Alanna Nash
September 19, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller

Current Status
In Season
Marshall Chapman

We gave it a B

A six-foot blues/country rocker, Chapman was a privileged Vanderbilt coed in the ’70s when she strapped on a Stratocaster and rode with Nashville’s outlaw crowd, writing such tunes as ”Don’t Make Me Pregnant” and dubbing her band the Love Slaves. She hit the big time in the ’80s when one of her songs landed on ”Urban Cowboy”’s soundtrack and ”Betty’s Bein’ Bad” became a hit for Sawyer Brown. Then came a succession of speed-freak boyfriends, rehab (”hospitals for tired people”), and a successful relationship with a physician. Chapman’s loopy prose is so intimate that it feels like coffee-shop conversation, as she romps through outrageous, chronologically disjointed stories — watching Elvis from the ”colored balcony” as a 7-year-old in Spartanburg, S.C., and later, playing a maximum-security prison for women. Chapman describes one pal as ”a trip without a suitcase.” She might as well be talking about herself.

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