I was going to post about my favorite female singer, but what to base my choice on? Most listened to, most albums purchased, seen in concert, most moving, memorable song, look for videos on YouTube?
I decided to do it this way. Imagine a little dance club with a great Swing band. Now who would I want to see fronting the band? Not simply the best singer or the best performer, but what female singer can captivate the audience – bring them to joy – make them feel the sadness – get them on their feet.
So after imaging this club in my mind, here’s my top 5 picks.
1. YsabellaBrave – When I first started thinking about favorite female singers, YsabellaBrave was barely in the top 10, but when I think about singers that can truly move an audience – YsabellaBrave has to be number 1. She’s a reverse Deanna Troi.
Let’s Misbehave – 1928 (double-click to open)
Peel Me a Grape
2. Amy Winehouse – I love Amy’s bluesy voice and most of her music has a Swing band sound to it.
You Know I’m No Good
3. Nina Simone – Have to thank YsabellaBrave for all her great covers of Nina Simone songs which got me to really appreciate the genius of Nina. What a treat it would have been to hear her live (died in 2003).
Just Like a Woman and I Will Be Released
4. Annie Lenox – Loved Annie when I first heard her with Eurymics. Much bigger in UK than in US.
Would I Lie to You (Eurythmics)
5. Eva Cassidy – First heard Eva when ABC’s Nightline aired a short documentary about Eva Cassidy written and narrated by Dave Marash. I immediately bought her Songbird and Live at Blues Alley CDs. No telling what she could have done with a few more years. Eva died of melanoma in 1996 at the age of 33.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Some of the other singers I considered were Amy Grant, Janis Joplin, Peggy Lee, Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Bette Midler, and Judy Collins. I also gave a passing thought to Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Nora Jones, etc., but I since I never bought any of their music, I guess that means they are not among my favorites.
All great singers but based on my criteria of a Swing band, they didn’t make my top 5. Maybe in the future I will do this again with different criteria.
OK. So who are your 5 ladies that can Swing?