“Liza was still in her fine mid-1990s post-Betty Ford fighting form, but Luciano is just a quivering lump of bearded vibrato.”
Being a lifelong outsider had informed everything about Lauper’s work, both musical and philanthropic. Her empathy has motivated her tireless work on behalf of the LGBT community over the years, despite being neither L, G, B, or T. She is only “C,” for “Cyndi,” but wholly “one of us.”
In 1978, Ethel’s voice was still as efficient a killing machine as it was in the 1930s. Taking aim on the lovely set decorated for Christmas, Merm launches into the Strouse/Charnin standard with the intensity of a category five hurricane and proceeds to do to Sesame Street in 1978 what Godzilla did to Tokyo in 1956.
“I am so enamored of ‘Something about December’ because of its beautiful melody and simple, heartfelt lyrics. The song and production have an elegance and ease about them. Christina Perri ballad is a wonderful example of the importance of economy in songwriting.”
Ben Platt’s performance is a potent reminder that excellence in vocal performance is about communicating, evoking feeling, and connecting emotionally. Good singing in any context, but especially in the theater, depends on singing well but also to greater or lesser degrees, on skillful acting; Ben Platt is both.
In 1981, at fifteen, I got my first job at a Philly record store called “The Listening Booth.” I flirted with the kinda slimy guy with the coke pinky who worked in the stereo department so he would play the in-store music that I liked. Of course that included Teddy and Rick and Marvin and Prince and my all time heroine, Teena Marie, the one person who made me feel that it was okay to be who I was and respect what I loved. I was asked to leave after I asked stereo guy to play Vaughn Mason’s Jammin’ My Big Guitar in the store. It was Christmas season and it didn’t go over too well with management.
There is nothing more interesting than hearing artists talk about the process of creating or discussing personal influences and inspirations. Every great artist is also a great fan. Here Aretha Franklin shares some of her favorite songs, courtesy of Rolling Stone.
…when NARAS held its 58th Annual Grammy Awards on February 16, 2016, there was an expectation among family, fans, and the industry that the organization would pay tribute to the nine-time Grammy winner in a manner befitting her unique multi-generational, multi-genre status.
Toward the end of the number, she partially executes an ambivalent, stiff dip, as if to say, “Hey everybody, I’m not even going to attempt to sing without the track, but I have a different trick, I will now bend backwards thirty degrees with assistance.”