Jeanne Pruett (born Norma Jean Bowman January 30, 1937 in Pell City, Alabama) is an American Country Music Singer and Grand Ole Opry star, best-known for her 1973 chart-topping Country hit, "Satin Sheets", that spent three weeks at No. 1.
The song "Satin Sheets" was and has always been 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, Country music was moving more into Pop-oriented tunes yet "Satin Sheets" wasn't just a Country hit, it was also a Top 40 Pop hit. However, despite having such a big hit, Jeanne Pruett was not just a one-hit-wonder, continuing to chart again again up until the mid-1980s, like 1973's "I'm Your Woman" or "1979's "Back to Back".
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, but Pruett remained with the label anyway.
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, and also became an international hit. Her album by the same name also topped the charts as well. Pruett's voice was best-suited for the song, that was in deep southern twang. The song told the story of how a housewife who had all the luxuries in life was not happy with her marriage because her marriage was based on money and amenities. She instead finds another man "who can give more than her can", meaning real love instead of unconventional love. 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 70s, 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.
Jeanne Pruett's Greatest Hits album, released in 1998
A Comeback Into Country Music in 1980
In 1980, after signing with a smaller label titled IBC in 1979, Pruett made a surprising comeback into the Country music market with her 1980 Encore album. All three singles from the album hit the Top 10 that year, starting with the single released in late 1979 titled, "Back to Back", which just missed the Top 5 spot 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. The album brought Pruett back as a Country music artist during this time. One song in the Encore album that did chart was made in reference to her signature song, titled, "Please Sing Satin Sheets for Me". After the success of the album, Pruett left the small label.
Pruett continued to chart again, however not as successfully as before. 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, Marty Robbins' death in the mid-80s, stopped this from happening. Pruett soon left the Country spotlight in the mid-1980s, as her chart success was clearly fading from view.
Decline and life today
The success that 1980 brought to Jeanne was only short lived. Her chart success began to decline. 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 was seen in her cookbooks.
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". Jeanne 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.
Year Album US Country Label
1972 Love Me Decca/MCA
1973 Satin SheetsA 1
Jeanne Pruett 19
1975 Honey on His Hands 48
1979 Encore 18 IBC
1982 Star-Studded Nights Audiograph
1983 Music Row
1985 Jeanne Pruett Dot
1998 Satin Sheets: Greatest Hits Varese
A Satin Sheets also peaked at #122 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in 1973.
Year Single US Country Album
1971 "Hold on to My Unchanging Love" 66 Love Me
1972 "Love Me" 34
1973 "Satin Sheets"A 1 Satin Sheets
"I'm Your Woman" 8 Jeanne Pruett
1974 "You Don't Need to Move a Mountain" 15
"Welcome to the Sunshine (Sweet Baby Jane)" 22 Honey on His Hands
"Just Like Your Daddy" 25
1975 "Honey on His Hands" 41
"A Poor Man's Woman" 24
1977 "I'm Livin' a Lie" 30 singles only
1978 "I a Woman" 94
1979 "Please Sing Satin Sheets for Me" 54 Encore
"Back to Back" 6
1980 "Temporarily Yours" 5
"It's too Late" 9
1981 "Sad Ole Shade of Glory" 81 singles only
"I Ought to Feel Guilty" 72
1983 "Love Me" (w/ Marty Robbins) 58 Music Row
"Lady of the Eighties" 73
1987 "Rented Room" 81 single only
A "Satin Sheets" also peaked at #28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1973.
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"
Jeanne Pruett At CMT.com
Jeanne Pruett At All Music Guide
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