Friday, March 19, 2010

Here come old flat top

For years and years, I played guitar, sang pop songs, and complained about the Beatles.

Damn tenors. So many songs were just out of my range.  The greatest songwriting colaboration of all time, and I couldn't do 90 percent of their catalog.

So imagine my surprise when I found out I am one.

Not a Beatle. I'm a tenor.

Let me explain.

For months I've sat and listened as my daughter sang at voice lessons.  It's been fascinating to hear a good voice teacher like Nancy pick at, suggest, and otherwise coach improvements into someone's singing. So with my daughter out of town and the lesson already paid for, I thought it would be fun to take her place for one lesson.

Nancy started by doing warm up scales which also test my range. "I'm a baritone," I said, going though the paces.

"No, Dan," she said.  "You're a tenor."

She showed me how I'm strong in the tenor range, weaker as I go lower. Chest voice range starts here, turns into head voice there. And to top it off, after running though a baritone rendition of "Younger than Springtime" from South Pacific, she found a tenor version, complete with a big finish on high G.

I nailed it.

Yikes.  I'm approaching 50 years old. I've been a baritone all my life. I was as sure of that as I am sure I am the son of Mary and Woody Bushman.

Oh, my. I have my birth certificate. You can't fake one of those, can you? Can you?

I guess the bright side is that at least now it is finally possible for me to be the fifth Beatle. That's something.
Yes, I admit it. Back in High school, we made fun of guys who were tenors. Even the choir director used to say, "Now, the lower voices. Tenors... and men..."

I'm sorry. It was mean. And come to think of it, you guys got all the chicks.
There seems to be a general rule in ventriloquism that people will always enjoy a singing ventriloquist dummy, and I believe it. Terry Fator is exceptional at it, just like a great soloist sets himself apart.

But for every Terry Fator-quality ventriloquist, there are so many lesser, though no less proud, talents. So what if a bunch of them formed - just like lesser, yet proud singers do - a choir...

And sang a Beatles song...

On Hungarian television...

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