Bonnie Bramlett



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TLN logoTotal Living With Jerry Rose
Interview with Bonnie Bramlett

Total Living Network is television programming for “entertaining, educating and empowering you to live a full, enriched life”. In March 2004, TLN broadcast a half hour programme in which Bonnie candidly shared some of her gospel roots and beliefs with host and network president, Jerry Rose.

Bonnie related how she grew up amongst a family of gospel singers, how her foundation of faith helped her survive some early pitfalls and how it continues to give her strength. Bonnie shows a clear awareness of her special gift and how, through surrendering to the song, she can act as a kind of vessel. “I always knew I was a singer. My great grandmother always said ‘you’ve got this little extra’. I feel an anointing; I don’t know what I’m going to do with that. There’s something that happens when I sing, people get blessed”.

Bonnie’s “Step By Step” album (1981) was her only overtly Christian recording. It was a cry from the soul. “I was wounded, scared, alone and I wanted my Daddy to come and get me, take me home. Step by step, I’m getting closer to you, Jesus”. Instead of encouragement however, Bonnie experienced some hurtful rejection. “The message was ‘just as I am’. I came, wounded and dirty, beat up and everything and they went, ‘not good enough’… it really hurt me bad”.

Bonnie, TLN interview (1)Although there was a trickle of some fine session work as Bonnie explored a new interest in acting, it was over twenty years till she made her next album, “I’m Still The Same”. This time, the point was to prove that, musically, she really was good enough. The title almost begged the comment, “not the same, even better”. Those fortunate to have seen Bonnie live in recent years can testify that the gift is intact, the vessel working as well as ever.

One of the most distinctive features of Bonnie’s style derives from the gospel influence, so it was encouraging to hear “Charlie Daniels promised that sometime in the future he’s gonna produce a gospel album on me”. Don’t let him forget, Bonnie!

Bonnie, TLN interview (2) Bonnie, TLN interview (3) Bonnie, TLN interview (4)



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