Sunday, April 19, 2009

Susan




“Then Susan opened her mouth and sang. Her voice was so powerful, so achingly beautiful, and so full of yearning that even the usually heartless Simon Cowell was blown away. As were the other judges, and audience, all of whom gave Susan a standing ovation. And now online and elsewhere, Susan’s voice and the story of her triumph on that stage are known throughout the world. (Dennis Palumbo 4-16-2009)

As most are aware of now I am referring to the You Tube sensation Susan Boyle, a 47 year old, unemployed, plain looking, woman who lives alone with her cat “Pebbles” in a small village near Blackburn, Scotland who appeared as a contestant on “Britain’s Got Talent.” I just finished watching her video again. It touches all my emotions. Joy in listening to the pure beauty of her voice. Inspiration in knowing that even someone from such humble circumstances as Susan can break free of the societal imposed rules that only those who are attractive enough and have the right connections can succeed in this world.

Already I have read comments from some that say “Well she’s good but she’s no Beverly Sills.” Say what? I have heard Beverly Sills sing. I guess she was a good singer. I don’t remember and the reason I don’t remember because there was nothing memorable about her singing. One could say that Barbra Streisand is a good singer too. Not to me. I don’t say she is a bad singer but to my ear, she’s too sterile. Too manufactured. When I hear someone like Barbara sing all I can think of are peculiarities. Not so with Susan Boyle. A pure soul with a voice of an angel.


I have since heard Susan sing "Cry me a River." She recorded this song for a charity back in 1998. It is simply the best rendition of this song I have ever heard. Susan Boyle has a beautiful voice. The only voice I have ever heard before from a female singer that even comes close was Dinah Washington. They both have a unique sound to their voice which makes it a pleasure to listen to them sing. And that what singing is all about? The pure pleasure of listening beautiful sound.

I hope Susan Boyle is around for a long time. I cannot wait for her first album. And please folks, don’t make her over. She is perfect just the way she is. Now excuse me while I watch her video again. I cannot watch it enough.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:26 PM

    If you don't remember Beverly Sills it isn't because she wasn't a good singer. She was a great singer! That doesn't mean that Susan Boyle isn't terrific also. They're very different, that's for sure. You don't have to run down one to raise the other.

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  2. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Hi Ron,

    I hope you are feeling better, especially with working 4 straight days.

    I too am mesmerized by Susan Boyle's voice. I loved the look on the judges & audience members faces as soon as she started singing. In my opinion people are so quick to judge today. They don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt. This is one circumstance where "you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover." Besides, I find it refreshing that she has refused to have herself made over. I hope she sticks to her decision.

    Another rainy day isn't it? Delaware should soon reach its water table level if this keeps up.
    I find it rather relaxing myself.

    Take care,
    Fran

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  3. I like everything about Susan Boyle. She came along at just the right time. She has a beautiful, unique voice. Her personality is refreshingly genuine. My impression of her is that while she is probably shy and not "polished", but she is nobody's fool. I detect a steely strength beneath that self effacing veneer. I like this woman. I hope she doesn't change a thing and stays just as she is and is with us for a long time. A friend of mine just sent me an e-mail saying he hasn't purchased a CD in 11 years but he can't wait to buy Susan's first CD. Me too!

    Yes, another rainy Monday. After three days straight at work, I am very tired. However, my cold is 97% gone. I still some lingering congestion and coughing. One more day of work then I'm free until Saturday.

    Good to hear from you again Fran. BTW, do you belong to Facebook? If not, check it out. I was a long time hold out but a friend finally convinced me to join and am I ever glad I did. I think you would like it. I'm now in touch with family members (nieces and nephew) as well as long lost friends.

    Stay inside and have a cozy day.

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  4. This morning I received a comment on my blog that said: "If you don't remember Beverly Sills it isn't because she wasn't a good singer. She was a great singer! That doesn't mean that Susan Boyle isn't terrific also. They're very different, that's for sure. You don't have to run down one to raise the other."

    Of course I remember who Beverly Sills is. However, I didn't find her voice memorable. Good singer, great singer, poor singer. I wouldn't know. She wasn't memorable to me except for a very heavily vibrato voice, orange wig and a bubbly personality (I think her nickname was "Bubbles.") Madame Sills was probably a wonderful woman and a great singer to some. Not to me. Because I express my opinion doesn't mean I'm tearing down one singer to build up another. They are both good in someone's opinion.

    To me two of the greatest women singers ever are Dinah Washington and Patsy Kline. However, I don't take offense with others that would disagree with me. I'm not that insecure. Apparently, some of the readers of my blog are. Sorry for the misunderstanding. It was not my intention to denigrate Ms. Sills, who had a long and distinguished career and was loved by many.

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  5. Beverly Sills was an opera singer - totally different 'voice' and genre.

    I put together a play-list of voices that are more of the range of Susan Boyle's (which is mezzo-soprano). I spent 35 years singing in glee clubs; music groups in New York, and playing piano as well as singing in private clubs; trade-shows, and lounges. You come to learn how to compare apples to apples......

    Lena Horne; Roberta Flack, Leona James, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington and Susan Boyle are all in the same 'vocal range'....Susan can sing sweetly or truly grind it out as a blues singer; jazz singer - 'torch lady'.

    I imagine they want the 'make-over', so she'll 'look the commercial part they want her to play'. It's all about 'selling her', and I hope she holds her ground and doesn't become a profit-center for a bunch of agents!

    If you're going to talk about memorable sopranos, include Kathryn Grayson; Jane Powell, Maria Callas, Sarah Brightman, who (my opinion) far surpass Beverly Sills.

    I did like Beverly; sad when she was no longer able to sing.

    If you want another beautiful voice to include in all of these fine ladies of song, include Julie Andrews and if you like country/western and religious songs, LeAnne Rimes is one of the best. Shaniah (sp???) Twain is also excellent.

    What's nice about Susan's voice is she can have a wide-range of songs to choose from; put her 'touch' to them, and people will come to love those same melodies that well-known singers have previously sung, all over again because she's going to bring them back with her individual style to them - natural; no 'hype' - refreshing......

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  6. Please, anyone out there don't take offense when I say other singers like Beverly Sills are not memorable to me. I am not saying they are bad singers. My point is that, to me, there was nothing unique about their singing except that they are technically proficient. When Barbra Streisand first started to sing, I was one of her biggest fans. However, overtime, I ceased to find her singing pleasurable to listen to because she was too much of a perfectionist. There was no passion in her music. I never understood the adulation someone like Michael Crawford received for his "Phantom" performances. To me his singing was just so much bellowing. Most of the Broadway singers comes across to me that way, bellowing out a song. Even Betty Buckly in "Cats" singing "Memories." Nothing. Just noise. But remember, this is how their "belting out a song" hit me. Nothing. With Susan Boyle, I felt a connection. I could listen to her music over and over again.

    Until Susan Boyle came on the scene, the only female singer I could listen to over and over, was Dinah Washington. Every song she sang had magic. Again, personal taste. I offer no apologies for not falling in with the masses for adoring the likes of Beverly Sills, Madonna, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Judy Collins or any other famous female singer who have enjoyed great success. My blog postings state the way I feel, not the way I'm supposed to feel according to other's tastes.

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  7. Two other singers who I absolutely adore are Patsy Cline and Nat King Cole. Anything they sing is beauty to me. They are timeless.

    I never did care for singers with a very tremulous vibrato like Kathryn Grayson. Too distracting. Jane Powell had a beautiful voice. Judy Garland, when she was young, had a strong voice but her voice also descended into a distacting vibrato.

    Two more of the best male singers in addition to Nat King Cole are Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. I can tell the difference between a Tony Bennett and a John Davidson. Big difference. One is beauty and the other is just noise.

    Most singers today and not pleasant to listen too. They're more hype than talent. I'm not impressed and I make no apologies for not being impressed.

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  8. It's very hard to find a pure voice any more; seems the commercial aspect of 'hyping the singer's ability to sing by some type of flourish or distortion, to the hitting the note 'squarely', and actually adhering to the music as it was written, is almost 'out of style'.

    Maybe it's because I'm also 67; I prefer the sound that makes me shiver from clear talent and brilliance; not the ability to twist and turn every single note into something that's supposed to impress the audience.

    I'm not easily impressed by much of any of the music today; too little that's worth listening to.

    Right now I've got Mozart on; maybe there's a reason the 'old masters' and long-time masters of song (both men and women) have stood the test of time.

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  9. I agree with you. It is rare to hear a pure, clear voice these days that isn't modulated, twisted and turned by the studio. I thought Clay Aiken had a beautiful voice but it got lost in all in all the tech add ons. I don't get it. How about just listening to a clear, beautiful voice like Patsy Kline?

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