10 Surprising Facts About Zella Lehr You Didn’t Know
If you’re a fan of Country music, then you’ve probably heard of Zella Lehr. She was a talented singer and songwriter throughout the 60s and 70s. However, there are some things about Zella Lehr that you may not have heard of before. In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 surprising facts about her that you probably didn’t know.
Section 1: Early Life
Zella Mae Lehr was born on June 7th, 1946, in Truman, Minnesota. Her parents, Lawrence and Lorraine Lehr, were dairy farmers. She was the second eldest of 9 siblings. Growing up on a farm, Zella was no stranger to hard work. She learned how to milk cows and tend to crops at a young age. Despite the tough lifestyle, Zella found solace in music. Her father played the harmonica, and her mother sang at church. Her parents instilled in her a love for music that she would carry with her for the rest of her life.
Section 2: First Recordings
Zella Lehr was only 17 years old when she made her first recordings in 1963. She recorded four songs, which included “If That’s the Way You Want It,” “No More Time,” “Let’s Go Home,” and “Much Too Young to Die.” Her first recordings were a mix of country and pop music. Despite being a relatively unknown artist at the time, Zella’s music caught the attention of the legendary record producer, Owen Bradley.
Section 3: Career Breakthrough
Owen Bradley was renowned for producing country music legends such as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Bradley saw great potential in Zella Lehr and signed her to his label, Decca Records. In 1966, her single “Wrong Company” charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. This marked the beginning of Zella’s successful music career.
Section 4: Songwriting
Zella Lehr was not only a talented singer but also an accomplished songwriter. She wrote the lyrics to some of her most popular songs, such as “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time” and “Broken Lady.” Zella’s lyrics were known for their honest and relatable themes, which made her music resonate with her audience.
Section 5: Acting Career
Zella Lehr’s talents extended beyond music. She also pursued an acting career and landed guest appearances on popular TV shows such as “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.” She even acted in the 1975 movie “Nashville.” Although her acting career did not take off, it showcased her versatility as an artist.
Section 6: Personal Life
Zella Lehr was married three times during her lifetime. Her first marriage was to musician and actor Bobby Doyle, who was known for his work with singer Ray Charles. She later married her second husband, country singer and musician David Houston. Her third marriage was to a businessman named Gene Decker. Zella never had any children.
Section 7: Hiatus from Music
In the late 70s, Zella Lehr decided to take a hiatus from music to focus on her personal life. This break lasted for over a decade, during which she traveled and explored her other interests. She returned to music in the early 90s with a renewed passion for her craft.
Section 8: Legacy
Zella Lehr’s music has stood the test of time. Her songs have been covered by other artists, such as Lynn Anderson’s version of “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time.” Her fanbase has remained loyal throughout the years, and her music still resonates with new audiences.
Q: What happened to Zella Lehr’s music career?
A: Zella Lehr took a hiatus from music in the late 70s to focus on her personal life. However, she returned to music in the 90s and continued to perform until her death.
Q: Was Zella Lehr a songwriter?
A: Yes, Zella Lehr was an accomplished songwriter. She wrote the lyrics to some of her most popular songs, such as “The Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time” and “Broken Lady.”
Q: Who did Zella Lehr marry?
A: Zella Lehr was married three times during her lifetime. Her first marriage was to musician and actor Bobby Doyle. She later married country singer David Houston. Her third marriage was to a businessman named Gene Decker.
Q: Was Zella Lehr an actress?
A: Yes, Zella Lehr pursued an acting career and landed guest appearances on popular TV shows such as “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.” She even acted in the 1975 movie “Nashville.”
Q: When did Zella Lehr make her first recordings?
A: Zella Lehr made her first recordings in 1963 when she was only 17 years old.
Q: Who signed Zella Lehr to a record label?
A: Zella Lehr was signed to Decca Records by legendary record producer Owen Bradley.
Q: What was Zella Lehr’s breakout song?
A: Zella Lehr’s breakout song was “Wrong Company,” which charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs in 1966.
Zella Lehr was a talented artist who left a mark on Country music. She achieved success as both a singer and songwriter and also explored her passion for acting. Despite some hardships in her personal life, Zella Lehr’s music remains a timeless reflection of her talent and spirit. If you haven’t already, take a listen to her music and discover the compelling stories within her lyrics.