[Dixielandjazz] Vocalists

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 4 11:07:19 PST 2003

on 2/4/03 10:03 AM, norrie.thomson at norrie.thomson at btopenworld.com wrote:

> I once heard someone ask a band band leader why he sang adding thsat Frank
> Sinatra didn't try to play the trumpet!

    No question you got a point, Morrie.  But if Frank didn't get paid any
more than we do, he might have taken up trumpet--or sarousaphone!--if he'd
thought it would sell him.  ;-)

    No, put it like this:

    I used to do a lot of singing, back when I had a marvelous low-bass
voice--back before I quit smoking and discovered it was all an illusion, a
smoker's bass, enhanced by lecturing hours each day.  But I was never going
to be a real singer, and I knew it.  I took comfort in the thought that
Louis Armstrong had no voice, either, that Gravel Gertie couldn't have
bested.  No "voice" at all.

    But you didn't realize that until some time after he'd stopped singing!

    Then you realized that while Sinatra was a fine singer, Louis could have
stolen the show from him at any time!  As a singer.  Not just as a trumpet
player.  But put them both together, and Frank wouldn't have stood a chance.
And Frank Sinatra was one helluva singer!  A musicians' singer in lots of
ways.  But, of course, Louis was Louie, voice or no voice.

    Then you say:

"Perhaps those of you who vocalise should listen to yourseleves and then
listen to Ella or Cleo or any other top class vocalists. Perhaps then you'll
learn to appreciatre what proper vocalists should sound like."

    Again, you have a point.  But I assure you that, no matter how bad we
may sound, we are not deaf: We've listened to Ella.  Honest Injun!  And to
Cleo.  Really we have.  But we strive not to think of them while we are
"singing."  Too demoralizing.


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