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Can’t hold a tune to save thier lives.

May 13, 2009

I was driving back to work from lunch today listening to Radio-Canada’s Espace Musique. On came an english song sung by a french Canadian singer named Sheila Graham. The song was Dancing Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin. Nice song.

BUT, what struck me was how well it was sung. Sheila was a good singer. She was clear, perfect pitch just lovely to listen to.
In the bridge, she sang almost by herself, only a small snare drum accompanied her. And she changed key during it! Wow.

In 1954 when the song was recorded there were no fancy electronics to help her, she just sang it with her natural ability. And I’ll bet that when she sang the song live, as she did on many occasions, the song sounded the same as the recording, because she did it in one take. She may have sung the song three or four times in the studio but they took the best one and printed it.

Compare that with the singers today. Seems that if you can’t sing you do better. Or if you over embellish it. Wailing away like a cat in heat. I cannot listen to that crap. And then they put it through 16 filters 12 times to make it sound OK. None of these people can perform live. Lip sync anyone?

I think we have really lost something here. We go for looks over talent, electronics over gift, flash over substance. We are the poorer for it. I’m gonna go listen to Frank sing it His Way now.

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2 comments

  1. That’s why I like a lot of the music I do (even though they’re not “singing”) – many of the songs are basically live to tape (I’m thinking of Derek “One Take” Roddy’s drumming right now).Of course, a lot of the music is so far off the beaten path that most folks won’t be able to appreciate it… oh well, more for me! They can have their Britney.


  2. You’re such an old fart! But I agree completely. I went shopping with the kid on the weekend and all the boutiques had “music” on at maximum decibal — stuff that makes my ears bleed even at the lowest decibal. I guess the volume makes it impossible to tell if it’s actually good or not



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