Dixie Chicks fiddler Martha Elenor Erwin Seidel (1969-) was born on this day in Dallas, Texas and learned the classical violin at age five. She and her banjo-playing sister Emily Erwin Robison were street musicians before recording their first album in 1990.
"Our music and what we do, touring and running our own company, hopefully inspires young girls to go out and do whatever they want to do," Seidel explained. Her performances mix the sounds of bluegrass, country, and pop music into an innovative blend.
Naming their group after the Little Feat song Dixie Chicken, the sisters performed at President Clinton's 1993 inauguration and played at small venues. In 1998, they added lead vocalist Natalie Maines to the group and released Wide Open Spaces, the year's best-selling country album. Their next album Fly (1999) soared to No. 1 and gathered even more awards.
"I'm doing what I always wanted to do with two of my best friends and we all believe in the same thing," said Seidel of the trio's harmonious success.
In October 2000, Seidel received a Songwriter of the Year award from BMI for her song Cowboy Take Me Away. "It was inspired by my sister finding the love of her life," explained Seidel. "I always kind of worried about her, and I'm just so glad she found a good guy."
The Texas trio's successful 2002 album, Home featured the massive hit single Long Time Gone and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide.
Even well-kept secrets can shine.