Song:The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
Album:Super Hits of the '70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 10
Of course Vicki Lawrence is best known for her days on The Carol Burnett Show and then the sitcom Mama's Family. But she also scored the 1973 chart topper The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia in a brief music career. She was born Vicki Ann Axelrad Mar. 26, 1949 in Inglewood, CA. The family name was changed to Lawrence when she was a child. As a teen she was a member of The Young Americans. There was a story in the local newspaper about how Vicki resembled Carol Burnett. It turns out that Carol was looking for an actress to play her sister on her show. Vicki Lawrence was hired. In the early 70s, Vicki was married to Nashville songwriter Bobby Russell. He wrote The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. Russell didn't like the song but Vicki told him it would be a hit. The song was offered to Cher but Sonny turned it down. So Vicki decided to record it herself with producer Snuff Garrett, arranger Artie Butler and the Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. It was licensed to Bell Records and it topped the Billboard Hot 100. Vicki recorded two albums for Bell but she was unable to score another hit. Her second album wasn't released because Bell was sold to Arista Records. Her Bell recordings are available but you can get The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia on this Rhino various artists comp. The song was covered by Tanya Tucker for the 1981 film The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. And Reba McEntire covered it in 1991. Vicki recorded a disco album in 1979. But other than that, she has stuck to TV. Her 80s sitcom Mama's Family was very successful. Here's Vicki Lawrence performing The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia on a 1973 Dick Clark TV special.