She had seven Top 10 country hits in the 1980s, she recorded duets with such country-western legends as Willie Nelson, George Jones, David Allan Coe, Glen Campbell and Lee Greenwood and shared the stage with legend Vince Gill.
Now, today, Virginia City’s Lacy J. Dalton will officially become a legend in her own time when she’s inducted into the North American Country Music Association, International Hall of Fame in ceremonies in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
The ceremony will take place at the Country Tonite Theatre where Dolly Parton’s own band will reportedly provide backup for performers who will include Dalton and Dale Poune of Carson City, her guitarist. Pigeon Forge is Parton’s hometown.
Dalton, born Jill Lynne Byrem in Bloomsburg, Pa., got her big break in 1978 and first hit the charts with her own song, “Crazy Blue Eyes,” that went to No. 17 on the U.S. charts.
In the 1980s, she took “Takin It Easy” to No. 2, “Everybody Makes Mistakes” to No. 5, “16th Avenue” and “Hard Times” to No. 7, “Hillbilly Girl With the Blues” to No. 8 and “Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream) to No. 9. Her other Top 10 was “Whisper.”
With her gritty style, Dalton was described by People Magazine as a country-western version of Bonnie Raitt.
Before signing with Harbor Records in 1978, she held jobs to help support her family. Included was a job as a truck stop waitress who would wait on tables and then go on stage and sing a few songs.
Fame came quickly. She was named “Top New Female Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music in 1979 and then signed with Columbia Records in 1980.
She wrote two songs for the movie, “Silence of the North,” that starred Tom Skerritt and Ellen Burnstyn, and also sang the title song, “Comes a Time,” written by Neil Young and acted in the movie.
She also appeared in the movie “Take This Job and Shove It,” and sang a duet with David Allen Coe, who wrote the Johnny Paycheck hit by the same name.
While she didn’t hit the Top 10 with any singles after the ’80s, she did have a No. 1 western album, “Wild Horse Crossing,” in 1999 on Shop Records. She earned a gold record for her duet with Willie Nelson on his “Half Nelson” album that was certified gold. She was the only female to sing on the album.
Nelson, who Dalton once toured with, is an ally of Dalton’s in the fight to keep the wild horses of the West protected. Dalton does fundraising concerts for the cause.
Dalton also had a No. 1 CD on the Western World Independent Charts in 1999, “Last Wild Place Anthology,” on Song Dog Records
Dalton also toured with Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, the Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Haggard, David Frizzell, Rex Allen Jr., and John Anderson.
Dalton and Poune were to fly into Nashville earlier for separate meetings. Poune went on Wednesday to meet with David Frizzell, who will help him get a new agent for his songs, while Dalton went on Thursday to promote a cruise with the guys from the group Alabama, The Gatlin Brothers, Johnny Lee and Bobby Bare that’s scheduled for Feb. 3-8, 2018.
It will be one of the biggest weeks of their lives for Dalton and Poune, who will accompany her during the award ceremonies where she will sing three songs — “Crazy Blue Eyes,” “16th Avenue” and her last hit, “Black Coffee,” which she performed on stage with Vince Gill.
“I was so grateful to David Frizzell, who pushed me for the award,” said Dalton this week. “Johnny Lee, Bobby Bare and Marty Haggard also helped. It’s a real honor.”
Others being inducted to the American Country Music Hall of Fame include Irlene Mandrell, Freddie Hart, Sylvia, Gary Morris, A. Harlan Smith and Chris Nielsen, Paulette Carlson and Donna and Leroy Anderson.
Upcoming tour dates for Dalton include: April 8: Sutter Creek, Calif.; April 14: Kennewick, Wash.; May 6: Watsonville, Calif.; May 13: Incline Village, Calif.; May 20: Winnemucca; May 27: Bandera, Tex.; June 8-10: Nashville, Tenn.; June 16: Lincoln, Calif.; June 24: Minden; July 8: Lake Almanor, Calif.; Aug. 12: Bridgeport, Calif.; and Aug. 24: Gardnerville.
More information on Dalton is available at lacyjdalton.com. For information on the cruise in 2018 with Alabama, go to www.countrycruise.com and enter promo code LACYFAN.
The online radio station Fish Creek Radio is broadcasting the Hall of Fame ceremony at 4 p.m. today. To listen, go to http://www.fishcreekradio.com/.