Sunday, December 7, 2008

Keep singing - A Lesson from Ella Fitzgerald

In celebration of our anniversary, my Superhero and I had a night on the town yesterday. After Jon finished playing movie star (due to an impromptu casting in the role of Phil the male store clerk) at the first shop we stopped at, we braved the crowds at Costco and later strolled around Fred Meyers. We know how to have a good time!

At Freddy's we magically transformed into our evening wear before heading to a sumptuous dinner followed by a Count Basie Christmas Concert. The special guest soloist was Carmen Bradford, who has a lovely "big band" voice. She should, because she was the last soloist hired by Count Basie himself to sing with his band - and her mother is currently touring with the Basie band!

Shortly after coming on stage, Carmen admitted that she was terribly nervous, especially because the audience was so "close and comfy! Is everything where it belongs?". Then she shared a story that I just love and knew immediately I had to pass along:
Some years ago, she was with the great Ella Fitzgerald before a concert at Carnegie Hall. Ella was wearing a glamorous white dress with bugle sequins and a matching pair of new shoes with 4-inch heels, as she was fond of wearing. The shoes kept slipping on the floor backstage, so Carmen offered to take the shoes out to the parking lot to scuff up the bottoms so Ella wouldn't fall. Ella's response? "Oh don't worry about that. I just hope they like me! Do you think they'll like me?"
So she headed out on stage, and got to singing and swingin'. In the middle of a song, swoosh she went down on stage, flat on her back with her dress up around her ears -- "the peekaboo of the night", as Carmen put it. And what did Ella do? She didn't miss a note and kept right on singing as she lay on the floor and flipped her dress back down.
Don't you just love that? There's a gutsy lady. I hope I remember that even someone who has "made it", by any standards, has to deal with self-doubt. Even more, I hope I can keep on singing when I hit the ground!

Oh, and here's some pictures of our "transformation" for the nightlife:


  1. How FUN!

    And that was a wonderful story - "do you think they will like me?" I'm sure I can't imagine an audience not liking her singing.

    Love the before and after photos. Or are they good twin/bad twin?

  2. What a superhero! That sounds like a lot of fun!