Ah, I have a trio of websites to post about today. All music-related, I might add.
The first regards an artist that I have always loved, but that most American fans remember for just one song. I first heard about Kim Wilde reading a silly pop music magazine back in the mid-80s. I didn’t actually hear her music at that time, mind you. I had heard of her. The magazine had a picture of her, and the words to her single “Go For It (The Second Time)”. I thought that Ms. Wilde was very attractive, and decided that I wanted to hear some of her music.
Turns out it wasn’t too hard. Kim Wilde had had a fairly big hit here in the States in 1983, “Kids In America.” (This song was much more popular in England, where it hit #1. I found that tape, and listened to the song over and over. I decided that I quite liked it.
And then Kim hit the big-time here in the States. She re-made “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and became a star. It became pretty easy to find Kim Wilde tapes, posters, pictures, etc. I was able to keep up (mostly) with Kim’s career. She never had another big hit in the US (the closest was, I think, “You Came,” which barely cracked the top 40). But she did have a bunch of top-10 hits in Europe.
Anyway, I had been wondering what she is doing now. And, thanks to Kim Wilde’s official website, I was able to find out. It turns out that Kim, aside from a single released at the end of last year, has walked away from music. Instead, she is now into gardening. She hosts a television show on gardening, and is considered to be an expert in that area. Check it out today!.
The other two websites are related. Through most of my life, I have been a huge Amy Grant fan. I have all of Amy’s CDs, I have a few Amy video tapes. I was a member of her official fan club. I don’t consider Christmas to be Christmas if I can’t listen to Amy’s first two Christmas CDs. (The third, Christmas to Remember, sucks rocks). I’ve seen Amy in concert.
But then, in a very short amount of time, Amy divorced husband Gary Chapman and married Vince Gill.
I’ve always thought people are silly to turn against an artist if the artist does or says something that the person disagrees with. I have always been able to separate the artist from their works. Someone might be a horrible person, but if they could sing well, then I’d still enjoy their music.
But somehow, the Grant/Chapman divorce was different. Part of this is probably that Gary Chapman seems like a very nice guy. He seems very down-to-earth, very level-headed. And seeing someone like that in the music industry is rare. It is easy to like Gary. It was also easy to see just how much Gary loved Amy. It was obvious in everything he said in public, and in most of his music.
Which made Amy Grant’s decision to leave Gary for Vince Gill very hard to accept. It felt like a betrayal on Amy’s part. I felt for Gary, and those feelings made it harder to look past Amy the person to enjoy Amy the artist.
Both of these artists have websites. Amy Grant’s website is currently under construction, but does give news of Amy’s pending project (a cd of religious hymns), and has pictures of Amy and Vince’s daughter, and Amy and Vince’s wedding.
Gary Chapman’s website is more personal. It frankly discusses the fact that Gary is without a recording contract right now. Apparently, Gary’s record company decided that Christian music fans would not want to buy music from someone who has gone through a divorce. Gary has quite a few letters to his fans on his website. He mentions Amy only twice, once directly and once indirectly. The direct reference is a passing mention that he and Amy alternate who gets to have their children over the holidays. The indirect references talks about having to recover from a divorce that he did not want, nor ask for.
The past and present letters from Gary are starkly intimate, and make Gary seem even more human than he already does. Everyone should read these letters; they are that good.