ADLER AND HEARNE INTERVIEW #1
[This transcript is excerpted from an Art of the Song interview as broadcast nationally on Public Radio. Click here to listen to the complete show with music.]
Viv: Our guests this week on Art of the Song are award-winning Texas performing songwriters Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne. Adler and Hearne toured nationally serving up original homegrown music with spirited and soulful genera they define simply as “Texas Folk”. With subtle jazz and blues overtones. They’re currently on tour in support of their new CD “Second Nature” produced by Texas music icon Lloyd Maines.
John: The duo was honored by the Texas Commission on the Arts being the named to the state’s official touring roster. It’s our great pleasure to be here in the Art of the Song studio talking with Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne. Welcome.
Lynn Adler: Thanks for having us.
Lindy Hearne: Great to be with you.
John: Tell us where your musical adventures began. Let’s start with you Lynn, where did you grow up? Let’s start there. Where did you grow up and how did music come into your life?
Hearne: Have you grown up?
Adler: That’s very funny Lindy. I was born the daughter of a Baptist minister of music. I was raised up in the church, exposed to Christian music and music making. That’s my roots. Lindy and I have that in common. Both of our dads were Baptist church musicians. Our families know that we lovingly refer to ourselves as “recovering Baptists”.
Hearne: You spent a lot of time in different states.
Adler: Yeah, I was born in Oklahoma. I’m a red dirt girl. My dad served in several churches all over the South and Midwest. That’s where my roots, my musical roots were from. My father’s musical makings and my mom. She’s a piano music teacher.
John: When did you start writing music?
Adler: When I was thirteen my father gave me a twelve-string guitar and a Leadbelly songbook.
Hearne: It wasn’t common for Baptist ministers of music to do that with their daughters, was it? Back then?
Adler: I don’t know, it was my story, I don’t know about anybody else.
Viv: Yeah, because that kind of sent up a flag for me, I just went “Mm, Ziiinng?” Really? A twelve string and a Leadbelly book?
Adler: I don’t know what he was thinking.
Hearne: I would think a Glory guitar and an Amy Grant album or something.
Hearne: I don’t know. That’s where my mind’s going this morning. I don’t know why.
Adler: Well years later, as it turns out, since you mentioned Amy Grant. Years later in my life, my first recording I ever did was a record of contemporary Christian music as they used to refer to it. I guess they still use that term “contemporary Christian”. I never really was fond of it but spiritual songs came easy for me. I grew up on them and I recorded them on my first record. There was an award records label called Dayspring and it was produced by Chris Christian and Brown Bannister was the engineer and Amy Grant was hanging around the studio when I was recording. She ended up singing a song that I wrote in her live concerts that ended up, long story short, being recorded by Debby Boone. That was the first Gospel song of mine that was ever recorded by anybody in a big way.
Hearne: The album won a Grammy.
Adler: It did. It was a Grammy-award winning record.
John: What’s the title of the song?
Adler: The title of the song is “Sweet Adoration”. It’s just a very simple little chorus that I wrote. I took it Brown one day and I said “I think I’ve started a song here” and he liked it and he shared it with Amy. Amy was singing it in her concerts, unbeknownst to me. One evening, at a concert, another songwriter in the room, in the audience, was inspired by it and wrote a second verse for it. That song ended up falling back into the hands of Brown. Brown Bannister ended up being the producer on Debby’s first solo Gospel record which was called “With My Song”. That song, “Sweet Adoration”, she loved and ended up being the first song on the first side. That was back when we had LPs and sides. It was the first song on the first side of her Grammy-award winning first Gospel music recording. I don’t even remember the year. That was an interesting adventure of just a little chorus and how it turned into a praise chorus that’s now sung all over the world. I still get “mailbox money” I call it. Not a lot, but it’s still being used out there in the world and that’s a gratifying thing as a songwriter to have a song out there being sung by others and bringing healing and connection for people. It’s the cool thing about songs–how they have a life of their own.
John: Lindy, how about you? Where did you grow up?
Hearne: Fort Worth, Texas is my hometown. We went to a very large church that had a TV show on Sunday mornings. I remember going to the studio, the choir would sing, I was put up in front of the camera at a young age singing solos. Then there was also a radio show in the afternoon, downtown Fort Worth, and I remember singing on the radio when I was very young. It just came pretty natural to me. Then I was in the Texas Boy’s Choir for four and a half years in Fort Worth and that was great training. Learned a lot about classic music at the time as well as folk songs. Then I got a guitar when I was fifteen and wrote my first song when my girlfriend broke up with me. Helped me forget about her, writing that first song, that first verse of inspiration. That was my start in songwriting.