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   Ursula West: A legend in my time: Release Information

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Release Date: 15.12.2005
EAN/UPC: 705304654224
TT Catalogue No: 4485

„Homegrown & heartbreaking” – A legend in my time

One of the most sensational new discoveries of the berlin „Bar jeder Vernunft“, is the country singer Ursula West from the south of the USA. She enchants her audience and even conquers fans among those to whom Country used to be a red rag. Until today there are supposed to be commited fans, that didn’t notice yet, that behind the unbelieveably authentic appearance of the touching country-fairy, hides Christoph Marti of the Geschwister Pfister.

Ursula West - the story so far

Ursula West is born in 1965 in Beaver Creek, Kentucky, as the second of four children. She grows up with her older sister Ruth (the strong) and the younger one Willadeene (the wild) in a small cabin under the most simple circumstances. Her brother Timothy, her mother’s youngest child, dies only three weeks after his birth. Ursula’s mother lapses into a depression, from which she will never really recover, and decides not to have any more children. The family is poor, the father as a farm worker works from morning to night, the mother keeps the house, the children have to help and sort things out. It’s a hard but happy childhood.

Ursula early takes refuge into a romantic dream world. She has a very strong, natural belief. In the open air in nature she’s the happiest. Besides, her interrest is female beauty. In her younger days she’s given a colour-consultation-book by her aunt Dottie (Carole Jackson, Color Me Beautiful). Soon she knows the book by heart, and becomes some kind of expert in questions of beauty, effective colour-combinations, the accentuation and improvement of one’s own style, make-up accessoires etc. to a lot of her adolescent girlfriends. Together they found the „Happy Hearts Club“ which Ursla chairs as the president.

With 16 she gets to know her future husband (Beauregard Dean Wokowsky). It is love at first sight, they get married three months later and shortly after Ursula becomes pregnanat for the first time. In succession she gives birth to the children Jimmy, Jeremiah and the twins Jonathan and Jakob. Due to his occupation (her husband works in a garage) the whole family moves to Topeka Kansas, 700 miles away. For the first time, Ursula is away from her family and the intact nature she loves so much.

Her husband starts an affair with the till girl of a supermarket (Tracy La Fontaine), at that time Ursula is pregnant again and she breaks down, when she gets know about the affair. Her husband admits her to an asylum where she spends seven months.There she miscarries and gets electroshock treatment

When she’s finally taken home by her sister Ruth, she has to hear that her husband disappeared with his girlfriend, and the twins have been given up for adoption. They now live with a young couple (the McCoys) in Oklahoma. Furthermore, Ursula’s dearly loved father died of a virus, while she was in the asylum. Ursula is 21 years old and her life is a pile of broken glass.

The next two years she’s busy organizing herself and her life again. She now lives in Whitesburg, Kentucky , a small city near her hometown and works as a waitress in a steakhouse. The money’s just enough to survive, but she makes friends, especially with the married couple Porter (Skip and Bitty) who help her to get her twins back. Her sister Ruth helps her where she can. The younger sister Willadeene has almost no contact to the family; she lives somewhere in Alabama and coaches a women’s soccer team.In her rare leisure time she starts meeting her school friends from the „Happy Hearts Club“ again. They often make music now and Ursula remembers that she once was a happy and light-hearted person. Especially her good friend Wanda Bailey encourages her, and it’s Wanda’s father Herman that finally persuades her to do her first public performance at the Whitesburg Sunflower Festival.

The performance is a success. The concert is not her last and as Ursula doesn’t beat around the bush with her story, she soon becomes a person to identify with for her male and female listeners. Radio performances, the first record and a little tour throughout the United States follow. Ursula earns enough money to support herself and her family on her own. She’s independant and happy.When one night after many years her husband stands at her door, confessing that he’s completely finished and doesn’t know how to carry on, she forgives him and puts him up again. They buy some land near Whitesburg (Temple Hill) and build their own big house there. Ursula is insistant that the family is enlarged again and in succession she gives birth to the children Amanda, Abigail, Aurora and Anabel. Her pride and joy is a sign along the Highway that says: „VISIT TEMPLE HILL – HOME OF URSULA WEST AND HER FAMILY“.


Christoph Marti is Ursula West

Three years ago, Christoph Marti, a master of the invention of new „alter egos“, created the character of Ursula West. Almost unnoticed by the public, „the new discovery from the South of the USA“ had her debut in Berlin, because nobody was supposed to know, who hid behind the cultivated front of of the well-preserved, yet no more young artist. Marti wrote the program himself and chose the songs, he made up a fictitious biography of a country singer, that had features of the goddesses of Country like Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton or Tammy Wynette. Above all, the character of Ursula West distinguishes herself through the ambivalence of absolute artificiality and authentic naturalness.

The philosophy of Country, in America an important attitude to life, deals with the great subjects of life like home and religion, as well as with the triviality of every day life. Full of relish, Christoph Marti uses the stylistic device of exagerration to the point of kitsch. Here he is able to indulge in the genre of country music, and even though he overacts Ursula West to the point of grotesqueness, the character gains nearness and cordiality. Parallel to the legends of the Pfisters, Marti succeeds in adding such likeable traits to his creatures, that one wants to immediately accept them in the world of real people. She’s just too nice to be true. Commonly country music isn’t associated with liberal thinking, conservative relatedness with traditional values seems to be the message of America’s most popular music. But just the search for the true values, the freedom of love, leads to the paradox, that country music does have insurgent aspects. Think of Janis Joplin and Kris Kristoffersen. By now Country doesn’t only stand for for white America. As most musicians, also black musicians like Ray Charles incorperated country in their music („Dirty Laundry“ for black country music).
In the end, it’s the stories, that, next to the music have the great appeal. And the story of Ursula West doesn’t leave anyone cold – wether Country fan or not.


© Traumton Records, Abdruck honorarfrei, Belegexemplar erbeten

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