Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Troubadour

Noun1.troubadour - a singer of folk songs  - a person who sings

I've been singing and writing songs all my life. It's been a great journey and I've made lots of wonderful friends, over the years. And, a journey it is! Starting out in a Rest Home, as a young girl, I had a captive audience. I knew all the latest songs and the senior residents encouraged me. NOT my teachers. I attended a parochial school and, unfortunately, had a naturally low-pitched voice when good little girls were supposed to sing alto or soprano. Constantly being told there was something wrong with me because I couldn't sing higher, it took me a long time to become comfortable singing with others and, ultimately, I ended up following my own muse.

By mid-teens, there was a new-fangled thing called television and I got a job singing at WPST-TV on a Country-Western show called Sunset Ranch in Miami, FL.  Being a young teen, it was my job to sing one country song hit song in the first half of the show and then do the number one rock 'n' roll song of the week in the second half of the show. It was all fun and glam and we were "all live" as Uncle Martin would announce at the opening of the show. (Compared to those taped shows that were scheduled for the other 20-1/2 hours!) Television was young, kleig lights were hot, and the world was out there, just waiting. Molly Turner, who started out as Miss Effie on the show and went on to a very distinguished journalistic career on television in South Florida until her retirement in 1989, was a pioneer in helping women achieve success. It was she who helped sway Uncle Martin to give me that great opportunity and was a delight to know.

As the years passed, I've lived my life and used my voice and songs in any number of ways. After my husband's death, it was back into a more active singing life and heading a band called the Lee-Jackson Express for six years that, I'm proud to say, was booked most weekends. My biggest(?) moment came when I opened for a fellow named George Jones, along with a "Swingin'" John Anderson. Although, that ended up with George opening for me! -- but, that's another post. My songs were good enough that Conway Twitty's group still has them at Twittyville, somewhere. They tell a story of how I see life happening around me, and you never know what will be the catalyst for a new song.

Above, you can see I've come full circle -- back to performing at Senior Retirement Centers. There's comfort in hearing the songs of your youth and the memories they evoke, and I really enjoy being able to sing those oldies-but goodies for them. Performing is probably the wrong word to use, now, because it's really a sharing of time's gone by and bringing special moments back to life to be shared anew. I'm not the world's greatest singer/songwriter and I'm not sure I'd want to be. But, I do feel blessed that God has given me a talent to share and make people happy, even if only for an hour, or so. 


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  1. I'd love to hear you about posting an audio track or a video?

    I love to sing and know all the oldies still....I don't think I have much of a voice, but sing to my cats.....they are non-judgmental. I, too have a low voice..... always wanted to be the 4th Andrews Sister......sigh.

  2. Wish you were closer so I could book you for one of our seniors' events. I think we'd have a great time rockin' the tunes.

    I was an alto in high school, too. The only one and quite an oddity, I thought. I really enjoyed singing...still do.

  3. As a tone deaf oldie, I'll soon be ready for my rocking chair and will need someone to sing to me.

  4. I bet you have a great talent. Love the post very much.