I just heard Momma Cass Elliot singing Dream a Little Dream of Me and I wondered how she would have fared on America’s Got Talent. Would she have even gotten on stage to perform? I wonder what the judges would have said about her. Would she have moved on the finals? And how about the gravel voices of Joe Cocker or Janice Joplin, surely, these songsters who brought my generation much enjoyment would have been tossed by the judges.
What other people with beautiful and unusual styles of singing have been overlooked or cast aside because their talent doesn’t follow the norms and the mainstream? I can’t say that I am a big fan of rap, but that is mostly because I can’t understand the words and because much of it that I can understand seems derogatory and degrading.
How about the great jazz and blues singers, Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Brown? Would they have had good fortune singing today? The unusual voices of Tiny Tim or the great scratchy pipes and trumpet of Satchmo, Louis Armstrong, would they have found a place on stage?
I am just recalling a few of the singers that have made an impression on my life, but haven’t forgotten the many rock groups that competed for air time on the radio. There are too many to list and none really stand out, I guess if I had to choose one group, it would be the Righteous Brothers and Unchained Melody. It seems to soothe the heart and soul as they croon.
One singer that made an even greater impression on me was my mom, Sybil Beck. She had the uncanny, unfailing habit of singing a chorus or a line from another song that paralleled what one of us kids said. It didn’t matter what it was that we were talking about, she had a song stored away to sing.I do something very similar, except not all my remarks are a song. Sometimes I share a joke or a story that fits into the ongoing conversation. Jokes and tales join my repertoire of responses. Anyone who knows me knows that I am likely to share some small tale or joke with them before we go our separate ways. So I say, sing on my friends. No one may enjoy it but you, but it is your song,share it.