The daily paper in Memphis once dubbed Nancy Apple as the “princess of twang,” while the hip weekly paper said she was the “reigning Queen of Memphis country.” Memphis Magazine once named her “one of the top 100 influential people in Memphis,” and the Recording Academy honored her with Songwriting, Vocalist and Community Service nominations and has been a finalist in the International Songwriting Competion. The Memphis Music Commission made her an “Emissary of Memphis Music” and her name was called in the Congressional Record by the House of Representatives. Albert King used to call her “little boss woman” and the iconic David Amram calls her “the soul of Memphis.” She has been immortalized in songs by Texans Jimmy Baldwin in “Queen of Memphis,” and Robert Alexander in “Nancy’s Pickin Party.” But they are not the only ones, Memphian Kenny Hays wrote “Cowgirl Sanger” while Mike Barnett from Missouri wrote a song called “Nancy Apple,” which has recently been covered by another artist who goes by Search For Sight. And there are others…
Nancy Apple has something. Something special. That special something that you really can’t define. A combination of humbleness and hotshot, honesty and hyperbole… sinner and saint.
She sings and writes songs… plays guitar, drums, accordion and harmonica. She’s a back up singer. She owns her own independent record label, Ringo Records and has released 6 albums and one DVD of her own, and albums on 6 other Memphis artists. She manages her own career, books herself, designs her own posters and album covers and works her own promotions. Her 2010 release, Shine, was recorded at Sun Studios and reached #24 on the Americana charts in the United States and #16 in Europe. She has hosted a popular weekly radio show on WEVL in Memphis for 19 years. She has taught the songwriting course at the University of Memphis for 11 years and is host to the Pickin’ Party at Kudzu’s in Memphis for 15 years non-stop until the bar closed. She’s a part-time singing tour guide, and full time go-getter. She has appeared as an extra in movies (Great Balls of Fire, Finding Graceland), and has had her own PBS special. She has also worked behind the scenes for film and television, and has worn varies hats in event and concert production for many well known acts such as U2 and Bruce Springsteen and the Beale Street Music Festival.
She is momma to 3 dogs and 5 birds. What does she do in her spare time? She bakes cakes and pies and recycles broken instruments in to pieces of art. She mentors. She dreams to someday refurbish and live in the 1800s era log cabin on her family farm of 110 acres. You might call her a renaissance woman, she may indeed be a force of nature, but if you asked Nancy Apple to tell you about herself, she would simply say she is a Memphis Musician.