Thursday, March 29, 2012

when singin' the blues no longer matters

Once upon a time, long before I had the life that some might call "rich," I dreamed of another life.

On Broadway.

A long time ago, I used to sing. Not well, but well enough to be asked to perform at weddings (because the budget was tight and I sang cheap) and funerals. (The funeral career ended early after being asked to sing next to an open-casket where the eyes of the deceased were not closed all the way.)

I envisioned myself looking and sounding like Etta James, Rosemary Clooney, or Billie Holiday.

I wanted to draw the crowds of Celine Dion.

I even spent many hours practicing my poise in front of the mirror.

I never quite mastered the poise.

In reality, I look like a crazed woman and sound a little like Kermit the Frog. I sing for parties of one. More if I can hog-tie them to keep them from running.

While I can carry a tune, I never had the sultriness of a blues singer. Or the sex appeal. In fact, most days one would be hard-pressed to even realize that my singing voice is one of a woman. In high school, I was officially a second alto. Most days though, I sang tenor, sitting among the pre-pubescent boys who hadn't yet reached their vocal maturity. On a good day, most of those same boys sounded less like boys and more like Minnie Mouse. Great if we were at Disneyland, not so great if we were singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at a high school concert.

Even though the only thing that remains from my Broadway dreams is my stage name, Kimber Leigh, I still can belt it out with the best of them.

Usually not in key.

And usually with the wrong words to "At Last" and "My Funny Valentine."

I'm evolving as a performer though.

Out here, in the open field, the girls don't really care if my name was never in the bright lights of Broadway.

In fact, they don't care for the blues at all.

They're John Denver fans.

I can do John Denver.

At last, I've arrived.☺


Freedom Acres Farm said...

Take me home... country roads... to the place... I belong, West Virginia, Mountain Mama take me home.... Country Roads!!!

Belting it out while driving down the road is one thing but singing your heart out while on a loud tractor... now that is true bliss!!!

Clint Baker said...

We had Internationals on the farm! But you have arrived!

MamaTea said...

Oh you sweet thing. Now I know we were separated at birth. When I met Farm Man Extraordinaire, I was working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.

And now I have a farm.

Maybe you and I could get together and sing a tune for the animals? I don't have a cool stage name like you (Kimber Leigh) but I do have a pretty dang artistic signature from all those autographs I signed in (community) theater....

Mary Ann said...

I loved this gently poking fun post.... I used to sing, too.... now I sing to the chickens!

Candy C. said...

OMG, you just crack me up!! At least you CAN carry a, not so much but it doesn't stop me from singing to the goat, while she is locked in the stanchion being milked. Talk about a captive audience! LOL!!

Kim said...

Freedom Acres Farm~"Well I got me a fine man, I got me old fiddle, when the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle. Life ain't nothin' but a funny, funny riddle...thank God I'm a country girl!" The best part of singing on the tractor is that EVERYONE sounds like a superstar!

Clint~You know you've arrived when the milk cow lays her head in your hand and closes her eyes while you're still singing at the top of your lungs! :)

MamaTea~ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Hello my long lost sister!! We'll have to work on your stage name, but maybe we can take our act on the road and make some old cows swoon!

Mary Ann~Singing to the chickens is where it all begins!

Candy~Whatever works!! And I'm sure she secretly LOVES it!

loralie said...

I can't carry a tune either, but I do enjoy singing. A great thing is that my grandchildren don't know I can't carry a tune, so we have a wonderful time singing (& dancing) together.

DoleValleyGirl said...


You. make. me. laugh!

And I'll stick to the laughter 'cause I can sing at all. :)

Blessings, ~Lisa

Freedom Acres Farm said...

We didn't get much sleep but we had a lot of fun... on grandma's feather bed ;-)

Farmgirl Cyn said...

"I" think I can sing, but the family tells me otherwise. Matters not....the Lord doesn't care how I sound, He cares about how sincere I am.
I love me some Etta James and Patsy Cline....pretty sure I sound just like 'em!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this. I often sing rather out-of-key to my sweet Matilda as I milk. She doesn't seem to mind. :o)

small farm girl said...

I use to sing in front of crowds. I even sang on tv once. I still say the animals are better audiances. lol. So I'll just stick with them.

Kim said...

I agree! :)