Aimme Mann turns to AM radio hit for inspiration

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TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — The musical inspiration for Aimee Mann’s latest disc may come as a surprise. It certainly did for Larry Lee.

Mann’s “Charmer” hearkens back to the pop-rock structures of her 1990s discs “Whatever” and “I’m With Stupid,” and ultimately even further, to radio-friendly hits from 30 and 40 years ago. That’s her pop music, not the kind made by Taylor Swift, Beyonce or Katy Perry.

In fact, she zeroed in on one song in particular: “Jackie Blue,” a 1975 hit by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

“To me, that’s the perfect pop song and was kind of the touchstone for the whole record,” said Mann, who’s 52. “In fact, there are certain songs (on ‘Charmer’) where it’s basically an homage to that song.”

That news thrilled Lee, who wrote and sang “Jackie Blue.” He lives in Springfield, Mo., and although the Daredevils are part of his past, he stays active in songwriting and music producing. He has several Mann albums in his collection.

“For somebody who I respect as much as I do Aimee, it means more than money or anything like that,” he said. “There are not that many people that I respect to the level of her. There are some, like Peter Gabriel and Paul McCartney, but she’s in rarified air as far as I’m concerned.”

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