Monday, September 7, 2009

Mama, the Record Player and Simon Cowell

By Jenna Byrnes

When I was a kid I was the lip syncing queen of the neighborhood. My favorite song was "The Nights the Light Went out in Georgia," -- not the knock off by Reba, mind you, this version was by Vicky Lawrence, of "Mama" fame. (Have I dated myself yet?) All I needed was the record player, (oops, just dated myself again), my hairbrush (microphone) and my vanity mirror, to make sure I looked my best.

The reason I was so good at lip syncing was that I was so bad at singing. I loved doing it, and did sing in my high school choir. (With a group, I guess I wasn't so bad.) I used to think being a famous singer would be about the coolest thing ever. Kind of like I now think being a NYT Bestselling author would be the coolest thing ever. LOL

When my kids were little and got fidgety in the car, I used to sing to them and they loved it. I'd substitute their names in songs, or maybe throw in Batman's name, and they thought that was great. I'm not sure at what age they they began telling me, "Mom, if you want us to behave then please stop singing..." but it was a heart breaker. I still love to sing.

A friend once told me that not much looked dorkier than someone driving down the road singing along with her radio. I told her then and still say now, "tough cookies." I sing along with my car radio and if there's nothing good on I hit the CD button where I'm guaranteed to find a sing-along worthy song. We have a 6-disc CD player, I get three choices and the hubster gets three. I don't complain about his "Wooly Bully" or "Legend of Zelda" soundtracks, and he doesn't dare mention my Gordon Lightfoot or Air Supply. (So much easier to sing along to than today's music.) I do not rap, BTW.

If I had to trade in my writing abilities for another skill, I'd choose a good singing voice. I'm sure breaking into the big time for singers is just as hard as it is for writers. I just think I'd enjoy being able to belt out a tune in public and having people go, "Whoa! That girl can sing!"



If they'd had American Idol back then, I probably would have stood in line all day at the nearest audition for that one shot--and hope my voice didn't squeak when I got up there to belt out my tune. I might have peed my pants with nervousness waiting for the judges' critiques, and I would have been crushed when the snarky Brit shot me down. But it would have been fun knowing I had my shot.

I wonder if Simon likes Vicky Lawrence?

12 comments:

  1. Hi Jenna,

    Fantastic post. And, an inability to sing has never been a bar against someone forging a singing career.

    I could list names here, but I'd just get accused of being another 'snarky Brit.' ;-)

    Best,

    Ash

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  2. Sing it Jenna!

    My daughter gets irritated with me because no matter what station she flips to, sometimes there will be a song I know, and start singing. If I find one I REALLY like, I also 'air-drum' the steering wheel. Esp if 'Turn Up The Radio' by Autograph is on, hee hee hee:)

    And a few months back, when we watched the Mama Mia DVD, she first paused it and asked me to stop singing. Then later, she paused it again and asked me how I possibly knew all the words, as it was a 'brand new movie'!

    'Honey, it's ABBA, and I was singing it AND doing dance moves to your grandmother's cassette tape when I was 12'!

    She rolled her eyes and moved to the other side of the room:) Movie resumed uninterrupted.

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  3. Jenna, when you mentioned singing, I honestly thought you'd lost it. LOL But, I really do get it after reading this. Oh, btw, children have no class. Mine always asked me to stop singing while I was driving somewhere. Humph!

    Do you really think you'd have the guts to get up in front of a crowd?

    Great post!

    Hugs

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  4. Oh my!! Great post!

    The wounded artist in me used to rationalize that pitch and tone were not so important to singing. I knew the *words*! That's what was important!

    Add my name to the "Can't Sing but Wants To" Club...

    And "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"...GREAT song. The world stopped when it came on the radio and for three minutes, well, dogs howled.

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  5. Hey Ash,

    Yeah, I'm not sure how I'd feel if the names William Hung and Jenna Byrnes were synonymous for the same thing. And I kind of like the snarky Brit thing, but just not aimed at me, so much, ok? LOL

    Thanks for commenting!

    Jenna

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  6. Molly, I totally sympathize with you except for the daughter part. I only have sons and they wouldn't be caught dead watching Mama Mia with me! LOL But we've seen Spiderman Six Zillion and Rambo 900, and all the other cool action flicks and sequels!

    Thanks for stopping by,

    Jenna

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  7. Hi Jude,

    Can't say for sure if I'd have the guts or not. At least with writing, I don't have to sit there next to the reader and watch them as they are reading. Probably a good thing!

    Thanks for stopping by,

    Jenna

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  8. Hi Angela,

    So glad to find another 'Night the Lights Went out in Georgia' fan...hee hee hee. Do you remember 'Last Kiss'? "We were out on a date in my daddy's car, we hadn't driven very far..." That has to be another of my all time favs.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Jenna

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  9. I love to sing to the radio or CDs. It is so fun

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  10. Hi Pat,

    Me too! To heck with what them darn kids say! Neil Sedacka and Paul Anka rock! LOL

    Hugs,


    Jenna

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  11. Hi, Jenna,

    Actually, I _can_ sing. My siblings and I performed on "Community Auditions" when we were kids (don't know if any of the rest of you are old enough to remember this show, a kind of amateur hour...) We sang the Beatles' "Misery" in three-part harmony!

    Singing is a tremendously uplifting activity. Don't let anyone stop you!

    Oh, and my brother makes his living as a singer and musician. Just barely. It's definitely just as hard as being an author!

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  12. Why am I not surprised that you can sing, Lisabet. You seem totally accomplished and self-assured. (Do you feel that way on the inside?) *G*

    I don't remember Community Auditions, but then, I don't remember the Beatles' Misery, either! LOL

    Jenna

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