Well, at least now I know what Hell will be like:
listening to Grey Jackson (Ginger Alden) sing (???) the country (???) songs from the soundtrack of Lady Grey. Ginger Alden's main claim to fame is that she was Elvis' fiancé at the time of his death. There are several times during Lady Grey, that from a certain angle, I could see a slight resemblance to Priscilla (pre plastic surgery, of course) and I guess that might have been what attracted Elvis to her. One thing for certain, it COULDN'T have been her singing voice!!
I purchased this movie for one reason, it was listed as David Allan Coe's second acting appearance, and since I'm a big DAC fan, I wanted to check it out. I had already seen DAC in his acting debut: Buckstone County Prison. David Allan Coe (DAC) wasn't great in that movie, but he wasn't terrible either. He's much better in Lady Grey and a lot of that has to do with a role more suited for him: a country music star named Black Jack Donovan.
As the opening credits were rolling, I got another surprise when I saw that Lady Grey was produced by Earl Owensby. One of the first scenes takes place in the same kitchen that was in the whorehouse in Buckstone County Prison and just a little bit later in the movie Lady is singing (a very bad acoustic performance) outside on a large rock outcropping that is the same one that David Allan Coe led the escaped prisoners around in the aforementioned movie. Lady Grey was obviously shot at Earl's studio in Shelby, NC with a few additional scenes around Charlotte NC.
Lady Grey Jackson is a local celebrity singer. She gets signed to a band that has recently played at the local fair and goes on tour with them. One of the band members is cold to her for no apparent reason. The manager eventually winds up raping (?) Lady, I put that question mark there, because he backhands her once, she falls to the bed and the next thing we know it's morning and she's naked under the sheets as the manager is leaving and telling her she wasn't any good anyway. Lady returns home, but the band member that was previously cold to her seeks her out and asks her to join the new band he is playing in - The Black Jack Donovan Band. She gets signed to Black Jack's band as a writer and backup singer. Eventually Black Jack decides she's good enough to go out on her own and releases her from her contract and she becomes a star. Her old manager now has control over her little sister, the reason is REALLY unclear why, the film hints that he's either her pimp, drug supplier, lover....heck, maybe he's some type of hypnotist! Anyway he has a hold on Lady's sister and in order to protect her, Lady let's him manage her again. Of course he's just as big an ass with Lady as he ever was; but he eventually, as we say here in The South, gets his "just desserts". The last scene in the movie is Lady getting her life back on track at a benefit concert. We see Alabama opening for her and are then treated to our final (Thank Goodness!) song by Ginger Alden.
Now that I have the plot out of the way, I can go on to all things David Allan Coe (DAC), the reason I watched Lady Grey and the ONLY reason I would recommend watching Lady Grey to anyone. We finally meet up with DAC in his office about 40 minutes into the movie, where we see him on the phone inviting Willie and Leon to come to his BBQ. After he gets off the phone, DAC asks Lady, who does she sound like: Tammy or Loretta (believe me, she doesn't sound even remotely close to either one of those ladies or for that fact to anyone with talent!). DAC decides to hire her on as a writer and backup singer for his band. I will note that DAC does the same bad fake laugh in this scene that he did in Buckstone....or maybe this is just his real laugh!
We find that DAC has a BBQ on a weekly basis and to stay on his good side, you are expected to always attend. At the first BBQ, DAC introduces Lady and she sings (?) another terrible song. We also see DAC sit down with a couple of lookalikes for Willie Nelson and Leon Russell.....well, the Willie actor looks a little bit like Willie Nelson, BUT the Leon Russell actor doesn't even come close to being a good lookalike!
We finally get the first decent song in the movie, when we see DAC singing at a concert, of course this is marred, when next up is his duet with Lady on still another terrible song. I couldn't find anything about who wrote these terrible numbers....they don't sound country....they don't sound pop or folk or any recognizable genre....unless BAD is a genre.
DAC is a success with the songs that Lady has written for him, but she's disgruntled because he's getting all of the credit. DAC puts her in her place by telling Lady how things really are in life and that he will block her from working with anyone else since she has a contract with him. This is a pretty decent scene, since it appears to be DAC basically telling how hard the music business is when you're first getting started. Actually, the only weak scene that DAC has, and it's not that bad, is his last one in the movie, where he is supposed to be outraged over Lady not being able to keep her career on track.
Lady Grey tried to use some props to make things seem realistic. For example: They used the cover of DAC's Greatest Hits LP, but taped over "David Allan Coe" with "Black Jack" and they made the letters in "Black Jack" much larger than "Greatest Hits" - honestly it looked liked someone had their grade school student do the design. There was a tour bus (I assume DAC's) with a sign on the side that was made too short to cover the original sign underneath. They did do a good job with some fake country music magazine covers. My favorite realistic touch was at a second BBQ, where we see someone with their back to the camera wearing a jacket that says "The David Allan Coe Band"!!!
I couldn't find a trailer for the movie, but I did find the below clip from Lady Grey on youtube (It's gets screwed up towards the last)
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