"All I ever wanted to do was sing." Janie Fricke has gone from Indiana farm girl to internationally acclaimed recording artist throughout her career. She was born in South Whitley, Indiana, and raised on a 400-acre farm. From county fairs to corporate trade shows, live concerts, in recording studios, or before millions on television, Fricke's individual sound and performance personality has captivated audiences around the world.
Fricke began her career singing, often duets with her sister, in a "little church up the road" where her mother played piano. She sang at local coffeehouses and high school events. While studying for her bachelor's degree in elementary education at Indiana University, she was a member of the Singing Hoosiers. Janie's support of Indiana University lasts till today where you will find the Janie Fricke Scholarship she established to support a talented student in the music program with financial need.
Although she had a determination to be in the music industry, Janie's parents insisted she finish her degree Elementary Education which a number of her extended family had earned, which she did. From then on, with her parents blessing she set off to be part of the music scene, by herself, with determination and her grounded upbringing, knowing right from wrong, keeping this single young woman on the straight and narrow path.
Fricke chose a musical career, working in Memphis, Dallas and Los Angeles. There, as one of the marketing industry's most successful jingle singers, her voice became known to millions as the voice for such advertising giants as United Airlines, Coca-Cola, 7-Up, and Red Lobster, in which she sang their famous slogan, "Red Lobster for the seafood lover in you".
Her voice led her to singing sessions for Country artists such as Loretta Lynn, Eddie Rabbitt, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Johnny Duncan and others. She has also been given the privilege to sing on albums for Charlie Rich and Elvis Presley, after their deaths. It was a line in Johnny Duncan's single Stranger that ultimately gained the most attention for Fricke. When it hit the top of the charts in 1977, fans wanted to know who sang the line, "Shut out the light and lead me..."
The music industry took notice as her voice was heard on duets with Merle Haggard, Moe Bandy and others, leading her to her first major recording contract. Fricke soon began to dominate the country charts with smash hits such as "Don't Worry ' Bout Me Baby, He's a Heartache and You're Heart's Not In It." It was only a matter of time before she started winning awards. Included among them are the, Country Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year, Music City News Female Vocalist of the Year, Top Country Female Vocalist, "Cash Bed' Top Country Female Vocalist, Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year, British-based Country Music Round Up Most Popular International Female Solo Act, and she was chosen to the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars.
Janie Fricke is excited about her just released ‘It Ain’t Easy: The Complete Hits’, available now. This 41-track, 2 CD compilation spans from 1977 to 1989, including not just her solo smashes such as “What’re You Doing Tonight,” “It Ain’t Easy Being Easy,” “He’s A Heartache (Looking For A Place To Happen),” and “Tell Me A Lie,” but also her chart-topping duets with Charlie Rich (“On My Knees”), Merle Haggard (“A Place to Fall Apart”), Larry Gatlin (“From Time To Time”) and Johnny Duncan (“Come A Little Bit Closer”). As an added bonus, Janie penned the liner notes, which are accompanied by previously unseen photos and she autographed 100 booklets for fans who order ‘It Ain’t Easy: The Complete Hits’ through Real Gone Music.
“It is with thankfulness and sheer pride to see this project appear at a time in my life when I least expected such a special gift,” says Fricke. “The team who researched my recordings worked many hours to come up with choice songs from my recorded repertoire. As I look back to those years of hours spent in the studio with the best producers, musicians and engineers, I never dreamed that it would become a pretty package all wrapped up, presented to me and the world in 2019.”
In her recording career, Janie has released 23 albums and 36 hit singles. Janie continues to tour and when not on the road she relaxes and spends time with her husband Jeff and her animals on their farm in Texas. Although far from her childhood farm in Indiana she laughs as she comments on a number of similarities the two properties share. She attends church near her home, remembering from childhood the importance of her confirmation. Thankful for her blessings, Janie feels these values have helped her become the woman she is today.
From an Indiana farm girl to an internationally acclaimed recording artist, she has never lost the pure heart and love of music that launched her career. And today, Janie Fricke sings on..