If you're coming with me you need nerves of steel
Mi vida loca over and over
Nashville music biz baby and a Boston club star got together and with a little
inspiration from a Los Angeles gang member came up with a hit country song.
Pam Tillis and Jess Leary wrote the lively number, which is Tillis' current hit single.
The idea came to Tillis via a Geraldo episode on TV that featured a street gang girl with a Mi Vida Loca tattoo (Spanish for My Crazy Life).
Tillis had a songwriting session scheduled the next day with Leary, and she called Leary with the idea.
Within minutes Leary had a few lines and the Tex-Mex/salsa groove. When the two got together, Tillis filled in most of the blanks.
The hit is Leary's first, and it marks another 10-year overnight success for a Music Row songwriter.
A native of Hingham, Mass., she was making a name for herself in the Boston area, having won two Wrangler Country Showdowns, when she decided to move to Nashville in 1985.
She was eventually signed as a staff writer to Reba McEntire's Starstruck publishing company, but she made her living in the early '90s as a backup singer.
She went on the road with Reba, then with Garth Brooks, playing guitar and percussion as well as singing.
Meanwhile back in Nashville, her songwriting was gaining more attention. She collaborated with
Janis Ian and landed two songs on lan's Breaking Silence album.
Her songs were pitched to Pam Tillis, who decided to check out the writer in person at a local club. Tillis then suggested the writing session that resulted in Mi Vida Loca.
Leary has recently had other songs recorded by Daron Norwood and Woody Lee.
Pam Tillis grew up in Nashville, the daughter of country star Mel Tillis, but like Leary, she went through her own extended overnight success story.
After excursions into jazz and pop music, she applied her energetic, witty personality to country music, and the result has been a string of hits, beginning with Maybe It Was Memphis.
Mi Vida Loca is from Tillis' third album, Sweetheart's Dance.
The Tennessean, January, 1995
Stats Singles Discography History and Discography 7"singles (WB) Lyrics Page Site Map Photo Album Main Articles Biography Links TV