I am sitting in a comfy chair watching, or should I say listening, to a wonderful television program that is celebrating Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday with incredible singers and songs. How I love that “crooner” genre of music in America…probably best represented, but not only represented, by Frank Sinatra. Perry Como, Andy Williams and now Michael Buble are just a few of the male singers I love of that genre.
Voices, how important and wonderful they are in our lives. I purposely don’t share much what my family tells me, but I don’t think she will mind…the other day I heard, “I cry whenever I hear ‘Oh Holy Night’.” I instantly knew what she meant. I just teared up listening to Andrea Bocelli sing ‘Ave Maria’ backed by a children’s choir from Haiti – Rufus Wainwright just performed another wonderful song. Lady Gaga opened the show and I just thought, “God, that is just a beautiful performance,” as I was moved by her incredible voice and honesty.
And now K.D. Lang is singing ‘Give Me A Kiss to Build a Dream On’ and all her wonderful songs come rushing back to me especially, ‘Constant Craving’ a song that not only did I love, but also created a deeper awareness that not all of us fit into a common mold; in other words K.D Lang’s voice helped me transcend my own limited mindset based upon such limited exposure to the lives of others.
And now, Stevie Wonder is on the show. Stevie Wonder’s voice opened up not only musical worlds to me, but also the issues of civil rights in America and beyond. Listening to Stevie Wonder is like falling into a pure world of sound that is so connected to the human spirit that one doesn’t need sight to see…“They can feel it all over.” I didn’t understand those lyrics as a boy, but I do now…thanks to Stevie Wonder’s voice.
I have spent time the past 24 months trying to discover my own musical voice. Along the way I found others whose voices I came to admire. It started with Mark Mayes and soon I discovered Chuck Aaron’s voice and then Lawrence Farr and then Brielle. These four helped me with their constant kind words of support. Mark taught me the power behind generous and honest words of support and soon I was connected with the other three wonderful people too. Go listen to their voices. I am certain you too will enjoy their voices. Now other voices, like David Hutton, are also helping me discover my voice through his music.
And now Elton John is singing to Tony Bennett…”Can you feel the love tonight?” Yes, Sir Elton John, every time you sing we can feel the love.
I found that finding your voice is not easy, but once you find it – like a snowflake, it is uniquely beautiful. Your voice does not have to be limited to song either. It can be expressed through other forms of art including our ‘day jobs’. I’ve seen teachers use their “voice” to change the lives of countless children. I’ve seen nurses use their voices to care for the “hearts” of family members at the most difficult times. I have watched people use their voice when gardening in a loving communion with the earth. I’ve watched athletes express their voices in the most amazing ways.
Damn, Tony Bennett is now singing the ‘Best is Yet to Come’ and he sounds great… at 90 years old!!! There’s a voice I need to listen more to. What an inspiration!