On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 00:00:04 -0800, ***@webtv.net (Judy Haffner)
|Who are some of your most favorite artists? It would be great, if you'd
|post some links to hear your favorites...how about it?!
I grew up in a family that loved music and sang as long as I can
remember. I learned (and loved) the old standards and sing-a-long
songs from my parents and grandparents; the whole family would sit
around and harmonize to songs like "Heart of my Heart;" "Don't Fence
Me In;" "Let the Rest Of The World Go By;" "Shanty In Old Shanty
Town;" "Play A Simple Melody;" "et. al. (The whole family except for
my brother, who was born without a harmonizer, poor guy!). I was born
in the 50's but never learned much of that music because we sang and
listened to the OLD records mostly from the 1910's though the 40's.
Then in the 60's I came into my own and in junior High I thought
Herman's Hermits were the ultimate! LOL! By the time I was 12 or 13
I was playing a couple of instruments and drove everybody crazy with
"Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" and "Hen-er-y the Eighth."
For some reason I went through a phase as an early teen (this is
weird) where I liked "dark" songs that had a tragic theme such as
"Patches;" "White On White;" "Alone Again Naturally" etc.
In my late teens through my twenties I was typical young man and was
really into the contemporary music (who wouldn't be; it was the late
60's and 70's!). The lines between genres were a lot more blurred
back then, and I loved both Country Music and Pop as well as the
Standards. And of course the British Invasion groups. So by the time
I did my first gig at 18 playing the organ and singing dinner music at
a local Country Club, I was doing a big variety of songs from every
era; everything from "If You Were The Only Girl In The World" to "Old
Cape Cod" to "Crazy" to "Somethng Tells Me I'm Into Something Good" to
"Yesterday" to "Cherish" (Association, one of my all time favorite
songs of all the music I've ever learned). I also got interested in
Movie themes in the 70's and added to my repertoire practically the
entire scores of the movies "Mame," "Sound of Music," "Fiddler On The
Roof," "West Stde Story."
In College I met a young lady who was into theater, and she introduced
me to Broadway music; and I was surprised to find that I already knew
a lot from the movie and versions (I grew up in an isolated hick town
in New England and knew nothing about Big City Music!). She was in a
variety show on campus and asked me if I would sing "Do I Love You?"
from 'Fiddler' with her in the show, and that was the point that I
became hooked on Broadway music I think. But it wasn't until 15 years
later when I was doing piano bar entertainment and started going to
NYC to see shows like Phantom, Les Mis, and Cats that I really became
I also started to like C&W in the 70's, and played in a couple of
country bands. In one band, "Ray and the Country Kings" Ray was from
Québec and French-speaking; he was our lead singer and sang all the
C&W songs with a french accent. What a hoot! (We also had a
phenomenal sax player and did far more than country; with the sax and
me on the synthesizer we would throw in songs like "Harlem Nocturne,"
"Cherry Pink and Apple Bossom White; "Jealousy" and "The Impossible
Dream" when nobody was paying attention.
While all this was going on, I also grew up singing and playing in
church, at 16 years old I was a church organist and in the adult
choir. Starting in the mid-70's through the 80's along with
everything else, I was the Minster of Music at a large
non-denominationl church in Virginia Beach, played the organ and piano
there and directed the church orchestra and led congregational
By the 90's I loved all kinds of music and still was doing some
entertainment on the side, specializing in the latest Show Tunes and
Pop and Country ballads. ( I was singing "Wind Beneath My WIngs"
years before Bette Middler recorded it; I loved it when I first heard
Gary Morris sing it in the early 1980's.") My singing and playing
came to a screeching halt in 1998 when I had a freak stroke in my
mid-40's. I survived and got on with my life, but I forever lost the
fine motor skill in my right hand to be able to play the keyboards or
guitar in public. Also, the stroke didn't affect my speaking voice
too much but I would never be able to sing again, at least not like I
did before and certainly not in public!
Well, you had to go and ask! I didn't plan on writing an
autobiography, LOL! -- but when somebody says, "Who is your favorite
artist" there is no shirt answer for me. I don't have a favorite
artist; I like songs more than I do singers as a rule. I played by ear
my whole life (although I learned to read music in college); I had a
natural ability to hear a song and just be able to play it and I
always put my own interpretation to songs... so I never really got
into individual singers, with a few exceptions: Early BeeGees,
Beatles and Hermans Hermits when I was young; Carpenters, the Eagles
and the Fifth Dimension in College years, and certain Contemporary
Christian singers like Sandi Patty, Russ Taff and Steve Greene as I
got older. Until I heard Il Divo a couple of years ago, there was no
singer or group for years whose music I would pay money for.
Jduy, it's 3:30 a.m., I have to get up and go to work in 4 hours, and
it's all your fault!!!!!!!!!!! You got me started on this!