The magnificent and commanding voices of Brenda Lee and Tracy Nelson have been featured here before and have been known to drive, not only myself, but also many other listeners wild. There’s a masculine counterpart to this.
It’s Not Unusual
This morning I woke up with the voice of Tom Jones in my head. His voice is no shrinking violet, if you know what I mean. It’s big. Like theirs, it’s huge. It comes from somewhere around his toes and makes full use of the cavern that is his diaphragm to gather its strength and power and, when he lets it loose, all one can do is stand back and appreciate the joy of singing. I can only imagine how much fun it must be to be able to do that.
In my car and in the shower, I have been known to let myself go. For a moment, I have allowed myself a similar sense of freedom and joined in and felt a small part of that joy. At times, in the early morning, I have heard myself hit notes of a frequency that might impress Junior Brown, but it’s only a small act of homage to the truly miraculous.
A wise man, Jack Lee, in a band named OZ, once said, There are painters and paint makers, everybody does their share. He didn’t feel the need to say, There are singers and everybody else are listeners. Trying is admirable, but it might be better to leave it to the professionals. I don’t know about you, but I can hear the difference.
Another voice I heard this morning was Howlin’ Wolf’s. I’m sure Tom Jones is a fan and, though both have voices that seem to bust out of the mists of myth, they are quite distinct. One thing that distances them from Brenda Lee and Tracy Nelson, besides their sex, is that instead of being quite small with huge voices, they are huge guys with voices that seem only possible because of, rather than in spite of, their size.
Whatever the source and whatever the reason, these voices and their existence in our lives is cause for celebration. It would be too sad to think what I would be missing, without their example to direct me to what’s possible. But I have to warn you, if you see that look in my eye and I begin to open my mouth, stand back and cover your ears. I’m not kidding.