“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.”
Seven Great Singing Voices
Lists! We all love lists. This is a list of seven great female singing voices. There is really only one criteria; that the voice is so good and so unique that you don’t have to know the song to know who the singer is that is singing. And, we have to keep it narrow so the whole thing doesn’t explode like a can of beer tossed across the room.
First up: Cher
Lets be brief. Cher has had a fifty year career of hit songs. She had a hit television show. She is an Oscar winning actress. That is talent. And, no matter the song, you know that is Cher singing.
Only Cher can pull of straddling a giant cannon.
Second up: Karen Carpenter
A string of very simple pop songs that became hits for one reason, her voice was unique and special. Turn on the radio and you know the voice before you know the song.
Third up: Billie Holiday
What a voice, you know it is Billie when you hear it. Like all of these singers, their personal stories are as good as the music.
Fourth up: Miley Cyrus
She’s young and maybe she is just getting started. As Hannah Montana she had two albums that were number one on the Billboard chart in the same year; no one else has done that in the history of pop music. Since then she’s had a string of solid hits.
The thing is: when the “industry” needs someone to represent, they turn to the unique voice of Miley Cyrus. Here she is on the Saturday Night Live Anniversary. How many musicians played at that event?
To prove a point, here she is paired up with Elton John on the Grammys. Who else but Miley?
Fifth up: Janis Joplin
You’d know that voice on any record. They say that she’d never have been a star in the MTV era and I kinda agree — today’s singers seem like tiny stick figures with too much eye shadow.
I found this tribute clip so that we can watch some Janis while listening to the song. She was super lucky to have a band, Big Brother and the Holding Company that was a darned solid band.
Sixth up: Patsy Cline
In my mind, she is a bit like Karen Carpenter; Patsy had a voice so special that you are drawn to it. It doesn’t matter, almost, what the song is because she can deliver.
Seventh up: Linda Ronstadt
From Wikipedia: Author Andrew Greeley, in his book God in Popular Culture, described Ronstadt as “the most successful and certainly the most durable and most gifted woman Rock singer of her era.” Signaling her wide popularity as a concert artist, outside of the singles charts and the recording studio, Dirty Linen magazine describes her as the “first true woman rock ‘n’ roll superstar … (selling) out stadiums with a string of mega-successful albums.” Amazon.com defines her as the American female rock superstar of the decade. Cashbox gave Ronstadt a Special Decade Award, as the top-selling female singer of the 1970s.
But there is more, she was on Broadway with Kevin Kline in Pirates of Penzance, she recorded Canciones de Me Padre a album of traditional Mexican songs and, in my opinion the best: three albums of the Great American Songbook. No one expected that!