Sons of Anarchy has a soundtrack that fits the vibe of the title motorcycle club and their many adventures and conflicts, but what most fans might not know is that Gemma Teller herself, Katey Sagal, contributed to the soundtrack with different songs. In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to the world of motorcycle clubs in the drama series Sons of Anarchy, which premiered on FX and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy was very well-received throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the performances of the main cast and the themes addressed.
Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). This and other events send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. A key character in Jax’s story and that of the club is his mother, Gemma Teller-Morrow, and while she heavily influenced the club, Katey Sagal’s talents influenced the show’s soundtrack.
The Sons of Anarchy soundtrack is mostly rock music, which fits the overall vibe of the series, the characters, and all the action they’re involved in, and among all those rock songs are a couple of tunes performed by Katey Sagal. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2011, Sagal shared that her husband, Kurt Sutter, came up with the idea of having her perform for the soundtrack of Sons of Anarchy as he likes the way she sings, so she sang “Son of a Preacher Man” in season 1. After that, Sutter decided she would sing one song every season, and so she did. Here’s every song Katey Sagal sang in Sons of Anarchy:
“Son of Preacher Man” – Sons of Anarchy season 1
“Ruby Tuesday” – Sons of Anarchy season 2
“Bird on a Wire” – Sons of Anarchy season 3
“Strange Fruit [ft. Blake Mills]” – Sons of Anarchy season 4
“To Sir With Love” – Sons of Anarchy season 5
“For a Dancer” – Sons of Anarchy season 6
“Greensleeves” – Sons of Anarchy season 7
While Sagal is mostly known for her work as an actress in TV shows like Married… with Children (where she played Peggy Bundy), 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (Cate S. Hennessy), The Conners (Louise Goldufski), Rebel (Annie Bello), and for voicing Turanga Leela in Futurama, her career in the entertainment world started in music. Sagal is a singer and songwriter, and in 1973, she was a backing vocalist for Bob Dylan, Etta James, Tanya Tucker, and many others. She was also part of the rock group The Group With No Name and a member of Bette Midler’s backup group, The Harlettes, in 1978, 1982, and 1983. Sagal also performed backing vocals in Gene Simmons’ self-titled solo album, Molly Hatchet’s Take No Prisoners, and Olivia Newton-John’s single “Soul Kiss”, and performed the song “It’s The Time For Love” for the movie Silent Rage and provided vocals for the theme song of the 1990 movie Loose Cannons. Sagal released her first solo album, Well…, in 1994, followed by Room in 2004 and Covered in 2013.
With such an impressive musical background, it’s not surprising that Sutter decided to seize Katey Sagal’s talents and add a song performed by her to every season of Sons of Anarchy in addition to having her play a complex character like Gemma Teller-Morrow. Katey Sagal’s career in music might not be known to many Sons of Anarchy fans, who have already heard and enjoyed her talents without even knowing it while watching the many adventures of Jax and the club.