Put it this way: Sandy Kane ain’t your typical country singer.
The New Jersey native, who also sometimes bills herself as “$andy Kane,” “Naked Country Singer,” and “The Naked Cowgirl,” is a performance artist, a cable-access TV show host, a singer/songwriter who loves country music, and a former stripper who stands the family-friendly nature of the country format on its ear.
Her current single is called “I Love D—” (the last word rhymes with “stick”). Many of her jokes and lyrics, as you might expect from an adult-entertainment veteran, can not be reprinted in a family magazine. Sandy met Nashville Music Guide owner Randy Matthews and his wife Kym at Pick’s bar and songwriters club during one of her three trips to Nashville for recording sessions in 2010.
She is also making headlines in New York, where Sandy performs in a bathing suit in Times Square from May to October. Last summer, the New York Post wrote: “The Naked Cowboy claims a bawdy, bikini-clad female busker who calls herself `The Naked Cowgirl’ is ripping off his shtick, and he’s threatening to lasso her into court for as much as $150,000. ”
Sandy, the Post reported, “is a fixture on the city’s comedy scene and former stripper famous for closing her act by lighting her breasts on fire.”
As we said, Kane ain’t your typical country hopeful.
The Naked Cowboy is really Robert Burck. You’ve probably seen photos or video of Burck, who wears a Speedo-type swimsuit and performs with a guitar and cowboy hat in Times Square. There was another Naked Cowgirl, a 20-something blonde Oregon native named Louisa Holmlund, who did the act a couple years ago and had signed agreements with Burck, he claims, but Sandy hasn’t.
Kane says she in fact became good pals with Louisa Holmlund.
For over a dozen years, Kane hosted a cable-access comedy TV show in New York. She had come to Nashville before her recent recording trip. Back then, she came to perform and do table dances in the so-called gentleman’s clubs.
“Being a stripper was a horrible living, it sucked for me,” she says in a phone call from New York a few days after Christmas.
She began doing the Naked Cowgirl routine in May 2008. At first, Sandy says, the Naked Cowboy was encouraging to Kane. “He was very receptive when I first came out there,” she says. “Now he’s jealous.”
All of that will likely be settled in court in New York, beginning in January 2011.
Sandy recently returned from a successful tour in Berlin, Germany, working with another female performer called Peaches.
“It was brilliant,” Sandy says.
Her musical heroes have always been the singer/songwriters. “I didn’t get into the biz to take my clothes off,” Sandy says. “I loved artists like Carole King, James Taylor, and Billy Joel. The Beatles’ songs were incredible.”
She took a class in high school she thought she’d hate – creative writing – and to her great surprise found she loved it.
She worked shows with Rodney Dangerfield early on, lived in Hollywood for a time, and became good pals with the actor Steve Landesberg, the “Barney Miller” co-star who passed in December.
Sandy went to NY’s famed Fashion Institute of Technology for a time, didn’t like it, then followed her love for music to snag a job in the biz. She worked as a secretary for Kama Sutra Records, label home to the Lovin’ Spoonful and others, at New York’s 1650 Broadway. She tried and tried for years to learn guitar, get a record deal, or write a hit single, but it didn’t happen.
Now after one of the longest and strangest trips to Music Row we can imagine, Sandy Kane’s longtime love of music is coming front and center in her life and her career. She has music available on iTunes, and looks forward to more Nashville trips for recording and songwriting in 2011.
By Phil Sweetland