Patty Loveless has found inspiration from a queen of classic rock: Stevie Nicks.
The 51-year-old country singer recorded Nicks' Fleetwood Mac song "Silver Springs" for a new CD to raise money for the Imus Ranch, a working New Mexico cattle ranch founded by radio personality Don Imus and his wife, Deirdre, to help ill children.
"The Imus Ranch Record," to be released Tuesday, also includes contributions from Delbert McClinton, Lucinda Williams, Levon Helm, Raul Malo, Little Richard, Randy Travis, Big & Rich, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Bekka Bramlett, John Hiatt and Vince Gill.
Imus selected the artists and the songs.
Nelson does the standard "What a Difference a Day Makes," Big & Rich do the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" and Williams does Nelson's and Waylon Jennings' "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys." Gill cut Porter Wagoner's "Satisfied Mind" the day after Wagoner's funeral.
Loveless was intrigued by Imus' choice for her.
"He had already sent me one song, and I turned it down. When he sent me this one, I said I'd try to do it. It's so far from anything that I've done, and that's why I felt like this might be a little bit of a challenge," Loveless said by phone Monday from her home in Georgia.
Loveless said she's a longtime fan of Fleetwood Mac and remembered "Silver Springs." The song was the B-side to the group's 1977 smash single "Go Your Own Way" and was also included on their successful 1997 live album, "The Dance."
Of course, Loveless and her husband, producer Emory Gordy Jr., changed the arrangement to give it a country flavor.
"To some extent, Stevie has a tendency to write lyrics that sort of sound like country songs. They're very beautiful poetry," said Loveless, who this month released "Sleepless Nights," a collection of country standards by artists such as Hank Williams, George Jones and Webb Pierce.
"The Imus Ranch Record" was several years in the making, and Loveless committed to it before Imus was fired by CBS Radio and MSNBC in 2007 for making offensive remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
Imus, who apologized for his remarks, has since started a new show that's aired on ABC Radio Networks and seen on Nashville-based cable channel RFD-TV.
Loveless said she had no reservations about sticking with the project.
"To me, at that point, it was not about Imus. It was about the kids," she said.
As for Imus, she said, "I don't think he was trying to be racist at all. ... I think sometimes we speak before we think."
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(This version CORRECTS to `Mamas' from `Mama' in song title. )
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