Music & Entertainment

Case Study: "Fancy" Goes Acoustic

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 19:53 min

Learn the backstory of how Reba recorded one of her most infamous songs, "Fancy". Then, watch as Reba and the band break down the song to record a never-before-done acoustic version of the song.

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[MUSIC - REBA MCENTIRE, "FANCY"] I remember it all very well, looking back. It was the summer I turned 18. We lived in a one-room, run-down shack on the outskirts of New Orleans. We didn't have money for food-- REBA MCENTIRE: When I was recording with Jimmy Bowen on MCA records in the '80s, I had asked him if I could record a song that had been my favorite forever, called "Fancy." it's a Bobby Gentry song. And he said, oh, no, woman. That's not a song you need to be recording. It's about a prostitute. And I said, yeah, I know. It's a great song. No, no, no, no, no. So after I switched producers from Jimmy Bowen to Tony Brown, Tony Brown and I were in the studio one day, and he said, is there any old song that you'd like to redo? And I said, yeah. He said, well, what is it? And I said, "Fancy?" He said, oh my gosh! That's one of my favorite songs! I said, you mean, we can do that? He said, oh yeah! So I told what Bowen said. And so he said, OK, yeah, we can go ahead and do that. So I recorded "Fancy" at the Emerald Studios there in Nashville. And I just had a blast doing it. I absolutely love that song. When I find a song that I absolutely loved, and want to sing it, reasoning kind of goes out the window. I've had songs that I wanted to record, and people would say, well, that's not country. Well, I don't care. I like the song. Well, that's not a song you should be doing. Why? I like it. It's not country enough, it's not this enough. I never have understood why everybody had to have a category for songs. It's either good or bad. You either want it or you don't. And so when I find a song, whether it's "Respect," or "Fancy," or "That's the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," Diana Ross's, "Set me free, why don't you, baby, get out my life, why don't you, baby," I recorded that one. I just love the song. And so when I recorded "Fancy," it's because I love the song. "Fancy" is timeless because of the lyric, the content. It's great, the melody is wonderful, the chords and the minors. I just love it. It just takes you on a visual trip. It's sad at the beginning, and then she overcomes all the bad stuff that happened to her, and she's successful. She's taken charge, and she's making good out of a bad situation. As for career songs in the Reba McEntire catalog, I would say "Fancy" would be right up there as number one. [MUSIC - REBA MCENTIRE, "FANCY"] We didn't have money for food or rent. To say the least, we were hard pressed. Then Mama spent every last penny we had to buy me a dancing dress. Well, Mama washed and combed and curled my hair, and she painted my eyes and lips. Then I stepped into a satin dancing dress. It had a split from the side clean up to my hips. And it was red velvet trimming, and it fit me good. Standing back from the looking glass, ...


For Love of Country

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I think Reba approached a lot of basic entertainment information in a warm and friendly way. I believe everything she talked about is also applicable in the acting world and in any walk of life.

It's interesting because it shows so much of the mentality behind country music, the American South as a whole. But sometimes too general, idealistic.

I helps me to be me more authentically through improving how I express myself.

I don't intend to be a singer, but it's given me an insight and a better understanding of what singers do.


Comments

James E.

Reba and the band at their best on an up-tempo number! So...it doesn't 'just happen.' We know that studio time costs...but this experienced band shows what recording 'classic country hits' is all about.

David B.

Reba rocks!!!! And those players . . . All together, a wonderful chemistry alighting on Earth from the heavens. A great lesson on pulling back the reigns and getting down into the "greasy". dcb

A fellow student

once again Reba and the band members never fail to make something that is great even greater. learned a lot. thanks.

John H.

Loved this session. So great being a fly on the wall and learning. Thank you Reba and band x

Mariah

Reba is so funny, I love her personality. I wish I would have been taught how to collaborate with people in school a bit more, I think society sometimes teaches us to be Individuals, which is good, but sometimes we forget that we need other people to complete things and make them amazing. :) This is a skill that I want to work on . : )Collaboration

A fellow student

G M Thomas Washougal, WA This is the second time I have done this study of recording and performance. The gal on fiddle is a triple threat; I watched her do a special duet with Reba. Concerning performance, I was glad I got to see Reba, once again, in that beautiful, performance dress. It was red and truly: Fancy. I appreciated all the teaching and the experiencing of the light chatter of the pros. backstage. tho

Diana H.

From all the masterclasses I took this one is the most revealing. She is so open about her work and how she does things. She also includes her team. I truly love this class

jaime

This was awesome. I am not a country person normally. I was introduced to Reba through the "Reba" tv show. Not too much music in that, really. This chapter was totally beautiful. I have come to the realization that even if I would love to be the musician making the music, that is not really likely to happen. I am a really good music >listener<, however. I know what works, and what doesn't. This is in credible >music<. I makes my entity happy. It >works<. And watching it happen only serves to make it better. I can't wait for more.

Wendi

I really enjoy listening to your vocal dynamics Reba you are stellar , loved both versions. I really enjoyed the first version a lot the vocals were different but each had its merits Reba you are AMAZING LADY THANKS

Michael P.

I liked the 2nd acoustic version that was performed. They really brought you inside the song when they slowed it down and it made you feel like you were watching the life of Fancy on the movie screen. Reba's eye contact and facial expressions made it feel like she was not only telling the story of Fancy but it made it seem like she was the character. She really got into being the character and it was great to see it first hand like that!