11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Dana Cooper

Dana CooperOMG! Did Dana Cooper say that in February he will be releasing his 30th LP? Wow, how quickly time flies and what a remarkable career this fantastic singer-songwriter has had. Dana was Americana before there was Americana!  Like me, Dana spent a bunch of time in Texas before coming to Tennessee and I remember many fine nights of Shake Russell and Dana Cooper playing music clubs across the Lone Star State.

If he’s new to you, it’s hard to tell you where to start, but how about with his latest single, “Always Old Friends?”  Such a fine tune to brighten up these dreary winter days.

It’s an honor to have Dana visit 11 Questions and I look forward to the new record and much more after that. You can listen to Dana on “Someday Matinee with Gina Frary Bacon” at www.wfmu.org on February 5 from 4-6 Central Time after which time it will also be archived. Since it seems that I see Dana around Nashville all the time, now I have an excuse to stop and say “Hello!”


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I was born in Marshall, Mo and raised in Independence/Kansas City MO. Moved to Nashville in 1988 from Houston, TX where I was living at the time.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

First record I bought was Elvis Presley’s 45 RPM of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” My dad, George, took me to a place called Wild Woody’s in Kansas City. They sold everything from groceries, to furniture, clothes, records, and appliances. Dad also bought a funny record player that only played 45s. It was made of plastic with a little turntable inside and a slot to insert the record. You had to lift the turntable up by a lever until it engaged with the stylus and the whole thing plugged into the back of a radio. The last record I bought was a vinyl LP of Joni Mitchell’s Hissing of Summer Lawns at a Flea Market in Dublin, Ireland.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

First concert was Ernest Tubb at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. I was three years old, and my dad took me with him. He was a tenant farmer at the time, and we rode in a caboose on a freight train into KCMO where we caught a bus to the concert across the river. Last concert I saw was Jim Hoke’s Aqua Velvet Christmas show at The Five Spot.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Lyle Lovett, Kim Carnes, Molly Tuttle and Jim Hoke.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

For coffee, I go to Portland Brew. For pizza, it’s Five Points Pizza. Keep meaning to check out Joey’s House of Pizza on my side of town.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road still resonates with me. Every song is great and the production rocks.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Used to be Athens, but that was before COVID and the place has moved from its location down the street from Douglas Corner, which is also gone now.  Most places here close early.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

So many incredible writers and artists here it’s difficult to narrow it down to three. Sally Barris, Hayes Carll, and Molly Tuttle.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

My favorite place to play for years was Douglas Corner. Now that it’s gone, The Five Spot in East Nashville, and the Bluebird.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

I’d love to see Sarah Jarosz move to Nashville. I met her when she was just a kid and her folks brought her to my concerts in Austin. What an incredible talent.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

My musical future is the release of my 30th album in February 2022. I have plans for an anthology, an album of covers, and, one day, a tour with an entire band.

One comment

  1. Music City Walk of Fame, eh? Well alright! I appreciate the shout-out, Dana.

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