It has been over 40 years since the Athens, Georgia, group known as the B-52s formed, leading to worldwide hits like “Love Shack,” “Roam,” “Private Idaho” and “Rock Lobster.” The band has taken breaks over the years, but 2008 brought a new studio album Funplex, while founding members Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson have also been active as solo artists. Currently promoting her debut full-length solo effort, Change — to be released by the Kill Rock Stars record label on December 1 — Wilson recently appeared on the Walking the Floor podcast.
While Walking the Floor host Chris Shiflett is primarily known for his work in the hard rock band the Foo Fighters — and for playing with punk rock acts like No Use For A Name and Me First & The Gimme Gimmes before joining the Foos — his podcast is known to be country-centric. Early into his conversation with Wilson, Shiflett jokingly said that she was a big fan of country music, given that the B-52s are assumed to be primarily influenced by punk, funk, disco and R&B. Wilson answered that “I do like country, but I like the old country.”
This led to further discussion about Wilson’s “favorite meeting” with a celebrity, which was Dolly Parton. “[I] shared the stage with her. It was in Atlanta, it was a festival going on and they were doing a TV show. We happened to be on the same stage. I met her backstage at the makeup room, where she was getting made up. They were actually trimming the false eyelashes. I came out and introduced myself. She said, ‘You’re so sweet. I don’t know the B’52’s.’ I told her about us and I told her we were from Athens, Georgia and my father was a hardcore country fan.”
“You look out into the audience and you see really happy faces, people who are so glad to be there, and you bounce off the energy.” @TheB52s‘ @CindyWilsonATH on how she keeps the energy alive after four decades in the music industry. #MusicMonday https://t.co/ZR2ZMKMxL3
— Lenny (@lennyletter) November 27, 2017
About this encounter, Wilson continued: “We were talking and her makeup person was putting her false eyelashes on. I said that was interesting trimming them like that. She said, ‘You’ve got to make them really natural looking. Just a little bit.’ I thought that was great.” Parton, who was performing with her family on this particular occasion, found Wilson later in the day. “I got to do my thing and she came backstage afterwards and she says, ‘Honey, I didn’t know who you were, but I sure am going to listen for you now.’ She was really wonderful.”
This story begs the question as to whether Dolly Parton’s musical influences are far more varied than originally assumed; the Tennessee legend has been known to cover the Bon Jovi hit “Lay Your Hands On Me” in concert, in addition to playing the Benny Hill on saxophone. Parton’s latest release is the I Believe in You children’s album, as released on November 21 and accompanied by 13 animated lyric videos on YouTube. Shiflett — whose Walking The Floor podcast has also featured interviews with Sheryl Crow, Butch Walker, Aaron Lee Tasjan and comedian Jim Breuer — is currently touring the world with the Foo Fighters in support of 2017’s Concrete and Gold.
— The Flat Circle Blog (@FlatCircleBlog) November 26, 2017
[Featured Image by Terry Wyatt / Stringer]