Story Behind the Song: Suzy Bogguss, ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’
Suzy Bogguss' career might never have taken off if not for her rendition of the 1940s and '50s swing classic "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." Below, Bogguss recounts to The Boot the story of how her performance of the song at Dollywood led to her own first radio single and helped kick off her career.
This was a cover song, and it was from the '50s, and it was not a country song at all -- it was a kind of swing-type song. I had been playing it at Dollywood ... I played at this train station by myself, with just my guitar, and then, later on, we did this big show called the Jamboree. That was with the whole band, a comedian, cloggers, the whole thing.
Two of the guys from Capitol [Records] came to hear me sing at Dollywood, and that's the song that made them spin, because the head of Capitol Records at that time had been on the original record in the '50s. He had sung backup. And I think he just went, "Oh my gosh, I'm a kindred spirit with this girl." Three weeks later, I had a record deal with Capitol.
So that was the first song I recorded, in my first session, which we didn't even put on an album. This was back in the day when we used to have developmental deals. When I was starting out, because it was kind of a different time, a lot of us weren't used to recording in the studio. It was kind of a trick to get used to the pressure of being on a timeline, and having to deliver the song with your best performance, right now, in this particular situation. We didn't have our style completely worked through, because we'd been playing in places where you had to sing a little bit of everything in order to make a living.
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