New Horizons is an album by country musician Dottie West, released in 1983.
This was another unsuccessful album for Dottie West. Her chart success continued to spiral downward, as the result of poor record sales from her previous album, as well as this album. This was the last album released by West under Liberty records (formerly titled "United Artists", but was changed to Liberty in 1980). A single from the album, "Tulsa Ballroom" became West's last Top 40 Country hit in her solo career. The other single from the album, "The Night Love Let You Down", didn't chart, her first single not to do so since her career on major labels began in 1963. The album did chart on the "Top Country Albums" chart (this would be West's last chart appearance on the "Top Country Albums" chart), but didn't go farther than No. 65. West was 50 at the time and although a highly popular concert artist her mainstream success on records was fading out like several of her other contemporaries, being overtaken by a new generation of stars. Two songs from this album eventually appeared on albums by other artists. Barbara Mandrell and Steve Wariner recorded "Overnight Sensation", which appeared on Mandrell's album Spun Gold in 1983. It is notable that Steve Wariner was an artist that was helped greatly by Dottie in the beginning of his career, touring as part of her backing band much like Larry Gatlin. The other song "Read My Lips" was a Top 5 single for Marie Osmond in 1986. It appears on her There's No Stopping Your Heart album.
Dorothy Marie "Dottie" West (October 11, 1932 – September 4, 1991) was an American country music singer and songwriter. Along with her friends and fellow recording artists Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, she is considered one of the genre's most influential and groundbreaking female artists. Dottie West's career started in the 1960s, with her Top 10 hit, "Here Comes My Baby Back Again", which won her the first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1965. In the 1960s, West was one of the few female country singers working in what was then a male-dominated industry, influencing other female country singers like Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Barbara Mandrell, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette. Throughout the 1960s, West had Top 10 and Top 20 hits on the country music charts.
In the early 1970s, West wrote a popular commercial for the Coca-Cola company, titled "Country Sunshine", which reached No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles in 1973. In the late-70s, she teamed up with country pop superstar, Kenny Rogers for a series of duets which took her career to new highs, earning Platinum selling albums and No. 1 records for the very first time. Her duet recordings with Rogers, "Every Time Two Fools Collide", "All I Ever Need Is You", and "What Are We Doin' In Love", became country music standards. In the mid-1970s, her image and music underwent a metamorphosis, bringing her to the very peak of her popularity as a solo act, and reaching No. 1 for the very first time on her own in 1980 with "A Lesson in Leavin'".
During the 1980s, West continued to generate solo hits, most notably "A Lesson in Leavin'". Her popularity as a featured performer on the Grand Ole Opry endured as well. "A Lesson in Leavin'" was West's first No. 1 solo hit. It also peaked at No. 73 on the pop charts. A week before "A Lesson in Leavin'" reached the No. 1 spot, it was part of a historic Top 5 in country music, when the Top 5 spots were all held by women. The album that included this song, Special Delivery, included two other Top 15 Country hits from 1980, "You Pick Me Up (And Put Me Down)" and "Leavin's for Unbelievers". In 1981, West had a pair of back-to-back No. 1 hits, "Are You Happy Baby" and "What Are We Doin' in Love" with Kenny Rogers. "What Are We Doin' in Love" was West's only Top 40 hit on the pop charts, reaching No. 14, becoming a major crossover hit in mid-1981. Her 1981 album Wild West was one of her biggest sellers.
In 1981, West's daughter Shelly also made a career in country music; she is best known for her hit duet with David Frizzell, "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma", which hit No. 1 that year. As a solo artist, Shelly notched her own No. 1 in 1983 entitled "Jose Cuervo". During the early and mid '80s, Shelly achieved several more hits, including Top 10 solo hits "Flight 309 to Tennessee" and "Another Motel Memory". After getting married in the late 1980s, Shelly left the music business. In 1980, Dottie West filed for divorce from Byron Metcalf, citing his drinking and infidelity.
Although she remained a popular touring act, West's financial problems mounted. West and Winters filed for divorce in 1990, and he sued her for $7,500. By this time, extravagant spending and a string of bad investments by her investors had left her nearly broke. In March, her Los Angeles manager sued her for $130,000. Her former manager sued her for $110,295. Her bank foreclosed her mansion outside of Nashville, and sent West an eviction notice on August 1, 1990. At this time, West owed the IRS $1.3 million and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; she later switched to Chapter 7, which allowed her to liquidate her assets. West's fan-club president, Sandy Orwig, told TNN in a 1995 interview that West told her that the "IRS would show up at her door anytime of the day or night, taking her possessions. They even separated and took apart her award plaques, throwing half in one box and the other in another."
After a car accident in her Corvette and a public auction of her mansion and possessions, she began making plans for a comeback, including an album of duets and autobiography. The album was to feature friends Kenny Rogers, Roger Miller, Tanya Tucker, and Tammy Wynette. However, the album never materialized. She recorded her last song in July 1991 called "As For Me", a duet with Norwegian country singer Arne Benoni.
On August 30, 1991, West was scheduled to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Shortly after leaving her apartment at Nashville's Wessex Towers, West's car, a Chrysler New Yorker that Kenny Rogers had given her following the loss of her possessions at the IRS auction, stalled in front of the old Belle Meade theater on Harding Road. West's 81-year-old neighbor, George Thackston, spotted her on the side of the road and offered to drive her to the Opry for her scheduled appearance. Frantic about getting to the Opry on time, she had urged the man to speed.
He lost control of his vehicle while exiting at the Opryland exit on Briley Parkway at a speed of 55 miles per hour. The exit ramp was posted for 25 miles per hour. The car left the ramp, went airborne and struck the central division. West did not believe she was injured as badly as her neighbor had been and reportedly did not seem harmed to officers who responded to the scene. She insisted he be treated first. West, though she thought she was unharmed, suffered severe internal injuries and proved to have suffered both a ruptured spleen and a lacerated liver. Her spleen was removed that Friday and, the following Monday, she underwent two more surgeries to stop her liver from bleeding; these ultimately failed in that effort. Doctors said that West knew the extent of her injuries and even visited with Kenny Rogers shortly before her last operation. On September 4, 1991, during her third operation, West died on the operating table at 9:43 a.m., at the age of 58.
Her funeral was held at Christ Church on Old Hickory Boulevard. There were 600 friends and family attendees, including Emmylou Harris, Connie Smith, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash and Larry Gatlin. Her friend and fellow artist, Steve Wariner, whom she had helped make it to Nashville as a young man, sang "Amazing Grace". A couple of weeks later, President George H.W. Bush, a longtime fan for whom she had performed at the White House, expressed his condolences at the CMA Awards. Her hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee dedicated Highway 56 to her memory, naming it the Dottie West Memorial Highway.
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