Last weekend, veteran heartthrob Lou Christie ("Lightning Strikes," "The Gypsy Cried" etcetc) was in concert in The D (aka Detroit) along with other vintage era greats. I happened to catch him interviewed just prior to the show, on my fave oldies radio station, WPON.* He talked with the DJ about the upcoming show and reminisced about the good old days. When they got to the topic of his big hits, Lou (who is one of the '60s falsetto kings) rather proudly (and why not!) mentioned that he can still sing those songs in the original key he recorded them in. Ho-lee!
Have you noticed, all you boomers out there, that your voices have changed? The men, it would seem, have gone through this once before in their lives, when they hit puberty and their voices "cracked." Now, it's happening to us all. For quite some time now I've noticed (in my car karaoke sessions) that I can't quite sing along with Cathy Jean on "Please Love Me forever" or with Rosie on "Angel Baby." Heck, I can barely keep up with Frankie Valli and Brian Wilson! Seems like these days I'm much more comfortable growling along with Jack Scott... All this reminds me of another interview I heard a few years ago, with Joni Mitchell ("Big Yellow Taxi"). She was lamenting the fact that people who attend her concerts still expect to hear her do all her early hits every time. She said it's not so much that she's tired of singing them (although she kinda is) but she said she can't reach those heights anymore. And I said to the radio, "Amen, sister!"
Now, I realize there's a perfectly natural physiological explanation for why this is happening. I mean, we're all "getting on" in life, and everything else is heading south, so why not the vocal cords, too? But still, it's unfair. Couldn't we be spared just this one thing? And while we're on the subject, couldn't just one little thing be getting better? And please don't write me that it's all compensated by the gaining of wisdom. Whoever thinks wisdom makes up for it has never tried to change a ceiling light bulb in tri-focals. Well, never mind, at least I still have my hearing, and my radio. And Lou... good on ya!
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.