Yesterday was my Mother's birthday..March 11th and she would have been 89.  She
died 10 years ago.  I wrote a song in 73 about a phone coversation she and I had in the middle of a turbulent time.   The song was stolen.  The song became a hit.   I was just stupid at 23 or 24 and not really a victim, although it still hurts to have something not only creative taken away but something so personal.

She and I had a severe and traumatic falling out in the early seventies.   It was all about trust, something I could no longer do regarding her.   I stopped communication, for reasons well understood  AND would not for a long time let her have communication with my only child.  

She called me one night after I had gotten off from work and said most of the words in the song to me.  I wrote them down.   I don't know if I wrote them down for some kind of closure or some kind of apology but I added some of my own thoughts to the song.
At the time, I lived alone in an apartment in Douglasville, Ga. with my son.  She lived in Florida.  I sat out on the little porch in the fall of the year with pen in hand the day after the phone call and wrote it down on a piece of notebook paper.   I did not have my piano then but made up the tune as I wrote the lyrics.  I went inside within 45 minutes and put it down on a small hand held recorder.

  I wrote two songs that week and I have the other one still but never did profesionally record that one again.  I mailed off the little recording to myself a week later and upon return handed it to my manager with other songs.  He promised all kinds of management opportunites and I was anxious to believe someone.  I sung the song to him...and gave it to him.  We had a small non binding contract.   He was a scammer.  I was not a victim... just naive and still had wits to dream of being a songwriter.  I had been trying to get songs to Nashville for about two years when I ran up on this con.  I lost the contract, or ripped it apart.. Don't remember which.  I told Harold Shedd, a cousin on Daddy's side about the incident and he shook his head and said nothing could ever be done about it.  Harold in the 80's became a huge producer and even Mr. Hobbs worked for him at the Music Mill at Polygram/Mercury.  I took Harold at his word as he was part of Music Row and knew the business.  I am sure he was right.  told me this sort of thing happens all the time.

There had been a scandal and my life is never just simple..it was a very big scandal involving serious marital issues.  I was hurt... My kid was hurt and we were pretty well shamed in this small southern town.  

I had my Mom on a pedestal.  She was strict and a hard worker.   I still loved my Daddy more I think.. She fed and clothed us and her family had founded my hometown.  She came from a family of doctors, school teachers and educated people.  She married a farm boy who became the local minister.  They were married 34 years.

She  had issues.  I never knew what she was running to or from but enough she spent some time in a private mental facility due to two suicide attempts in my teens.   She was tired of being a preacher's wife.  She was tired of being told by her own family I think, she had to act this way or that.  The name Vansant meant something in that town and we all were reminded of that a lot !!!  She stood up for things she believed in.  She was not really well received for her upper crust upbringing.  She was a workaholic.  Signs right there something was wrong in her thinking.  She was an entrepeneur.  She owned several restaurants.  Successfully.  She was never a phony ( ( believed) , She spoke her mind but was not a person of many words.  

After many years of my obedience to my Mother and thinking she could do no wrong...She did an ultimate wrong.   People ask me where I get my strength?  Right here explains a lot.   I did not go crazy.  I did not shoot myself.. I pulled myself up and faced the scandal and did the best I could with unbelievable pain and hurt.  I never ever got over this pain.. Not completely.  The Betrayal.  I still have little patience for any kind of betrayal in my life.

I am tell all of this to explain the song.  How anyone AFTER knowing this story and this song could doubt that I wrote it is almost unbelievable and what I wrote was personal.   This song was a communication between my Mother and me after the stunt and hurt she pulled that year.  She wanted to tell me she loved me and knew I was hurt and ashamed and wanted to hide my face.... The whole song summed up what I was feeling and she wanted me to trust her again and she could make it right.   She died and it never did get right completely.  I forgave.   I loved her despite the hurt but it was never right again.

 I only had a poor biy copyright on it...  That rarely holds up in court.   I was poor  ( still am for that matter) and I had written songs since I was 11.   This one was different.  

I had a manager and an attorney in 73 AND 74.   I had given the poor boy copywrite tape..a small cassette tape with no music to my manager.   At the time the manager, whose name I forget was also representing a singer who later went on to play in a TV sitcom.   I have forgotten her name as well.   I totally have forgotten manager and lawyer's names but can see them clearly in my head.  The lawyer handled my divorce but left town pretty damn quick after a shady deal with my manager.   How do I know they pulled this shady deal?   They both were spotted by me and some friends at the Grammy Awards on TV.  

I had forgotten pretty much about the song only hopes of it getting to Nashville.  I was too busy picking up the pieces of my life and my Daddy's life.  Not to mention my son's life.  Working too many job took a lot of time, being bone tired and avoiding the gossip in town was a full time job in itself.  I was fo racked with shame  I avoided church, family and knew the whispers in the family.  I never took the first food stamp because of all of this.  My kid did not get free meals although entitled and for that I regret,  I could not hear anymore " Poor thing, I wonder how she manages" with no help from anyone but Daddy.   I had little social life due to the circumstances.  No one wanted to get too involved with a woman who now had an ex husband who was her stepfather.
My Mother ran off with my abusive husband of 6 years and was the father of my only biological child because they both like fishing I guess.   I have no idea what the attraction was.  He was my age and 25 years her junior.   My father was the local pastor and gave up the church and my kid turned to his grandaddy as a father figure.

My ex died last year.  We barely spoke after 1974.   I had sole custody of my child.  The whole little town knew she and he took off after he and I separated over an abusive fight and nothing was even made right between us and my son disowned him at the age of 12.  He has never shed a tear over either one of their deaths.  He never even acknowledged his Daddy's death.   They moved to a small fishing town and lived together for several years and I stopped them from being around us..up until that phone call and song.   I did let him see our son.  I did let her visit with him.   It was just never right and always uncomfortable.  He was made fun of at school.  He was close to me and his grandaddy and he and I both have trust issues.  That won't ever change.
She was his Nanny and he was his Daddy.   I had two people from birth till 23 that I loved and trusted besides my Daddy and child.  My Mother and my husband who was a childhood sweetheart.  

I was going to work one day in my old car and always played the radio.  If it had no radio it was not a fit vehicle to me.   I heard the announcer call out a song...with a title I recognized.   I turned it up.   It was my song.   The DJ said , " Be sure to catch the Grammies... this trio will pick up a few for another song...Queen of the silver Dollar I think.   It was 75 or 76 and I did watch the Grammies but this trio had become pretty big in the meantime.  I hated them.   It was not their fault.. They did not claim they wrote it.   In fact for years I never saw who wrote it or claimed as songwriter until 2005 and I looked it up and Harlan Howard had gotten it.  I don't blame him either.. He just put the copyright on it and had it with RCA.   It was my song.  

I never listened to the song again until in the early 90's Jack found the song on 8 track and brought it home and played it and this was before internet and it angered me all over again.   He then put it on a Cassette tape and later to a CD.   I never listened to it.  He would.. I wouldn't.  I never listened to it again because it makes me cry.  I listened to it the day Mama died.  All day.. Non stop.   I listened to it the day my x died.... All day... and for some reason I listened to it today ...I guess because the question on Connect was about if music affected you.

I have written hundreds of songs as well as my husband.   This was the only one that hit.  This was the only one really personal.

This one makes me cry.

The people who review this song do not have a clue that the song was supposed to be a Mother trying to regain trust of her daughter....It is not about a man and a woman.
It is about a Mother and a daughter and now it is how easy things are stolen...homes...dignity...respect....honor... and most of all trust... I guess the song should have been stolen.. Everything about it was.  

Here is the song and the lyrics.

Dave & Sugar - I'm Gonna Love You (1976) Lyrics
Artist: Dave & Sugar

Genre: Electronic

Dave & Sugar

Miscellaneous  Notice the miscellaneous songwriter

I'm Gonna Love You (1976)
I’m gonna love you, I gonna love you
Till the stars in the skies start flickering out above you
I’m gonna love you, I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna rub you in the cradle of love so warm
And shelter you from every storm
That comes along and tries to cloud your sky

Trust in me cause I’ll be standing by (standing by)
I know you’ve had your share of ups and downs
And you feel just like you’re in a circus running from the clown
The times we live in make you wonder which way you should go
But if you take a chance on me girl I want you to know

I’m gonna love you, I gonna love you
Till the stars in the skies start flickering out above you
I’m gonna love you, I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna rub you in the cradle of love so deep
That you can close your eyes and sleep
Through the darkest night without a care

Count on me and baby I’ll be there (I’ll be there)
I know you’d like to run and hide your face
Cause I guess it seems like all your dreams just never fall in place
It’s hard to live on promises that vanish in the night
But if you trust me just a little I can make it right

I’m gonna love you, I gonna love you
Till the stars in the skies start flickering out above you
I’m gonna love you, I gonna love you
Till the stars in the skies start flickering out above you
I’m gonna love you, I gonna love you
Till the stars in the skies start flickering out above you

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