Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy – March 2020
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Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy  Print

By Brian Baker, March 2020

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The fact that the Lewis 3 can't book a tour around the digital release of "The Complete Recordings," which was facilitated by Annie's husband and Linda Gail's guitarist, Danny B. Harvey, is a shame, given the exceptional vocal qualities the Lewises possess. Linda Gail's mature, expressive and emotion-laden voice is perfectly balanced by MaryJean's exquisite harmonies and Annie's rich, warm vocals that have evolved into a close approximation of her mother. Lewis recognized her daughter's talents early in their childhoods, but not necessarily on a conscious level.

"I never thought about if they could sing because they just did," she says. "We'd be driving along, and we'd sing 'I've Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop' and Annie would take the lead because she hadn't learned to sing harmony, and MaryJean, and I would harmonize with her. Of course, I've always had a piano at home, so we'd get around the piano and sing. It was fun. Annie's voice is so beautiful, and MaryJean is the best harmony singer in the world. I've become as good as her because I learned a lot of it from her. She's always been a genius at blending her voice with somebody else's. She and I could switch parts during a song, and that is really cool."

The Lewis 3 also recorded a Christmas album, "Merry Christmas from Nashville," not long after "Perfect World," which has apparently been picked up by Castle Music; in the meantime, "The Complete Recordings" and the Christmas album are available on Spotify and through CD Baby, among other digital outlets.

Linda Gail continues to play gigs around her new home in Austin, Texas, and she tours Europe, particularly Scandinavia, on an annual basis, always accompanied by her husband of 28 years, former Stax Records executive Eddie Braddock. She has a handful of tracks left from the sessions that she did with Fulks for "Wild! Wild! Wild!," and if she can round up the funds, she's ready to get back in the studio and record more material for a new solo album.

MaryJean and Annie both maintain their own solo careers as well, but Linda Gail hasn't shut the door on getting back together with her daughters as the Lewis 3.

"At my age, I've learned to not say what I won't do, because I don't know what I might do in the future," she says. "I never say never. I can't predict what might happen in what's left of my lifetime. Annie and I very close, and I don't hear from MaryJean, but I think about her a lot. You can never stop loving your children. This thing with me and Annie and MaryJean, anything is possible. In this world, in this business, in this family, anything could happen."

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