ensemble, led by Lea Jane Berinati, that backed some of the biggest names in country music
in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
In 1970, they
accompanied Mac Curtis on his country crossover album, Early in the Morning.
They did a lot of recording with Dolly Parton, including “Love
is Like a Butterfly”, which took flight in 1974. In 1975, they reunited with Dolly on
“The Bargain Store”, made the cut on Best of Dolly Parton and Best of Dolly Parton Vol. 2, and
worked on the Dolly Parton/Porter Wagoner collaboration, Say Forever You’ll Be Mine. Best
of Dolly Parton rocketed to #5 on the Billboard Country chart. They were also in the studio with
Dolly for All I Can Do in
In 1977, they
teamed up with Sally Bishop on “My Man”, backed with “Pig
Latin Song”, and Ronnie Milsap for It Was Almost Like a Song, which
included the hit, “What a Difference You’ve Made in My
Life”. On 12th
June 1978, Best of Dolly Parton
was certified gold. They
rounded out the decade with a flurry of albums: Half
Singin’ and Half Pickin’
by Jerry Reed; Images by Ronnie Milsap; Million
Mile Reflections by Charlie Daniels Band; and, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Jim Ed Brown and Helen
In 1980, they
provided vocal support for Jerry Lee Lewis on Killer Country.
They did the same in 1981 for Tom Jones on Darlin’
and Ricky Skaggs on Highways &
Heartaches, which was released to great acclaim in 1982. In April 1983, they appeared In Concert! with
Tom T. Hall. This appears to be
one of their last dates, although there are numerous opportunities to hear
them on CDs such as The Essential
Ronnie Milsap, The Very Best of Dolly Parton, and Rockin’ My Life Away:
The Jerry Lee Lewis Collection.
Lea Jane Berinati
“The Gidget” Marshall