opry star, best known for her 1973 country hit, "Satin Sheets", that spent three weeks at No. 1.
"Satin Sheets" is Jeanne Pruett's signature song. The song sounded much more country than the songs that were coming out of Nashville at the time. When "Satin Sheets" became a hit in 1973, it was also a Top 40 Pop hit.
Early life and rise to fame
Jeanne Pruett was born Norma Jean Bowman in Pell City, Alabama in 1937. She was one of ten children, and since a young age she listened to the Grand Ole Opry and also harmonized with her brothers and sisters. Pruett started singing in high school originally. Eventually, she married her husband Jack Pruett. In 1956, the couple moved out to Nashville, Tennessee. Pruett's husband was guitarist and one day even became a guitarist for legendary country singer Marty Robbins. While raising her family, Jeanne began to write her own songs and eventually became secretary at Marty Robbins' publishing company.
In 1963, she first started recording and in fact recorded a lot of her own songs like "Count Me Out", under her new label RCA records. On and off throughout the 1960s, Pruett appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Under RCA, she recorded material that failed to gain success on Country charts, and in fact didn't even chart the country lists at the time. She took another shot at recording in 1969, this time with Decca Records (the label soon changed to MCA Records in 1973).
The Height of Her Career in the 70s & Early 80s
The success of "Satin Sheets"
In 1971, Pruett made her first appearance on the country charts with the single "Hold On to My Unchanging Love", making only to No. 66. The song didn't gain the success Pruett wanted it to, but showed the potential Pruett still had inside of herself to make it big in the business. Soon after in 1972, she made a second appearance on the country charts with the Top 40 single "Love Me". This song was written by Pruett herself and was a song that Marty Robbins would later take into the top 10 in 1973.
That same year in May, Jeanne scored her biggest hit with "Satin Sheets", which topped the charts and also a top 30 Pop hit, making it to No. 28. The song became Pruett's biggest hit, spending three weeks at the No. 1 spot. Her album by the same name also topped the charts for eight weeks. The song told the story of how an affluent wife who had all the luxuries in life was not happy because her marriage was based on money and amenities. She instead finds another man "who can give more than he can," meaning, presumably, some form of romantic or emotional fulfillment. The success of "Satin Sheets" led Jeanne to many nominations from the CMA Awards, including "Female Vocalist Of The Year" and "Single Of The Year", but did not win the awards. Jeanne was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1973, a fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
After the success of "Satin Sheets", Jeanne found more success on the country charts. Her next single was "I'm Your Woman", which became a top 10 hit in the fall of 1973 and proved that Pruett had a good, solid follow-up single. She continued to record and release albums and singles for the rest of the 1970s, but only one of which made it to the Top 20 on the Country charts, which was "You Don't Need To Move A Mountain" in 1974. At this point, it seemed that Pruett's chart success was slowly fading away. This probably might have been this way because, Pruett was basing her time more on her family than her work, as many female country singers have done in the past. Other country singles following this, like "A Poor Man's Woman" and "Welcome to the Sunshine (Sweet Baby Jane)" kept making the Country Top 30 up until late 1975. However, by 1978 it seemed like Pruett's career would fade completely from view, her singles failed to even hit the Top 40, like 1978's "I'm a Woman", which barely charted at No. 94. By this time, she had left MCA, and stayed under Mercury records for two years.
Comeback Into Country Music
Pruett returned to the charts on the small IBC Records label in 1979 with a quasi-sequel to her biggest hit titled "Please Sing Satin Sheets for Me". The record was a small success for her but opened the door to a comeback in the country music market with her 1980 Encore album and three top ten singles, the first of which was "Back to Back", which peaked at No. 6. One single even hit the top of the Country Top 5, titled, "Temporarily Yours", followed by "It's Too Late" mid-year. In the midst of this success, Pruett made a few appearances with Bill Anderson on the ABC-TV soap opera One Life to Live as themselves as part of a country music storyline.
Pruett continued to chart as the 1980s progressed but with less success. She united with Marty Robbins for a duet of her 1972 single "Love Me", but the song did not hit the Top 40. An album was being planned for them together; however, Robbins' death prevented this. However, Pruett did not give up recording and releasing albums to the public. Later after her chart success, Jeanne began hosting a cooking show on TNN. She also made a series of cookbooks under the title called Feedin' Friends. She won many prizes for cooking and gardening skills that were seen in her cookbooks. She even owned a restaurant at the now defunct Opryland Theme Park in Nashville called Feedin' Friends.
Since its release, "Satin Sheets" has become one of the greatest and most remembered country songs of all time, and has been featured on many country music albums, that include other various artists from the 1970s. Jeanne Pruett currently lives on a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband of many years, Eddy Fulton. She also has made a houseboat, which is named after the nickname given to Pruett on the Opry, titled, "Miss Satin Sheets". Pruett made headlines, at least in the country music press, when she announced she was retiring from the Grand Ole Opry and from performing in 2006, though intending to remain active with behind the scenes work in the music industry such as publishing.
CMA Award Nominations
- 1973: Female Vocalist of the Year
- 1973: Album of the Year for Satin Sheets (MCA)
- 1973: Single of the Year for "Satin Sheets"
Music City News Nominations
- 1973: Top Female Vocalist
- 1973: Single of the Year for "Satin Sheets"