With Two Vinyl Reissues, Susan Raye Reflects on ’70s Country Career

Her Hits Include "L.A. International Airport"

It’s only natural that a song called “L.A. International Airport” would find international appeal. That’s what happened to country singer Susan Raye in 1971, when the upbeat breakup tune crossed over to the pop chart – and even to New Zealand and Australia, where it became a gold record.

Raye sustained a steady commercial presence throughout the early 1970s while signed to Capitol Records and recording in Bakersfield, California. Her singing partner Buck Owens managed her career back then, introducing her to the mainstream through radio-friendly duets, live performances, and Hee Haw appearances.

Along with many charting duets, Raye’s own Top 10 hits include “Pitty, Pitty, Patter” and “(I’ve Got A) Happy Heart.” After leaving the music business in the mid-‘80s, she earned a counseling degree and raised a large family with her husband, Buckaroos drummer Jerry Wiggins, who died in 2018.

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