Katey Sagal best known for her roles as “Peggy Bundy” on the popular sit-com, Married with
Children and voice-over roles like “Turanga Leela” on Futurama. Sagal also won a Golden Globe for her role as “Gemma Teller Morrow” on the FX original, Sons of Anarchy. Sagal has earned her mark as a household Hollywood icon for the last three decades and she does not appear to be slowing anytime soon.
What may be surprising to most is that Katey Sagal has had a prominent career as a singer songwriter. In fact, her career in Entertainment actually began in Music. She worked as a back-up vocalist for Bob Dylan in 1973. From 1978 to 1983, Sagal worked as a back up singer for Bette Midler and worked on tracks for Gene Simmons, Olivia Netwon-John, and Etta James. In 1994, Sagal released her first solo album entitled, Well… followed by her sophomore album, Room in 2004. Her most recent music can be heard on several songs on the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack.
Today, Sagal is involved with The Reluctant Apostles featuring members of the Sons of Anarchy including Bob Thiele, Davey Faragher, Billy Harvey, John Philip Shenale, and Michael Urbano. Katey Sagal and The Reluctant Apostles can be seen performing LIVE at The Canyon in Agora Hills, CA on May 12 and at The Rose in Pasadena, CA on May 13. Tickets are available now at:
A lot of people know of you from a few TV shows, but they aren’t aware that you were a backup singer for Bob Dylan, Better Midler, and Etta James. How were those experiences for you?
My mother was a singer. She taught me guitar when I was ten…and not long afterward, I was introduced into the social world of being an adolescent. From a very early age I began writing songs, and I began playing the piano at age 13. In my early 20’s, I continued to play in bands and write and record music. I also sang backup for artists like Bob Dylan, Etta James and Bette Midler. However, a solo career was very elusive to me. I had record deals and the label would fold or fail to release the music. I was of a mind to quit.
Everyone knows you played Gemma on Sons of Anarchy. How did you get involved with the soundtrack for SOA as well?
Bob (the composer and all things music for the series) and I have been working together for years, going back to my first solo album for Virgin in the mid-90’s. It seemed like a natural fit. Obviously, Kurt had a very strong desire to incorporate music into the narrative and he and Bob found there way into creating that incredible musical component that was throughout the 7 seasons. I guess I just lucked out!
It almost appears to be a coincidence, but was it intentional that you performed one song per season for the show (SOA)?
Again, this was something that evolved naturally. Probably by the 2nd or 3rd season, it was more or less expected.
Tell us about your latest project, The Reluctant Apostles. How did this band form and how did the idea for this band come about?
I love this band. One of the best things is that I’m just ‘in’ the band; I’m a part of it. I love playing music and we all share the focus, which is great. Everybody sings. Everybody plays. It’s an equal opportunity band. It’s the most fun thing I’ve done in a very long time. In terms of our sound, it’s soulful psychedelic. We take on songs we all love. Is it a cover band? Kind of. But everything is reimagined, the way “Sons of Anarchy’s” music was reimagined. It’s music you recognize, and it’s familiar, but it’s also new. Plus the musicianship in the group is incredible. I perform with some very talented guys.
During a span of 30+ years, you’ve done a lot and you’ve been through a lot throughout your career in Entertainment. What stands out to be your most favorite moment or even tragic moment that forever changed your life?
I just finished writing a book about that! There’s no way I could encapsulate that into a brief answer. It took an entire book for me to answer that question!
For your upcoming shows here in Southern California, what can fans expect to hear from you and The Reluctant Apostles?
We play a Guy Clark Jr. song called “Magnolia Wind” that is a favorite of mine. I really love singing with Bob [Thiele Jr.] and Davie [Faragher]. Another song, “Where Was You At” is one of my favorites. I love when Billy [Harvey] sings “Wish It Would Rain.” We do songs that we all really want to do, which is terrific.
What else can we expect from the continuing saga that is, “the exciting life of Katey Sagal”?
My book “Grace Notes” is out on Simon and Schuster and available now through Amazon. We have three kids. I wanted to write some familial history for them. I lost both my parents when I was young and when that happens there are questions that never get answered. The book speaks a lot about music. It started out as a journal and ended up a book.
The band is looking to play more and more, new gigs and new opportunities. We have lots of exciting things going on – the kind of things that push you out of your comfort zone in life.
Written by Mikey Jayy