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Perfect singers

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DonMeixner 11 Jun 00 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 11 Jun 00 - 07:10 PM
MK 11 Jun 00 - 07:36 PM
SeanM 11 Jun 00 - 07:47 PM
Gary T 11 Jun 00 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 11 Jun 00 - 08:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jun 00 - 08:43 PM
Bugsy 11 Jun 00 - 08:46 PM
Willie-O 11 Jun 00 - 11:09 PM
DonMeixner 11 Jun 00 - 11:15 PM
Bartholomew 12 Jun 00 - 12:06 AM
Mbo 12 Jun 00 - 12:13 AM
sledge 12 Jun 00 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,April790 12 Jun 00 - 03:28 AM
alison 12 Jun 00 - 03:39 AM
GUEST,James 12 Jun 00 - 07:34 AM
TheOldMole 12 Jun 00 - 08:00 AM
GUEST 12 Jun 00 - 10:23 AM
Bert 12 Jun 00 - 11:00 AM
Rana who SHOULD be working 12 Jun 00 - 11:12 AM
Valancy 12 Jun 00 - 12:16 PM
sophocleese 12 Jun 00 - 12:26 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 12 Jun 00 - 01:00 PM
Herma 12 Jun 00 - 01:14 PM
john c 12 Jun 00 - 01:37 PM
Rana who SHOULD be working 12 Jun 00 - 02:11 PM
Grab 12 Jun 00 - 02:47 PM
Pixie 12 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM
Jeri 12 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM
Mbo 12 Jun 00 - 09:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 00 - 09:46 PM
DonMeixner 12 Jun 00 - 11:41 PM
Racer 13 Jun 00 - 12:33 AM
catspaw49 13 Jun 00 - 01:32 AM
winniemih 13 Jun 00 - 01:55 AM
GUEST,Aldus 13 Jun 00 - 07:59 AM
Catlin 13 Jun 00 - 05:44 PM
bbc 13 Jun 00 - 06:29 PM
bbelle 13 Jun 00 - 06:59 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 13 Jun 00 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Peter T. 14 Jun 00 - 05:06 PM
radriano 14 Jun 00 - 07:19 PM
bbelle 14 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM
catspaw49 14 Jun 00 - 09:38 PM
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RangerSteve 25 Sep 01 - 08:12 AM
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Alice 25 Sep 01 - 09:33 AM
MAG 25 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM
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Subject: Perfect singers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 07:04 PM

Geoffrey (#2 son and identical twin except in musical taste to brother Greg.) and I were driving to my office and discussing singers. He allowed as how he like Paddy Reilly's as we listened to "The Rose of Allendale". I told him I felt that Paddy'e was a perfect voice. Effortless in range, void of affectation or innatural dialect, just pure singing. There are also some intangibles I can't describe. I then realized as to how few people there are that fit this criteria I have described. This doesn't mean that I think there are no other good or great songers singers. There are many. And I may be very subjective here as well.

I would add Piscilla Herdman, Glenn Curtin, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Anne Murray, Gordon Bok, Tim Spencer, and Ken Curtis to this list. May be Mel Torme and Ronnie Browne.

Some of these folks aren't favorites by a mile but certainly skill is skill whether you like the style or no. Who else fits the bill?

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 07:10 PM

Karen Carpenter, Brad Delp, and Neil McCoy.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: MK
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 07:36 PM

Frank Sinatra
Barbra Streisand
Ella Fitzgerald
(young)Judy Garland
Anita Baker
K.D. Lang
Al Jareau
Art Garfunkle
Patsy Cline
Whitney Houston

(...a few that come to mind anyway...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: SeanM
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 07:47 PM

How about those that while they may not be overall perfect, are abosolutely perfect for individual songs?

M


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Gary T
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:02 PM

Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline, k d lang.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:07 PM

Roy Orbison and Ronnie Milsap.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:43 PM

I don't think I'd agree with Don's criteria here. Which is ok, because I think that threads which turn into lists of artistes run into the ground for me. (Especially when they are people I've never consciously heard in my life, which a good number of the ones mentined above are.)What I think is interesting is to work out what the qualities are that make you want to put a singer in a list.

If I was going to name one singer, it'd be Christy Moore. And the reason is the way he can open up meanings in a song you've heard before that you didn't realise were there, and make you want to sing it yourself. There's some singers put a mark on a song that seesm to make other people feel compelled to echo them when they sing it, and Christy doesn't do that. Yet he's got a way of singing that is unique - and I don't understand how those two things can be true at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Bugsy
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 08:46 PM

As far as folk goes, It's Roy Bailey, Stan Roger, and Lorena McKennet for me. (Just off the top of my head). Maybe add Dan Seals, especially since he's gone acoustic.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 11:09 PM

Connie Dover.
Aretha Franklin.
Lynn Miles.
Martin Wyndham-Read.
Nic Jones.
Martin Carthy.

These are very different artists. (You might not know of Lynn, she's a friend...has a record or two on Rounder now.) What they have in common is that they all know how to inhabit a song rather than present it.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Jun 00 - 11:15 PM

Hi Mc,

I would have to disagree with you about Christy Moore tho' He is a great writter and he sings his songs perfectly but I don't think he has what I would call a pure voice. I would say that He is a stylist. And he suits his songs so well.

Perhaps I should rename this as pure voices rather than perfect singers. Leon Redbones voice is perfect for what he does and he sins those songs perfectly. But I can't imagine his voice wrapped around Oh Holy Night or Lies.

Notice that Sinatra and Striesand didn't make my list? Too much affectation for my criteria.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Bartholomew
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 12:06 AM

I have "discussed" this over the years countless times. Everybody has an opinion and non one ever changes someone's mind about this. But it is fun to chew on, so here goes.

Frist of all, I want to make a distinction. There are people with beautiful (I hate to use the word perfect about mere humans) voices AND there are people who are impeccable singers. Most people listen to the tonal quality of a person's voice and say, "there is a great singer". This is the same as confusing a guy with a great guitar for a great guitar player. I like singers; I hate it when someone with a perfectly good voice doesn't learn to use it.

I love Judy Collins' voice. She also sings well. Ditto for Joni Mitchell and the late Sandy Denny. Joan Baez, while having a good voice, IMHO never learned to sing.
Among the men I would rate Bruce Cockburn bery highly, also Geg Brown, Theodore Bikel, Frank Sinatra and Roy Orbison. No one puts as much emotion in a song as Roy Orbison. Some of the singers that I like to listen to a lot are Leroy Parnell, James House, Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

But without a doubt the singers I admire most are Frank Sinatra, Ruth Brown and Bob Dylan. Sinatra has it all. And few can interpret a song like he did. Ditto Ruth Brown. And Bob Dylan, although not blessed with a pleasant natural tonal quality, is unbelievably good with what he has. He is a great interpreter, particularly of the blues. If you need convincing on Bob, listen to his live recordings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Mbo
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 12:13 AM

Thanks for mentioning Leroy, Bart! And of course James House's "This Is Me Missing You" is the song that means the most to me right now....

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: sledge
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 03:10 AM

Try Steve Knightly from the UK south coast duo Show of Hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,April790
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 03:28 AM

Alison Krause, Lynn Morris, Laurie Lewis, Enya, Ricky Skaggs, (esp. his ability to harmonize with anyone) Judy Collins, Doyle Lawson (his ability to pick perfect singers so his band always sounds the same regardless of who sings with him.) Marie Brennan (Enya's sister) John Denver


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: alison
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 03:39 AM

Karan Casey (from Solas... or maybe ex-Solas now)
Kaen Mathison (from Capercaillie)

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,James
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 07:34 AM

I would like to add my favourites to the list. I am not a big fan of some of these people but I certainly admire the coices... k.d. lang, Anne Murray,Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Edith Piaf, Sarah Brightman, Judy Collins, Maddy Prior, Sandy Denny,John Macormack,Hank Snow,Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn. It has just occured to me how many of these people are Canadian..maybe its the cold aire. Also, I was surprised to see Whitney Houston on someones list. Is it just me or does she screech too much and have trouble carrying a tune ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: TheOldMole
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 08:00 AM

Aaron Neville. Clyde McPhatter. Tony Williams (Platters). Brook Benton. Nat "King" Cole. Charles Brown.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 10:23 AM

definitely art garfunkle--simon and garfunkel togethyer form a most perfect voice, as well


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Bert
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 11:00 AM

ME


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 11:12 AM

I remember a conversation years ago on the relative singing merits of Pentangle's Jacqui McShee vs. Fairport/Fotheringay/etc's Sandy Denny. Liking both, I was interested to hear that the other person way prefered Sandy Denny because her singing evoked (invoked?) much feeling and emotion whereas he found McShee's singing to be technically very good but not creating the same feelings.

So, what how does this criteria fit within "perfect singers"? Or is it another part of it - technicality vs. emotion?

Cheers

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Valancy
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 12:16 PM

Full agreement on many of the above listed; IMHO, another pure, unaffected voice none of you will have likely heard belongs a woman I'm proud to call my friend: Anne Marie Menta (she's going to kill me). She's a local (New Haven, CT area) singer, mostly folk, mostly of her own writing, with a CD out a year or so that can be sampled at Annemariementa.com. She has one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard. Tracey


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: sophocleese
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 12:26 PM

Rana, its interesting the comparison between Sandy Denny and Jacqui Shee. I also make comparisons and add Maddy Prior to the mix. I like them all but prefer Jacqui Shee and tended to try and sing more like her than the others. I am of course biased, my own voice is sweet and light and therefore I tend to like similar singers and envy those who can add guts and volume to their voices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 01:00 PM

All of the above, but I vote for Nana Mouskouri and Nina and Frederik. Yours, Aye. Dave (who might think of a few more after his nap)


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Herma
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 01:14 PM

May I add my absolute favorites, especially in harmony singing: The McCalmans from Scotland, still going strong after 35 years!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: john c
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 01:37 PM

June Tabor!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 02:11 PM

Hi Sophoclese,

Those 3 always seemed to be compared. I suppose one reason (apart from all being fine singers) was that they were involved with the 3 major British Folk rock groups of the time, over shadowing another fine group Mr. Foz which had great singing from Bob and Carol Pegg. Linda Thompson from this era (and a bit after) was also a fine vocalist and John C, I have to agree with June Tabor as well!

There's too many!!!

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Grab
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 02:47 PM

Chris Isaak - like Elvis but more talented, and better looking too. Leonard Cohen has an amazing voice, like Dylan he's not a classically great singer, but there's so much feeling in there (another Canadian for you too). Maria Carey's version of Without You sends shivers everywhere, even though everything else she's ever done is crap (classic example of a good singer who needs folk to write songs for her, instead of trying to sing her own dross). And all the great 60's soul legends - Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, etc.

Not forgetting the 2 gymnasts of male singing - Prince and MJ. However much you may think they're a pair of loonies, you can't deny it'd be a poorer place without them.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Pixie
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM

I'm with Bert....actually, a local person (please George, if you read this, don't tell Mary I'm writing about her!)Mary Porter, who sings at folk circles in Halifax/Dartmouth. Pure, clean, volume, and beautiful a capella! Also would like to add in another Maritimer....the incomparable (now what is her name?)Katherine MacKinnon?

I actually prefer someone without an absolutely perfect voice...gives me some hope!


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM

A lot of people are picking people who seem to have what I would call "affectation" in their singing, IMO. They might be outstanding singers, but their style often has more importance than the song. Oh well, different opinions...

Female: Maddy Prior, June Tabor, Jeannie Robertson Male: Cliff Haslam is the only one I can think of at the moment. He's only done one recording (a long time ago) that Folk Legacy sells, but he's absolutely incredible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Mbo
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 09:45 PM

Oh well, for "no-affectation" you have to mention Kraftwerk!! "I'm the operator--of a calculator! It's got little buttons that flash--when I add or subtract!" Ah, nothing like 80's German Industrial electronica...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 09:46 PM

"There are people with beautiful (I hate to use the word perfect about mere humans) voices AND there are people who are impeccable singers. Most people listen to the tonal quality of a person's voice and say, "there is a great singer". This is the same as confusing a guy with a great guitar for a great guitar player."

Nice distinction, Bartholomew, and valuable as well. Hep me understand why I like some people and not others. The singers I like best tend to have beaten-up guitars of voices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 11:41 PM

Thanks Jeri, you are one of the few who seem to get what my original thought was.

Mc, No problem with that. I like a worn voice too, living in your voice is what gives it the sound of honesty and dimension.

I was just wondering about singers with a pure sound.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Racer
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 12:33 AM

I think that Robert Smith is the perfect vocalist. He does his music in way that can't be duplicated. He has also done things on guitar that I'd originally thought weren't possible. Somehow, he makes the wierdest chord progressions work out. Listen to a live version of "Jupiter Crash" and you'll know what I'm talking about.

As far as singers go, I'm kind of partial to Harriet Wheeler. "Here's Where the Story Ends" still gives me goosebumps. She just sounds so perfect in that song.

-Racer


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 01:32 AM

I keep reading this thread and I have a hard time getting a handle on it, but I think Jeri keyed me back in and I read Don's original post again. I don't really get the "perfect voice" idea unless I can relate it to particular genres or songs. I love to hear Mel Torme scattin, but I have a hard time getting a grip on him singing "Blue Moon of Kentucky." Course I can't get around Bill Monroe singing, "Shoobee, shoobee, doit, doit, du waa" either.

So........A voice without unnatural affectation or dialect that is perfect, pure if you like, for the music being performed? That being my criteria, I'd give anything to sing like Frank Proffit. I sing his songs, but I can't come close to that sound and don't even try. To do justice to his songs you at least have to sing them in your own truth, but that Southern Mountain sound is epitomized in Frank Proffit.

In that same way, I like John Hurt, Linda Williams, Jon Hartford, or George Jones for that matter. I mean really. Take some "My woman's gone, dog's dead, pickup's busted, and I'm sittin in the back of this honky tonk with a .357 about to blow my brains out" song and there ain't NOBODY can deliver that sucker like George. I don't like him, but that ain't the point.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: winniemih
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 01:55 AM

Mary Black


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Aldus
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 07:59 AM

I would like to mention the incomparable Norma Waterson, also June Tabor, Annie Haslam, Kate and Anna MacGarrigle, Dusty Sprinfield...I am sure there are many more as for the male singers.. Joe Cocker can still bring me to tears....


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Catlin
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 05:44 PM

Interesting thread. To add my two-penethworth: Female: Sandy Denny (because she made me want to sing, and her song are so beautiful) K D Lang (because I fell for her many moons ago and her songs are so real and right for her voice) Alison Moyat (not folk, but a damn fine voice and as she is the singer I most resemble and sound like, I thought I should mention her :) Alison Kraus (beautifully clear angelic voice.... I'd love to sing the way she does :) Macy Gray (again not folk but a favorite of mine and I greatly admire the way she has taken the raw sound of her voice and used it to create such wonderful music) The female singer out of All About Eve (sorry not sure of her name, but she makes me tingle and I think she has a v. pure voice

Male: Dave Burland ( I'm a Barnsley lass myself and to hear Dave live was a treat) Dick Gaughan (His voice is so rich I could eat it :) Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull (He just does it for me and the songs he sings are so all encompassing (IMHO) that Tull are my band of choice on most occasions) I think it is not really possible to quantify a 'perfect' singer. A singer has to use their voice to best advantage for a particular song, in a particular genre, at a particular performance. Some technicly brilliant singers just fail to inspire any emotion, whereas less perfect singers can use their voices to much better effect, and make you *feel* at a given performance. This is the criteria I use to judge music. If a singer doesn't make me want to sing the song too, then, usually, I don't like it much. I'm not saying I can sing it, but I always want to try! *Hugs* Liz


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: bbc
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 06:29 PM

I would second Priscilla Herdman & add Lui Collins. Susie Burke has a lovely sound, too.

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: bbelle
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 06:59 PM

"Perfect" is relative to one's ear. I think Johnny Mathis singing "Chances Are" is perfect; Willie Nelson singing "You Were Always On My Mind;" Judy Collins singing "Someday Soon;" Ol' Blue Eyes singing "It's a Quarter to Three;" Barbra Streisand singing "People." My list is quite long ...

moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 07:22 PM

I just love Ray Charles.. while his voice may be far from what most consider perfect..I just love it..Female singers I love Eliza Carthy, and Charlotte Church, even though she is a bit over sold I think her voice is lovely.Another favorite is Mary Black and The Rankin sisters, Cookie, Heather and Raylene..They are truely amazing..KGH


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Peter T.
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 05:06 PM

Janis Joplin has always seemed to me to be the perfect embodiment of a way of singing, as is Edith Piaf, in another, or Billie Holiday in another. Since it couldn't possibly be done better by anyone else, it must (in the sense of anything human at all) be perfect.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: radriano
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 07:19 PM

Why are we spending time on this? After all, one person's idea of perfect is not universal. Can't we just enjoy the diversity of singers?

I know, I know, don't read the thread if you don't want to. Couldn't help myself.

radriano


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: bbelle
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:13 PM

radriano ... quit kvetching ... at least the thread is about music ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:38 PM

Its a point radriano, but its really interesting to see the individual preferences. I'd agree that we'll never agree on perfection, but the subject for me might better be asked on a per style basis which is why I liked moon and Peter's posts above. Love her or hate her, when it comes to delivery in that type of thing, Joplin is tough to beat and it could be she is the only one in the genre.

I don't think there's an argument here yet, or at least not a "What is Folk" type thing going on at this point.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Marion
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:25 AM

Julie Andrews.

The hills are alive...


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:31 AM

Eva Cassidy..

On her Songbird album, she sang Sting's "Fields of Gold", and "Over the Rainbow", simply, to accoustic guitar accompaniment in a soaring, clear, pure voice that leaves me breathless every time I hear it..

Cheers


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: jayohjo
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:39 AM

I know this is thread creep a bit, and I've probably said it before, but I do think there is something incredible about family voices and blood ties singing together - it can really send a shiver down your spine, obviously especially if the singers are both fntastic in their own right - look how many groups have been made up of families over the years. And Liza Carthy & Norma singing together, and when Lal was alive, are of course amazing.

jayohjoXX


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,lindbrite
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 05:52 AM

Ladies: The miraculous Sandy Denny - head and shoulders above the rest for emotion, haunting vulnerability, pure beauty. also rans: Joni Mitchell Aretha Franklin Dionne Warwick

Chaps: definitely not Bert Jansch! although I love his playing. Roy Orbison and Elvis get my vote


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 07:11 AM

Just read this refreshed thread, and would like to express the hope that when Spaw's ears got fixed so that he could hear Tony McManus properly, they also enabled him to hear Janis Joplin properly ..............:->

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: LR Mole
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 10:56 AM

Leah Kunkel.The Roches.James Taylor. Jimmy Witherspoon.The Incomparable Lili von Shtup. But not Sting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: English Jon
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 12:53 PM

Eliza Carthy >sigh< Norma Waterson Nic Jones Tim Hart Jeannie Robertson Anna Tabbush

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Burke
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 06:03 PM

Not folk, but my vote goes to Bing Crosby. Effortless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: John Routledge
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 06:20 PM

I do not necessarily agree that a singer should have to sing effortlessly to win accolades.

Many fine traditional singers put much effort into their songs and in many cases this enhances the voice and performance. John


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 01:41 AM

I may be shouting down a rain barrel, but you all should give a listen to Vera Hall on, say, the Rounder CD titled "Deep River of Song - Alabama." Now that's singing! Also listen to Alfred Karnes on Yazoo's "Folk Music of Kenmtucky, Volume I." Unrelenting power!

Sandy (still listening to the source singers)


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: allie kiwi
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 01:55 AM

Does anyone here listen to Latin American folk singers? I would just HAVE to add Mercedes Sosa to the list.

Even if you don't understand Spanish, go listen to a few of her songs. For example... Gracias a la vida. Solo le pido a dios (the live version with Leon Geico).

She'll give you goose bumps for sure.

Allie


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: jaze
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 06:10 AM

Kate Wolf--a very mellow and effortless voice


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: RangerSteve
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:12 AM

Wilf Carter, Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, Bing Crosby, Cliff Edwards, Gene Austin, Ruth Etting, Sarah Makem, Grandpa Jones, Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole.

Getting off the subject for a minute: Broadway musicals used to feature guys with testicles: Howard Keel, Joel McCrey. In revivals of old shows like Showboat and Carousel, they've been replaced with kids singing in wimpy tenor voices, sounding like they're still in 9th grade. There should be a protest of some kind, WE WANT BARITONES.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Noreen
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:57 AM

Emma Kirkby Just listen!


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Alice
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 09:33 AM

Doc Watson


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: MAG
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 07:34 PM

Nobody has mentioned Odetta, Jean Redpath, or Cilla Fisher. They all happen to be classically trained, yet remain unaffected and emotionally connected. I would like to have this sound.

My old voice teacher used to tell me to listen to Linda Ronstadt. I think she is the perfect example of somebody with great technique, who doesn't have a clue what she is singing about.

Too many of the current folk divas seem to showcase their voice instead of the song, which is a problem. for me.

I really liked the bit of the htread, above, where singers talked about who they liked and why. Can we go start a thread about that?

MAG

about to fly east on United, and wondering about the discman, and the diabetes kit, and the metal spiral in the puzzle book ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 07:46 PM

Noreen, I agree that Emma Kirkby is marvelous. I wish I could sing like her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Gloredhel
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 07:50 PM

I was really happy until someone mentioned Charlotte Church.... Sorry, nice voice, but apparently I bear some sort of physical resemblance and I'm sooo sick of hearing about her. Though none are folk, Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, and (young) Frank Sinatra. For folk, Aoife Clancy does some songs really nicely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:06 PM

The Stanley Brothers, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Noreen
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 08:56 PM

Me too, sophocleese... but, she was a late developer too... :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Bert
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:48 AM

Piaf, Melanie, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Donnegan, Tom Paxton, Sue Trainor, Tommy Steele, Gordon Lightfoot (Although he's a better songwriter than a singer) and I suppose we HAVE to mention Elvis, superb voice, pity he was such a hick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:00 AM

Jim Reeves, Kate Wolfe, Wilf Carter, Jean Redpath, Cilla Fisher, Priscilla Herdman, Kat Logan, Gordon Bok.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:43 AM

I think this subject is far closer to home than people are making it. a perfect singer or musician is a person who is able to get the message of what they are singing or playing accross to the audience at an emotional level.

Popularity may easily come into this subject, a popular singer may not neccessarily be a 'perfect singer' To me a perfect singer to me is someone who uses their voice to the full while at the same time getting the meaning of the song accross to the audience in their own style.

For me the opposite of a perfect singer is a person who although may be technically brilliant, looses the whole point of the song and its meaning.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:57 AM

I'd like to add two Anne's: Anne Byrne and Anne Briggs

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: RangerSteve
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 09:23 PM

Hank Williams and Lydia Mendoza.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Peg
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 10:29 PM

Mary Dillon, Karen Matheson, June Tabor, Maddy Prior, Patsy Cline, Annie Haslam, Nat King Cole, Johnnie Mathis, Mandy Patinkin, (young) Frank Sinatra, Neil Finn...


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 12:06 AM

I've had to muss my voice up a bit to sing folk music, or bluegrass or blues. My mommy trained me to nail the perfect pitch, the perfect vocal sound, and that works fine for classical or choral music, but can make for some very uninspired singing in other genres. Imagine Julie Andrews singing "House of the Rising Sun ... "

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Ace
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 05:31 AM

Karen Matheson is right up there. I love Loreena McKennitt but she has a few vocal oddities which would rule her out of the perfect category. However, Loreena was more impressive in concert than Karen Matheson, who I saw a few years back - Karen Matheson disappointed by staying well within her comfort zone, and there was none of the beautiful angelic high notes you hear on Capercaillie's recordings. Loreena McKennitt takes more risks and is the better performer for my money.

Also - Arlene Auger (bel canto singer, died some years back, I think). She sang Mozart's Alleluia at Charlie and Di's wedding, and it was magic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: English Jon
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 10:26 AM

emma kirkby is great. but what about evelyn tubb?

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 09:29 PM

Let me add another favorite example of absolutely great singing. Listen to Bozie Sturdivant singing "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down" on Rounder CD-1500 (A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings, a selection of outstanding performances selected from the LOC archives by Stephen Wade. Then try to emulate that kind of traditional artistry. Damn few can come even close!

Do I hear any echoes from the rain barrel now?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 02:14 PM

Well, I seem so share the rain barrel with Sandy (and we were never even formally introduced). As Pete Seeger said once, "Don't listen to me--listen to the people I learned from. "

Vara Ward Hall. Frank Profitt. Belle Stewart. Jeannie Robertson. Texas Gladden. Joe Heaney. Frank Harte. Walter Pardon.

A listen to where we came from may well be a great help in determining where we're going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 03:48 PM

Limited to singers of traditional songs who didn't necessarily grow up with traditional music, I particularly like to listen to ones who just sing and don't try to affect a "folk sound" (whatever the heck that is). Ones who pop immediately into my mind are Gordon Bok, Stan Rogers, Jean Redpath, Mary Black, and from a few years back, Cynthia Gooding. Now, there was a voice and a half! I also like to listen to Richard Dyer-Bennet (not everybody's cup of tea), but I consider him to be in an entirely different category.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Mickey191
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 05:53 PM

They truly sang as one-The Everlys. Perfection, IMO. Neil Young sang Lennon's "Imagine" the other night at a charity event and sounded great. I'll add Nat Cole & Jo Stafford.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Aldus
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:56 AM

Maddy prior, Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith, Maria Callas, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Stan Rogers, Bruce Cockburn, Tony Benett, Joni Mitchell, Vera Lynn, Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, Anne Murray and Laura Smith. I also was surprised to Whitney Houston on the list..she looses the tune and confuse volume with intensity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Aldus
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:57 AM

Omy God, How could I forget Emmy Lou Harris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:47 AM

Sandy, Dick, I too listen in a rain barrel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: Acme
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 12:17 AM

Maria Callas and Karen Carpenter in the same sentence? Now that is eclectic listening!

Since you're naming some folks who are long gone, a couple of regional voices should be named, for the character as much as the voice: Ivar Haglund and Don McCune. Wonderful voices. Throw in Stan Boreson and you have the Seattle tv triumvirate of the 1960's.

Richard Dyer-Bennett -- well, he was just about perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,ponytrax
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 12:33 AM

jeez, I seem to have lost my cookies. Well, I won't fix it tonight, anyway

Let's go non-European: Gabby Pahinui Ladysmith Black Mambazo (I think I've mis-spelled that)

why? raises the hair on the back of my neck, even on CD, that's why.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,REL
Date: 14 May 11 - 11:59 AM

I'm surprised that I've seen two people question Whitney Houston's voice. All be it, now, her voice is not very good. but in the late 80's and early 90's, she had a perfect voice. Perfect pitch, delivery, tone, runs, belts, transitions, clarity-There was nothing wrong with her voice in the world. listen to this- no one has heard it, but it will knock your socks off!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aVByaDMpyk

Back then she sounded like an angel to me. I think Aretha might be the best female singer/artist on the planet, but she has a nasal tone.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: harpmolly
Date: 14 May 11 - 01:08 PM

I have to agree about Alison Krauss (listening to the AK/US Live album as I do frequently, I'm always amazed by the utter perfection and vocal purity in her performance. It's one thing to sound flawless on a studio recording, quite another to pull that off in concert.) Also Eva Cassidy. Oh, and Lisa Gerrard...there's a reason her voice is on so many movie soundtracks!

Now, here's a shocker and something that may get me in trouble: one of the most powerful and intense voices I've heard in recent years is the singer P!nk. Most of what she does may not show it off, but when she belts out a high note it is absolutely incredible, and I don't for a moment attribute it to AutoTune or any such nonsense. She simply has an incredible instrument.

One last thing: I also have to agree with those who say that it's not just the voice but how you use it. There are plenty of singers (Celine Dion comes to mind) who have quite an amazing instrument, but whose vocal technique/expression leaves me cold or downright repulsed. As someone said above, there's a certain self-indulgence that really turns me off with some singers. I used to love Tori Amos, who has a fantastic voice, but her performance devolved to the point where every song was basically a long, incomprehensible, almost masturbatory vocal puddle. I couldn't relate to it any longer.

*sigh* Here I am, a full-on curmudgeon at age 36. So be it. ;)

Molly


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Azoic
Date: 14 May 11 - 01:30 PM

June tabor


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: Elmore
Date: 15 May 11 - 09:35 AM

Raul Malo


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 15 May 11 - 10:44 AM

What fun to read a thread I started 10+ years ago. I notice my spelling and typing skills are about the sam.

I have noticed my opinion of voices is unchanged but I have added voices to my list. I have gone on and listened to many of the singers mentioned by the posters and perhaps that was the point of all this.

I hadn't heard Tracey Grammer and her pure tones when I started this list nor had I heard Norma Waterson(incomparable). And I guess I forgot entirely about Cilla Fisher.

I hadn't heard James Kellaghan or Bob Franke either.

I never asked who had better voices. I think Ronnie Drew's was a perfect voice even if the instrument was a bit rusty. The same with Iris Dement, I don't believe hers is all affectation (Not so sure about Nanci Griffith)

The point is and was I went on a listened to people I had never heard and found great singers and great songs.

Don


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: David C. Carter
Date: 15 May 11 - 02:11 PM

Have found a lot of people I'd never heard of before in reading this thread.
Thanks to all of you.

I like Sinead O'Connor,backed by the Chieftens singing:Factory Girl,
She moved through the fair,Foggy Dew,all on Youtube.
I think the late Laura Nyro had a great voice,and wrote great songs to go with it.Feel she was sadly underated.Just my opinion!

David


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,eldergirl
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 10:52 AM

Annie Haslam, yes. Eva Cassidy, yes. And Jane Kennaway, not folk but a belter of a voice full of character. Where did she go?
To lift the hairs on the back of your neck, catch Helen North singing her Sky Pirate song.
And alas there'll only ever be one Gene Clark.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 13 - 11:08 AM

"Perfect singers"
God forbid - it's the imperfections and idiosyncrasies of singing (traditional at least) that make it interesting, and the search for unattainable perfection that makes it come alive.
Then again, we might be able to get computers to sing perfectly - but it wouldn't be the same, would it?
Perfection is in the ear of the listener and "we can't please all of the people all of the time" as somebody once said.
Personally, there are few of the singers that have been offered up here that I would walk to King Georges Park to listen to if they were giving a year of free concerts - Dick Greenhaus's and Sandy Paton's maybe.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: sciencegeek
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 10:00 AM

we know good performers who do not have "great" voices, but are able to engage their audiences ... so yeah, a live performance is great, not so much would I want to listen to a CD where all is lost except the instruments & vocals. and there are those with highly trained voices that never seem able to break free of the constraints imposed by a particular style. I'm thinking of great operatic or classical voices that try to do folk or more contemporary works. ouch..

then again, I've heard some singers that must have learned to sing naturally before they got "trained", so they can switch back & forth and sound good in each genre.

one of the few things that mom could retain during her dementia was her love of music, though her focus got smaller & smaller, and in the end it was only Roberto Alagna that she wanted to listen to. I fear I will never be able to listen to Don Carlo without flashbacks ... sigh... but I made a point of getting every CD or DVD he made for mom to enjoy... coming from a musical family, he sang cabaret before being mentored by Placido Domingo and when he sings Sicilian folk songs, it never sounds affected.

So, I guess there are more great voices than there are great singers because the singer must capture more than just the notes... they need to understand the song and let it flow the way it should, without affectation or distortion... whatever... my 2 cents worth, anyway


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 10:46 AM

Ethel Merman the one's for me with that magic voice. Such subtlety and a voice like a nightingale!


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 11:19 AM

(ROFL) dear Lord, unnamed guest, I hope with all my heart that you were joking!!
Not that Ethel couldn't present a song with verve and panache, but subtle?! ROFL again...
Jim, your comments on perfection reminded me of a skating championship a few years back, when a lovely Japanese lass skated a perfect technical round with top scores for that, but almost no Soul or Artistic Merit at all. So I guess there are singers in the same boat.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 11:35 AM

"So I guess there are singers in the same boat"
I have a dear friend who is (technically) one of the finest singers I have ever heard.
One week-end we were involved in running a singing seminar away from home and in the singing session he sang one of my favourite ballads, Sheath and Knife, He sang it so movingly it brought tears to my eyes and when I looked at him I saw that it was having the same effect on him.
As we drove home he could not stop talking about it - it obviously disturbed him that he had become so emotionally involved in it that he might have lost technical control.
Although he has not lost any of his skill I have never been as moved as I was that night - he seems to have deliberately distanced himself from his songs - sad.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 11:50 AM

Aw, c'mon, they could have nominated Florence Foster Jenkins...
But then again, if you listen to the original Cecil Sharp recordings, she was a vocal diva by comparison.
And hopefully many folkies will feel the same about Kathleen Ferrier! (Carefully couched to be able to jump both ways, haha) Yet there's but a step from her to Catherine Bott, whose purity of tone in the Early Music world definitely influenced Maddy Prior.
Part of the ideal of tone is that it should be able to reach out and caress the listener with the sense of the song - sometimes seductive, sometime impulsive, sometimes wavering. No one voice is likely to ba able to master the lot, so let's appreciate those who try.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 01:18 PM

Somehow, I missed this thread 13 years ago. Maybe it's best I did.

But reading it now, I see so many 'favorite' singers put forward for a wide variety or reasons. It's hard to argue with some... like Jean Redpath & Edith Piaf, who did quite different things.

After over 50 years of listening to (mostly) folk music, I would not use the word 'perfect', except to refer to somone who's pitch is always right on...and Redpath comes close.

But I do tend to agree with several others that 'presentation' of a song in a believable, powerful way with emphasis ON the song rather than the singer is what impresses me the most.

The American Roscoe Holcomb (The High Lonesome Sound) was known to sing a moving ballad and then be emotionally unable to sing anything else for awhile.
And I seem to remember that Jean Redpath took quite awhile to even attempt "Sheath & Knife" after hearing Helen Schneyer sing it. (see the threads on Helen to get the point).
One of my own favorite performances is the recording of Davey Stewart singing "The Merchant's Son and the Beggar's Daughter"....his melodeon only made it stronger.

These days, I am quite taken with the huge variety that Danny Spooner does, all done well, but never making himself the point. Several years ago, when Danny was touring the US, I sat beside him in a pub which had notably mediocre acoustics due to a ceiling beam that divided the room in half. It was common for singers to walk to the center in order to be heard at all over the usual pub noises.
Danny & I were sitting at the far rear of the place, and when his turn came, I whispered that he might want to go to the center. He never replied, and never even stood up... then he opened his mouth and the place suddenly quieted down and people in the far front window turned to see who was overwhelming their conversation. THAT is singing (one type) and the song never sounded strained...just powerful.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 03:57 PM

Thirteen years on and this thread still prompts consideration and thoughtful comments. Now I might have asked this question differently; assigned a different criteria maybe.

I have heard many new voices that I would add. Danny Spooner has the same effortless power as Paddy Reilly and Luke Kelly. I would also add Banjo Joe Burke.

I hadn't heard the amazing baritone of The Sons of The San Joaquin. And only this past year have I discovered Juni Fisher.

And I no longer care if there are perfect singers or perfect voices. What matters is that the singing continues and good singers do justice to good songs.

Don


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 02:54 AM

come back paddy reilly to bally james duff, all is forgiven.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 06:41 PM

Have to agree about Eva Cassidy. Most great singers have 2 or 3 genres in which they are virtually untouchable. Also, elements to their vocal giftings. Ms. Cassidy could cross genres like NOBODY else, ever. And she's better than those considered the best in those genres. She sings trad material better than ANY of the Celtic Women, et al, Haley Westerna who lifted EC's version of 'I Know You By Heart' and didn't play the guitar part like Eva did. She sang jazz better than Sarah Vaughn, soul better than Aretha, folk better than...well anybody. Show tunes and standards better than Garland.

Listen to her version of 'You've Changed' or 'I Know You By Heart" on Youtube. They're unrivaled. The list goes on and on. It's almost embarrassing to listen to young singers directly rip off Eva's takes on classic songs in today's marketplace. Faith Hill stole her version of 'Over The Rainbow', virtually note for note, but couldn't pull it off because she sorely lacked Eva's delicate touch.

She is singular. The never has been or will there ever be another w/her breadth of talent. Can you imagine Whitney, Maria or Aretha trying to sing 'Kathy's Song'? They'd butcher it. Any of them would gild the lily to the point where the song would be virtually unrecognizable. As sacrilegious as some would think that is to say. The main thing about her, though was her innate instinct to NEVER lose track of the narrative. Can't say the same about Streisand. She's her own biggest fan.

Not only that she played on and arranged every single track she ever recorded. Her versions of Wayfaring Stranger and Wade On The Water were SCRATCH VOCALS. Can you imagine? SHE thought she could improve on them. There's an old cliche about singing and music in general: Excellence by repetition becomes mediocrity. Cases in point. Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin.

Everybody who posts to the Mudcat will disagree about SOMETHING in this post. That's the nature of the beast here. But, if ANYBODY can find another singer in the latter 20th or early 21st century who's better across the board. Bring it on. Edith Piaf? Couldn't sing soul or jazz to save her life. Beverly Sills? Nope. Ethel Mermon? Kristen Chenoweth? Sophie Tucker? Fontella Bass? Jonell Mosser? Linda Ronstadt? Keep 'em comin'. They ALL have limitations. All except Eva. There's no doubt had she taken up opera she'd have killed that as well.

Btw, +1 to the person who posted about Pink. VERY underrated, but a honest to goodness kick-ass singer and a good woman to boot.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Lopsidedtiger
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 07:52 PM

I can't believe Doc Watson was only mentioned once. I could listen to him all day. I love June Tabor, too, although I think Doc fits the bill of the op's description rather better.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Aug 13 - 07:55 PM

"Excellence by repetition becomes mediocrity. Cases in point. Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin."

Sacrilege! Joni never repeated herself but stayed creative and iconoclastic throughout her career. Janis didn't live long enough to repeat herself.

If there is one female voice I would describe as "perfect", it's Karen Matheson's. There's a ton of her on Youtube, and most of it is hair-raisingly brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 04:01 AM

Not a folk singer, but for me it's the mezzo-soprano Janet Baker. Pure silver.

Correction, Dame Janet Baker.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: pavane
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 01:56 PM

Mrs Pavane doesn't do badly, even though not a star. you can listen here


http://www.chappuzeau.net/dawne.htm


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 02:06 PM

Eva Cassidy is great but greater still is Eva's greatest inspiration: Bonnie Raitt.
Indeed, without Bonnie, there wouldn't have been an Eva.


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 02:31 PM

Listen to these!!

Lisa Kelly

Jackie Evancho



ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Aug 13 - 02:32 PM

I could only get two links on the post...here's another!

Karen Matheson

GfS


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 03:01 AM

June tabor for her deep chocolate voice. Who else can song like that?


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Subject: RE: Perfect singers
From: BobKnight
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 06:39 AM

Kathleen MacInnes - no other Scottish gaelic singer is in the same league.


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