Bettys Bein Bad
Audio Tour: Marshall Chapman
A hyper-intelligent daughter of southern privilege, Marshall Chapman shirked comfort and convention in favor of a rollicking life as an unyielding creative spirit.
At age 14, Chapman received a Martin guitar from her father - Inman Mills owner James Chapman - and music became the driving force in her life. She moved to Nashville, and by the late 1970s she was known as a promising recording artist and as Music City’s most notable female rock ‘n’ roll bandleader.
Rock ‘n’ roll offered much in the way of adventure and acclaim: Chapman’s second album, "Jaded Virgin," was named Record of the Year in 1978 by "Stereo Review." By the mid-1980s, though, Chapman was living a more settled life in Nashville, writing songs that were recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Sawyer Brown (the Top 5 country hit "Betty’s Bein’ Bad"), Emmylou Harris and many others.
In the new century, she is regarded as a pioneering Nashville presence, having released 13 solo albums, penned two acclaimed books, co-written an off-Broadway musical and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
"My dad once said, ‘You’ll get this music out of your system, and you’ll come back to the real world,’" Chapman said. "Well, for me, this is the real world."
Chapman continues to perform. Her most recent album, "Blaze of Glory," was released in May 2013.
—Peter Cooper, author, professor, award-winning journalist, and Grammy-nominated artist
In 2010, Chapman landed her first movie role, playing Gwyneth Paltrow’s road manager in Country Strong. Since then she has appeared in several films.