Billie Jo Spears, who had a Number One country hit in 1975 with “Blanket on the Ground,” died Wednesday in her native Texas after a battle with cancer. She was 74.
The singer, whose popularity in the United Kingdom earned her the title of “Queen Mother of Country Music,” got her start as a teenager on the Lousiana Hayride before moving to Nashville. After switching from United Artists to Capitol Records, she had her first big hit in 1969 with an early song about sexual discrimination, “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over,” which reached Number Four on the country charts. Her biggest hit, “Blanket on the Ground,” came after moving back to United Artists.