pent the weekend in the Berkshires with my progeny. Nothing better than being with my offspring.
On the way up, driving and scanning the radio stations with my 10-year-old son in the back seat telling me when to stop, unless I stop before he says anything, we both go for Cindy Lauper singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and it strikes me how unique her voice is and what she did with it.
That got me thinking as I fell asleep last night of singers whose voices were not only unique but what they did with them was unique also and influenced, if not totally changed, singing forever. So here’s as far as I got in that alphabet I stuck with one name for each letter, though there are obviously more as in the Cs there’s Ray Charles and Betty Carter, etc. but I chose the one I think was the most original and really changed singing most, in some cases from a before to an after them):
ECKSTEIN, BILLY (he maybe influenced musicians more, like Miles Davis etc.)
NELSON, WILLIE (although Gene Autrey may be his predecessor)
STREISAND, BARBRA (FRANK SINATRA had a greater immediate impact and a lasting emotional impact, but Streisand, no matter what you think of her, changed female pop singing from 1960, or whenever she came on the scene, to the present)
T? (TINA TURNER was definitely influential, but how much?)
VALLI, FRANKIE (the heavy metal falsetto screamers owe as much to him as they do to Little Richard!)
ZAPPA, FRANK (okay, his influence was more instrumental than vocal, but can you think of any Z’s?)