When good is good enough

I always thought you had to be a great singer to make it in this crazy business.  Perhaps that is because when I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, there were few bad singers. Most of the singers were Great! Amazing! Then the 60’s came along, and they put special effects on Lesley Gore, who is a great songwriter, not singer, and  special effects on Carole King, who I love, but not considered a great singer.

The rock groups just had to look hot. Mick jagger, Herman’s Hermits… They couldn’t sing.  Loved Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick. Lot’s of others were not singers but stylists or just screaming.

So, have we lowered our standards? Or is the average public who are swooning over Aaron on American Idol, are they just tone deaf?  It is sad that you can be spotted by a producer because you have an exposed belly button {Shakira}  and they make you a big star. She has vibrato you can surf on, yes she is in tune, and I’m being picky.

I just miss the old days when you could go any where and hear real talent. Singers such as  Jerry Tiffe, Bob Anderson, Denise Clemente, Jeaneane Marie, Jerry Lopez, Tony Davich, Lenny Lopez, Jamie Hosmer, of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns. These guys can sing. The hotels don’t seem to care enough to give us quality entertainment.

The Chef Michael at Tommasino’s where I work now, said “Jazz never brings money in, they sit and order water or coffee” So, I said, “Charge a cover?” There is a demand or there would be no coffee and water orders. maybe they are twelve steppers?   People, Charge a Cover, I will pay to hear good jazz, funk, R&B or really good anything. At Tommasino’s when I work with  Mike Shane we make great tips, because we talk to the audience, we do their songs, we are funny.

When working with the “Jazz” pianists, brilliant pianists, we make minimal tips, perhaps $5-15.  People want personality, and they want variety.  Driving out to Pahrump to this dream job is heaven, they appreciate me, and I feel like I am pleasing them.

In Vegas lounges, the tourists are getting off their feet, have not slept, and could care less about what you do. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago, we did lounge SHOWS  we entertained, we connected, now they are dance bands.  When did good become good enough?

I miss the old days, when after work at 2am you could catch a dozen or so great acts still playing til 6am. Then you could drive up to Mt. Charleston, watch the sun come up, grab breakfast and sleep til 2pm.  I have to say, I am glad that I am the age I am so i was there in those days.

When I met Cary Grant at valet parking with Walter Kane.  My car was kept out front waiting for me: Star Treatment.

What a memory. I’ll cherish those days forever.  Yes, you needed juice to get a gig, but you better be GREAT not GOOD to keep it.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Maintaining Your Vocal Health

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