I met Odetta a year before she died. She was in Toronto doing a gig at Hugh’s Room.
I remember what the last song of the night was, only that Odetta called upon the audience to sing along with her. One did not gainsay Odetta and so I sung along with gusto.
After the show, I spoke to Odetta and thanked her for the wonderful show. She asked if I sang professionally. I demurred and said that I did not.
“Why?” she demanded?
Good question. The truth is, it is because I have a day job. I have never been keen on taking money away from people for whom performance is their life passion. Hence, I have never pursued singing beyond social events, open mics, charity events and political rallies. Plus I am honest – to be great requires more effort than I am willing to embark upon.
But I have been singing for over 40 years: jazz, folk, blues, torch, neo-pagan chant (with a gospel twist), 16th century music, and middle eastern music for belly dancers. Why? Because it is fun, and I need fun in my life.