Rita Coolidge will perform at SXSW 2018 in Austin in March.
Rita recently told her story in the biography ‘Delta Lady’, written with Michael Walker. The song ‘Delta Lady’ by Leon Russell was written about Rita Coolidge in 1969. Russell and Coolidge were dating at the time. The song also became a hit for Joe Cocker.
Rita toured with Russell and Cocker as part of Mad Dogs and Englishmen as a backing singer but took centre stage to sing another of Russell’s classics ‘Superstar’ on the tour.
Rita Coolidge met Kris Kristofferson at Los Angeles airport in 1970 as they were both catching a flight to Nashville. They married in 1973 and recorded three albums together and also won two Grammy Awards together.
Their first album together featured a song that would later become a hit for Jon English in Australia, ‘Lovin’ Arms’.
Rita Coolidge had another Australian connection in 1978 when she covered Marcia Hines’ no 1 Aussie hit ‘You’ (although it was written by American songwriter Tom Snow.
Legend has it that Rita was also the writer of the piano piece in Eric Clapton’s ‘Layla’.
Rita Coolidge performed or recorded (or both) with Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Graham Nash, Joe Cocker and Stephen Stills.
Her biggest chart album was ‘Anytime … Anywhere’ in 1977. It peaked at no. 6 in the USA and gave Rita three Top 40 hits.
More details of the Rita Coolidge SXSW showcase will be made in coming weeks.