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Musical Surprises (For Me)

If you live long enough, there is no telling what you will experience. This one really amused me.

My credentials as a pop music fan are pretty weak. I am old enough to remember the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. I was underwhelmed. 

From time to time I liked somebody's pop music. But then the interest died pretty quickly. Really now, how many good male pop singers have you ever heard? Pound...pound...bang the shit out of it: naturally young males like that kind of music. 

I was cleaning my music files recently when I got to the folder that I mooched from an RV friend.  I had low expectations and then, amazingly enough, a good singer appeared! And I had never heard of him.

Perhaps you have already guessed. I am talking about Roy Orbison. I cackle with glee when he smoothly transitions from falsetto to baritone frequencies. YouTube has a lot of live performances but the studio recordings are much better of course -- except that they don't give the camera something to look at.


There is another type of musical pleasure that many people miss. They cannot appreciate the operatic soprano, and the fault is not necessarily the listener's. There is a tendency for stage-singers to hit maximum frequency at the same time as volume. 

Men might have problems with that because it reminds them of being on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from some woman. (Think of the "Queen of the Night" aria in Mozart's "Magic Flute.)

Now think of a young Judy Garland. She could hit high notes, but softly cooed those notes to a microphone, instead of blasting people in the back row of an auditorium.

By luck I happened to run across Montserrat Caballe, with an acute on the final e. Granted I might a little prejudiced -- I like my divas to be pleasantly plump. (Skinny women can't sing.) I think she could turn many people into soprano lovers. (The trick is to search for "Montserrat Caballe pianissimo".)


It ain't so bad to be a bit ignorant of some of life's goodies. It creates an opportunity for old people to get excited about something.


Ed said…
"I like my divas to be pleasantly plump. (Skinny women can't sing.)"

You might try searching for some of Kate Smith's recordings.

Kate Smith recorded dozens of successful albums and songs during the 1930s and 1940s. She recorded sporadically during the 1950s but in 1963 signed a contract with RCA Victor to record a number of successful albums, including several that charted on the Billboard Hot 200 chart alongside the major rock stars of the era, usually with Smith, then well into her fifties, the oldest performer on the charts. - Wikipedia
Bon vivant said…
My father used to watch Roy sing from the bed of a pickup during drive-in intermissions around Kermit Texas. His closest connection to a real star and I never appreciated Roy until just a few years ago.
Bon vivant, I knew Orbison was from West Texas but ... wow, yours is quite a fun story!