Q. What do you get most out of performing now?
A. Just the joy of singing, the appreciation of the audience and the fact that I have more leeway in the songs that I choose to sing. I’m not locked into what the record company wants.
Q. What kind of songs are you able to sing now that you couldn’t before?
A. I do more of the ballads, not so much of the top 40 stuff, which is from another era.
Q. Are you still doing “Delta Dawn”?
A. Yes. I do sort of a medley of some of those hits.
Q. “Angie Baby”?
A. “Angie Baby” I do in its entirety because it is a story song, and the man who wrote it, Alan O’Day, is a good friend of mine, and I think he’s just a brilliant songwriter.
Q. “Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady”?
A. “Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady,” that’s a Harriet Schock song. I do it as part of a medley.
Q. Are there any songs that you think fans would want you to sing, but you decided, “You know what? I just don’t have to do this one anymore”?
A. (Laughing) There are some, believe me, that I won’t sing again. Like for instance, “Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone—”
Q. I read that you counted the number of “leave me alones” in that one.
A. Yes, I certainly did. In fact, they used to have a contest on the radio that you could get two free tickets to Helen Reddy’s show if you could tell us how many times she sang “leave me alone.” I think it was like 42 times.
Q. So you are leaving that song alone?
A. Oh, yes! I’m leaving it out. (laughs)
Q. I assume “I Am Woman” is still the big crowd-pleaser?
A. Well, yes, that’s the one a lot of people come to hear, and it has become over the years an iconic song.
Q. When you recorded it, did you think it was a major statement song?
A. I had no idea the impact it would have. That was a big surprise.