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awwwAndi's Pre-Al Days

I feel like i’ve always been a singer. When i was young, my friends would ask me to sing for them. (Ah, the Beatles music i learned from sheet music . . . i’d accompany myself on the piano.) I had one friend in particular who, whenever we had a sleepover, would ask me to sing to her as we lay there in the dark. And even before i had any sort of musical education, i heard things in music that my friends couldn’t hear – i’d put a harmony to something on the radio, and kids would tell me i was singing something “wrong,” and i’d argue that it wasn’t wrong, it was part of the music, but i didn’t know how to articulate what exactly it was.

I can’t talk about my musical upbringing without mentioning Tom Jones – still a weakness of mine – and José Feliciano. I’m an only child and my dad was in the Army, so every once in a while, my whole world consisted of my parents and our immediate possessions, which included cassette tapes and records. There was a bit of Johnny Cash and Marianne Faithful, too, but i look back with fondness to Tom Jones for informing my idea of what a singer is. Plus, you know, what a hunk.

she's a lady

Later in life, i “discovered” Van Morrison. Oh, the depths he plumbs; oh, the heights to which he ascends! He is THE MAN. I love him young and hippie-ish, i love him old and cranky and fat. Bruce Cockburn is a considerable force, no doubt, but no one moves me like Van. That is, until Al – but we’re talking pre-Al days, here.

I got a bachelor’s degree in music (voice) from Illinois Wesleyan University, where i loved the work and loved my voice instructor (Mrs Creswell – still my favorite mezzo). While i loved classical singing and sounded great in the practice room and studio, i had a really tough time singing in front of people, especially my peers.

One day another soprano and i were joking around, and i started mockingly belting out part of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” She froze and looked at me wide-eyed, and said something like, “Holy cow, i feel like i’ve just heard a side of you i didn’t know existed. That sounded great!” I didn’t think of it much at the time, but i think that reaction and how i felt singing that way planted a little seed. Years later, something similar happened when Al and i were walking down the street . . . oh, wait, these are the pre-Al days. I keep forgetting.

All this has been music-related stuff. I guess, non-music-wise, i could say . . . well, ummm . . . oh, heck, you’ll have to ask if you want to know something.

still awake? read on here


Andi’s pre-Al days
Al’s pre-Andi days
They meet (just like in Pac-Man!)
Early music together
andi and i days
Life today

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