Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Memories, Part Duce

When I was a kid, I loved to sing. Still do. Did a 2-year stint with the local Interfaith Gospel Choir, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Only problem was we were performing every weekend, Saturday and Sunday, leaving no time for me to spend with my husband.

Since I left the choir, I've stuck to performing at occasional weddings. This past summer I sang at my niece's wedding and it is fair to say I blew my family away. With the exception of my dad, no one had ever heard me before. Interesting predicament for the bride-to-be to not know what her singer was going to sound like, even if the singer was her aunt. But she held her chin high and said,"Even if it's bad, she's family," and she marched on (secretly praying the entire time, I am sure, that I wouldn't totally screw things up). And I am happy to say that I DID NOT screw up, but performed quite a wonderful rendition of Etta James' "At Last." During the singing, my niece (the bride) is looking her dad (my brother), and they're both mouthing to each other, "That's Aunt Leslie?!?!?" Yep, quite a surprise.

Yes, it was the hours upon hours in front of the bedroom mirror, trying desperately to capture the facial and wide-mouthed expressions of Hayley Mills singing as Pollyanna. Or the moody sounds of The Carpenters and Debbie Boone. The hours of listening to Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, Jim Reeves . . . I was never a rock and roll person. I was the pure definition of Barbara Mandrell's "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," - - and damn proud of it.

So much incredible influence from all parts of music - Often I wish I had had the balls to pursue music. But the way I was at that time of my life, I would've been eaten up and spit out in less time than it takes to say, "Excuse me, I have an appointment?" BAM! Door would be slammed in the face and that'd be all she wrote.

So I content myself with living room and car singing, the occasional shower singing, and the even less occasional wedding. Hey - Did I tell ya I can belt out a mean National Anthem? I just need a ballgame to prove myself.


Kate said...

"At Last" is my favorite song of all time and every time I hear Etta James sing it I just melt. I demand a performance!

rustyboy said...

no lie, Kate!

This made me smile. As a fellow shower/car singer, I approve.

fatozzig said...

Um, I should clarify that I AM NOT Etta James. Nope. I'm a white girl who loves country music.

When I was with the Interfaith Gospel Choir, I got the lead on a song once. Our conductor asked me, "Can you put more soul into it?" Um, no. Read my lips: I . . . am . . . a white . . . girl.