Every story has a beginning, this is mine.
As a child, I sang along with Barbara Streisand, John Gary, and Edith Piaf alone in my bedroom for hours with a myriad of stuffed animals placed carefully on my bed as my devoted fans. I listened and studied intently to every detail and nuance about timing of the text along with the music. My father nurtured this curiosity of text by introducing me to poetry, reciting Eugene Field’s “Little Boy Blue” from a small anthology which I still own.
This was my first poem. I knew firsthand the faithfulness of the little toy dog and the little toy soldier. My love response to my father was to memorize and recite another poem from the same collection. To this day, I can still recite Mary Howitt’s “The Spider and the Fly”, a cautionary tale about seduction and flattery. This is the poem I chose as an expression of love to my father.
“the tune bubbled from my toes and out of my throat”
It was not until I was 9 that my family and I realized that I could sing. It was during a family vacation in a nightclub on the island of Jamaica. I was in love with Sammy Davis’ song, “The Candy Man”. When the entertainer began to sing this song, the tune bubbled from my toes and out of my throat.
I couldn’t stop, and he couldn’t ignore me. I was invited on stage. I loved it. I began singing. I sang in jazz rock groups, madrigals, and select choruses. I traveled to competitions. Eventually, I received a full scholarship for college for vocal performance. I sang.