Melissa Etheridge- Yes I Am

Emotive dynamo Melissa Etheridge celebrated two significant anniversaries with me In the Studio:  her surprise two million-selling debut Melissa Etheridge in 1988, and her star maker five years later, Yes I Am. We all know how powerful first impressions are. So regardless of the many years that it has now been since we first met for a live Q102 Dallas/Ft.Worth radio interview on the occasion of the release of her debut, Melissa Etheridge  in May 1988, the image of the diminutive singer standing across from me in my broadcast studio, clutching a black acoustic guitar that she had just been given by an adoring fan, remains burnished in my memory.

“I got a $1000 car and headed West”, says Melissa Etheridge, revealing her first step like a real-life Dorothy leaving Leavenworth Kansas and landing in Oz, which in Melissa’s case was Southern California, a full five years before she would  top  the charts with her fourth album, September 1993’s Yes I Am . “Wow,” I’m thinking as she told the story, “she even talks in verse. ‘Thousand Dollar Car’, there’s a song title right there.” After the release of her impressive May 1988 debut Melissa Etheridge  I interviewed Melissa three times, and she even performed live In the Studio, but this would be the last time we could discuss solely her music, including the Top Ten hit “I’m the Only One” and Grammy Award winner “Come to My Window”, as well as “All American Girl” and two dramatically powerful personal songs,“Silent Legacy” and “Talking to My Angel“. Soon Melissa Etheridge would become a lightning rod for gay rights issues including same-sex marriage; a celebrity, which she discusses at length here; and a breast cancer survivor. – Redbeard