CND Song 4

K.D. Lang - Crying, 1989 (Edmonton, Alberta)

'I was alright, for a while. I could smile, for a while...' I'd almost forgotten about Kathryn Dawn Lang, but then I stumbled onto this clip from the 1989 Roy Orbison tribute at the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, and...holy #$%@! This is &%@#ing magnificent. Honestly, the woman almost makes Sinead at the Grammys the same year look like a Britney Spears rip-off. K.D. Lang burst onto the Canadian country scene as a wacky novelty act in the mid-80s, in horn-rimmed glasses and a big granny skirt, dragging chuckling audience members out of their seats at the Junos for an impromptu square dance. But she grew up fast and became an international sensation, spurred by her iconic duet with Roy Orbison, which was actually commissioned as part of the soundtrack to a now-forgotten 1987 John Cryer film called Hiding Out. (Watch Roy and K.D. on the link if you're brave - the footage of the young Cryer is a particularly saddening example of time's cruelty. It happens to us all.) Like the Junkies and the Hip, K.D. is an artist I'd associate more with the 90s, and it's the time when she really came into her own. But this performance was probably the beginning of it all.

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