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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > Classic Singers...

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (last edited Aug 11, 2009 07:09PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Now, I have to admit I think Sinatra is overrated, and Bennett bores me sometimes, but Tom Jones...man, that man can sing, even if he's got the worst botox job I've ever seen. Who else am I missing? Who do you recommend? Who don't you like?

I dig Billie Holiday, too, on the female side, and Sarah Vaughan...

I'm loosely using the term "classic singers". But you know what I mean.


message 2: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Tell us anyway, KD.


message 3: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Ella! She's amazing.

Tom Jones = an AMAZING performer. I went to one of his concerts back in 2005/2006... sitting in the third row, center... I could read his watch, and that man hardly took a break during the entire show. And yes, women still throw their underwear at him.


message 4: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) What time was it?


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Shirley.... Bassey!!!


message 6: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Awesome, Angabel! I would throw my underwear at Tom Jones, but I doubt he'd appreciate it much.

Etta James is wonderful. And not just because she wanted to fistfight Beyonce.


message 7: by Heidi (last edited Aug 13, 2009 10:12AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I have quite a few fave classic singers (in fact, most of my faves are), some being pop standard singers, some blues, some country:

- Ella Fitzgerald (my all-time favorite singer ever, in any category)
- Bing Crosby
- Bob Wills (& His Texas Playboys)
- Burl Ives
- Joao Gilberto
- Eartha Kitt
- Harry Belafonte
- Hank Williams
- Jimmy Reed
- Mahalia Jackson
- Nat King Cole
- Nina Simone
- Patsy Cline
- The Platters
- Ray Charles
- Robert Johnson
- Roy Orbison
- Tony Bennett



message 8: by Heidi (last edited Aug 12, 2009 08:37AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Burl Ives. Yes. I love Blue Tail Fly, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Lavender Blue (from So Dear to My Heart) & The Ugly Bug Ball (Summer Magic). He has a great grandfatherly voice. And he did holiday songs well - think Holly Jolly Christmas...


message 9: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) KD's comment about "classically good singers" brings an interesting point: the best singers aren't the ones who necessarily have the greatest voices per se. For example, I think Josh Groban has a lovely voice, but I think, as a singer, he's terrible. Tom Waits, on the other hand, has a voice that sounds like he's gargling with barbed wire, but he's a terrific singer. It's how you sing the song, not how pretty your voice is, that makes one a great singer.


message 10: by Heidi (last edited Aug 12, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I guess I consider "classically good singers" to be the ones who are most often credited as having influenced other singers... and I like (personal opinion is important, too)


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori That's a good point, Gus.

I'm not really a show tunes person, but Patti Lupone can bring me to my knees.


message 12: by Heidi (last edited Aug 12, 2009 08:40AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments OH SHOOT! Knarik reminded me of some others that I like, too (love, love, love Charles Aznavour):

Charles Trenet
Chet Baker (ohhh, makes me melt every time!)
Louis Armstrong (you can actually HEAR the smile in his voice) :)
Maurice Chevalier



message 13: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (buckythecat) I totally agree with you, Gus. Burl Ives makes me think of Christmas because we always listened to his record while putting up the tree. And John Denver's Christmas album. Yeesh.


message 14: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) You can't speak of Maurice Chevalier or Charles Aznavour without mentioning that dirty old man of chanson, Serge Gainsbourg. That man had a croaky voice, but I love to her him croon about doing naughty things to women.


message 15: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Gus wrote: "You can't speak of Maurice Chevalier or Charles Aznavour without mentioning that dirty old man of chanson, Serge Gainsbourg. That man had a croaky voice, but I love to her him croon about doing nau..."


I like Serge. In fact, I like him alot, but I'd consider him "post-classical" even though he'd qualify by my standards.



message 16: by Wingedbeaver (new)

Wingedbeaver | 80 comments As far as Rat Pack singers go, I love Dean Martin. I always thought he was a much better entertainer then Sinatra.

I think "At Last" by Etta James is one of the most beautiful songs ever sung.

Bobby Darin, Roger Miller, Petula Clark, Dinah Washington are some other good ones.

Not sure if this is what you were looking for, RA, but nobody has mentioned any of the classic soul singers like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye (oddly enough all three of those guys died strange deaths before their time), Bill Withers, Al Green.


message 17: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (buckythecat) Also, thumbs up to Heidi's list. I'm with ya.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments There's a blur of genres here that's confusing me.

By classic do we mean "old"? "Not pop/rock?"

I interpreted the original question as asking about the singers of popular music/standards like our parents/grandparents listened to: Moon River, Dream A Little Dream, My Blue Heaven, etc.





message 19: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Feel free to interpret the question however you choose...I agree Otis Redding, the great, great Sam Cooke et al belong on the list...


message 20: by Wingedbeaver (new)

Wingedbeaver | 80 comments Something a lot of people don't know... the Aretha Franklin staple "Respect" was originally written and performed by Otis Redding. The story goes that he was in studio when she first recorded it and exclaimed "Well, that song isn't mine anymore!"


message 21: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Vanessa wrote: "Also, thumbs up to Heidi's list. I'm with ya. "

:) !!!! You have excellent taste then, Vanessa.


message 22: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Wingedbeaver wrote: "Something a lot of people don't know... the Aretha Franklin staple "Respect" was originally written and performed by Otis Redding. The story goes that he was in studio when she first recorded it a..."


I knew it. :)



message 23: by Heidi (last edited Aug 13, 2009 10:11AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Yeah. If we're gonna include R&B classics, Marvin, Al, & Otis definitely need to make the list.

:) And Irma Thomas. *sigh* That woman can wail (referring to both)!


message 24: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I have too many favorites to list, and mos of them have been mentioned already, but (strictly thinking jazz/standards) I'll add Mel Torme and Blossom Dearie to the list. Gahd, I love me some Blossom!


message 25: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Oh and I prefer mes chansons older than Aznavour. Charles Trenet, Tino Rossi, Jean Sablon.


message 26: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments And dearest heart, Josephine Baker. *le sigh*


message 27: by Knarik (new)

Knarik and I can't bear any more not to say that I am very proud that Charles Aznavour is Armenian!!!! (but of course I like his music not because (only because) of thet!) (:


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I agree with:

Marvin Gaye - Heard it Through the Grapevine, Got to Give it Up, Mercy Mercy Me

Bill Withers - Use Me

Aretha Franklin - Chain of Fools, Respect

Otis Redding - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Ray Charles - What'd I Say?, Hit the Road Jack, Night and Day, etc.

Louis Armstrong - Yes, you can hear him smiling!

Ella Fitzgerald - It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, it's TRUE!

Sarah Vaughan - Whatever Lola Wants

Eartha Kitt - C'Est Si Bon

Nat King Cole - the BEST rendition of The Christmas Song, I don't CARE that Mel Torme wrote it

Patsy Cline - and k.d. lang

Roy Orbison - how could you not like Roy?

and Billie Holiday - Have you heard David Sedaris doing Away in a Manger, Billie Holiday style?


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Great list Jackie, I like them all.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I love Serge's "Bonnie and Clyde", but a little Serge goes a loooooong way. ;)


message 31: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Hmmph. >:(


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments What, Heidi? Not enough Serge love?


message 33: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
I'm surprised to see that Heidi was the only one to mention Nina Simone.


message 34: by Meen (last edited Aug 12, 2009 06:08PM) (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I agreed with everyone above me, including and ESPECIALLY Nina Simone! (I had her on my one and only shebang, you know.)


message 35: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Yes, yes I do. Your shebang is still in heavy rotation in the Prius.


message 36: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Yay, my singular shebang!


message 37: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments And shite, how could I forget to mention my all-time fave male jazz singer, Bill Henderson. It musta been all the Frenchies distracted me!


message 38: by Misha (new)

Misha (ninthwanderer) I see someone mentioned Patti Lupone above. Speaking of musical theatre performers, I'm a fan of Elaine Page, who is possibly the best chest singer out there (meaning the sound resonates from her chest instead of her head). She's fantastic.


message 39: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I have a "jazz divas" set that has an Ethel Merman version of Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick out of You," and it's the original version with the cocaine line still in it. It cracks me up every time!


message 40: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Misha, who else is a chest singer? I don't know Elaine Page and am trying to figure out how different that sounds.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Mindy wrote: "Misha, who else is a chest singer? I don't know Elaine Page and am trying to figure out how different that sounds."

Dolly Parton would be my guess! ;-).



message 42: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Har. Har. Har.

(Jim!)


message 43: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Mahalia Jackson would be a chest singer... definitely.


message 44: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Oooh, nice!


message 45: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments (she was on my humongoid list)


message 46: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments But not as a CHESTY!

:)


message 47: by Misha (new)

Misha (ninthwanderer) I'm ignoring Jim.

Mindy -- Ethel Merman is a chest singer, as is Aretha Franklin. Whenever you think of someone really belting out a song -- that loud, powerful kind of singing that just explodes from someone -- that's usually a singer using chest voice, I'd say. Whereas the "pretty" singers are often using head voice. Sarah Brightman is a head singer. I'd say Mariah Carey is mostly a head singer.

Here's a short video: http://www.ehow.com/video_2376916_che...

And here's Elaine Page performing "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" in 1998: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdZ0T7...

I think it was Andrew Lloyd Webber's birthday concert or something like that -- I remember seeing it numerous times on PBS during pledge weeks

Here's her version of "Memory" from the same concert, I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s96NZo...

I was a serious musical theatre geek in high school.


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Speaking of Aretha, have you ever heard her really really early stuff? When she was a teenager singing standards and show tunes?


message 49: by Wingedbeaver (new)

Wingedbeaver | 80 comments Have any of you heard the Ethel Merman Disco Album? Its her singing standards all disoed out. It scores an 11 on the ten point unintentionally funny scale!


message 50: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Cool, Misha! Merci!

I don't think I've heard Aretha doing standards, Sarah Pi. OH! That makes me think of another of my dear, dear favorites, Shirley Horn. AHHH-dore her!


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