K. T. Oslin
Musician - Other
Milby High School c/o 1960
BiographyAn Arkansas native, she was born Kay Toinette Oslin, the daughter of a singer and a paper-mill foreman. "I stayed in Crosett, Arkansas for two days after I was born. That town is about the size of a table," Oslin had been quoted as saying. Her father died when she was five, forcing her mother to abandon her singing career and begin working as a medical lab technician. The dominent female taking control and heading the house hold in a man's world was an ahead of it's time theme that would resurface years later in K.T.'s songwriting. After moving around the South for a while, Oslin and her mother settled in Houston. After graduating from Milby High School, she studied drama before forming a folk trio with Guy Clark and David Jones in the '60s. She later paired up with Frank Davis, and began recording an album in Los Angeles; it was never released, and she returned to Houston alone. Oslin began appearing in musical productions, including Carol Channing's National Touring Company's production of Hello Dolly!, after she returned to Texas, and went on to appear in the Betty Grable Broadway company version of the play in New York. She remained in the Big Apple for a while, appearing in other shows, singing commercial jingles, and doing session work.
In 1974, Oslin began writing songs, recording a minor hit debut single, "Clean Your Own Tables," in 1981. Meanwhile, country singers Gail Davis and Dottie West had chart success with two of Oslin's songs. In 1984, she appeared on a public radio broadcast with several established stars, and her song "Come Next Monday" was recorded by Judy Rodman. Two years later, Oslin felt ready to make her own bid for stardom; after borrowing $7, 000 from an aunt, she showcased herself in Nashville. Harold Shedd, Alabama's producer, was in the audience, and helped get her signed to RCA. Oslin's first album, 80's Ladies, debuted in the country Top 15 in 1987, becoming the highest-charting debut album for a female since Loretta Lynn's album in 1964. The album's title track reached the Top Ten, and Oslin hit number one with its follow-up next single, "Do Ya." The following year proved an even bigger success for K.T., with the release of her platinum This Woman album. The second, almost completely self penned album spawned five singles. With a long touring schedule, K.T. returned to the studio in 1990 to record Love In A Small Town, a concept album telling of love lost and won in a rural area. Each song portrayed a dominant female in control. She hit number one again with "Come Next Monday". After resting up, she starred in television and film with roles in The Thing Called Love, and television shows Evening Shade, Paradise, and The Carol Burnett Show. Returning to her music in 1993, K.T. recorded a set of new tracks for a greatest hits compilation, aptly titled Songs From An Aging Sex Bomb. Winning a SESAC writer of the year award for her adult contemporary hit "New Way Home" ,the savvy title of her hits collections proved a success. In 1995, K.T. suffered a setback from an emergency quadruple bypass surgery. She went back in the studio with producer Rick Will and a team of non-studio musicians to create My Roots Are Showing...,a collection of Oslin's favorite songs from friend Robert K. Oermann's record collection. Labeled as "the most refreshing and fascinating album that has came out of Nashville in the 90's" from Rolling Stone magazine, My Roots Are Showing gained K.T. a cult following with it's appeal to younger, alternative music minded audiences. After a five year break, Oslin returned to the studio in 2000 with Raul Malo of The Mavericks to co-produce and co-write her 2001 release, Live Close By, Visit Often. K.T. filmed a pilot for CMT spring 2002 called "CMT So Candid", which aired June 2002. She also spends a lot of time on personal projects such as one inch miniatures of Japanese tea houses and Mexican cantinas. She also paints and is involved in animal rights demonstrations in and around Nashville. In September 2002, RCA Records released her third compilation album "RCA Country Legends".