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Women in Music
In 1974, when Brian Matthew asked Lyn Paul what she had in her record collection, Lyn replied: "Mainly Peggy Lee and Julie London, Liza Minnelli and Pet Clark, that kind of thing." In an interview in 2007 she said: "I was a bit old-fashioned even when I was young and wanted to be like the entertainers I looked up to. People like Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Peggy Lee and Julie London were my influences - and Petula Clark. I was a great fan of Pet Clark" (Evening News, Friday, 13th April 2007). Discussing her favourites in a radio interview with David Jensen, Lyn said: "I think I was born in the wrong time." (From The Bottom To The Top, Capital Gold, 20th July 2006)
The list of women singers below not only includes some of Lyn's favourites, singers whom she admires and who have influenced her career, it also includes a number of her contemporaries who may appeal to you if you like Lyn Paul.
Matraca Berg writes beautifully crafted songs with subtle and observant lyrics. With a queue of women singers waiting to sing them, her songs usually appear on recordings by other artists. Occasionally she makes her own albums. Lying To The Moon and Sunday Morning to Saturday Night are particularly recommended.
Lyn Paul on Cilla Black's career: "She has been brilliant, hasn't she? I mean, to sustain it for as long as she has and to look as good as she looks as well. We could all wish for a career like that. I think she's been fabulous and I love her." (20th July 2006, From The Bottom To The Top, Capital Gold)
Photo used with kind permission of Mark Van Setten,
Mary Black website.
Suzy Bogguss Aces
Under-rated country singer and songwriter, Suzy Bogguss sings with clarity and conviction. Her singing is heartfelt without being overly sentimental and her recordings have an honesty about them without being "apple pie" wholesome.
Photo used with kind permission of Mark Hawkins,
Mary Chapin Carpenter Come On Come On
Eva Cassidy Songbird
Mary Chapin Carpenter
A Washington-based singer-songwriter whose style is a mix of country, folk and pop. Her songs range from the contemplative to the cheeky and, whether they make you laugh or cry, they nearly always combine an intelligent lyric with a memorable tune.
Blues, folk, gospel, jazz - Eva Cassidy's music is hard to categorise. But whatever the style, it is her voice that shines through - heartfelt, honest, sublime. Eva Cassidy was a great interpreter of songs. She could take even the best known songs and make them her own, be it Judy Garland'sOver The Rainbow or Fleetwood Mac'sSongbird,Paul Simon'sKathy's Song or Cyndi Lauper'sTime After Time.
The voice that launched a thousand careers! Patsy Cline was a pioneer amongst women singers in country music and an inspiration to both her contemporaries and the generations of women singers who followed her. She was the first woman to establish a career for herself in country music, the first to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the first to cross over into the pop market. On the best of her recordings her voice soars and swoops. There's a bitter-sweet quality to many of her songs accentuated by the distinctive catch in her voice.
Photo used with kind permission of Per Jonsson.
Connie Francis Who's Sorry Now
Sentimental songs and chirpy tunes, all sung with a smile, including Who's Sorry Now?, Lipstick On Your Collar, Stupid Cupid and Where The Boys Are.
Lyn Paul's1974 version of Who's Sorry Now? injects a bit more pace and pizzazz into the song than the Connie Francis original. In addition to singing Who's Sorry Now, Lyn also performed Lipstick On Your Collar when she appeared on the It's Cliff Richard show in August 1974.
Photo used with kind permission of Mike Wright.
Emmylou Harris Elite Hotel
Norah Jones Come Away With Me
k d lang Ingenue
The singer everyone wants to record with, Emmylou's voice has a haunting, mournful quality that sends shivers down your spine. Like Lyn Paul, Emmylou Harris recorded the Lennon and McCartney classic Here, There And Everywhere. In 1992 she also recorded the Goffin / King composition Child Of Mine, which Lyn Paul had recorded with the New Seekers in 1971.
Photo used with kind permission of
Brenda Lee "A Fan's Tribute Web Site".
Peggy Lee Bridge Over
Sinéad Lohan No Mermaid
Julie London Julie Is Her Name,
In Lyn Paul's words: "Peggy Lee was one of the great song stylists."
Asked to choose her top ten songs by showbiz writer Phil Penfold, Lyn put Peggy Lee'sWhat Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life at the top of her list. "A song that I often sing for my husband Alan, because the lyrics tell that special person exactly how you feel for them." (Doncaster Free Press, 17th April 2007) The song, written by Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman, was one of the highlights of Peggy Lee's1970 album Bridge Over Troubled Water.
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life has appealed to a number of women singers, with notable versions by Julie Andrews, Shirley Bassey, Alison Moyet, Dusty Springfield and Barbra Streisand.
She may be "no mermaid" but her songs have an other-worldly quality about them. Sinéad Lohan is not only one of the best contemporary songwriters, she is also a fine singer, with a warm, natural voice and a relaxed delivery.
She burst onto the pop scene in 1964 with Shout, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969 with Boom Bang-A-Bang and finally had her first UK number 1 with Relight My Fire (a duet with Take That) in 1993. Of all Lulu's recordings, Lyn Paul's favourite is Oh Me, Oh My - "A song about everything that you'd do to keep someone in your life. It gets me every time!" (Doncaster Free Press, 17th April 2007)
Cass Elliot was described by Richard Blackwell in his Ten Worst Dressed Women list of 1968 as "Little Orphan Annie in gowns by Oscar Meyer." Whatever her fashion sense, it was her warm voice and charisma that really distinguished her.
Cass Elliot found fame in 1965 with The Mamas and The Papas but when the group split up in 1968, she struck out on her own. Three years of success with a vocal harmony group, followed by what her website describes as a "solid solo career". Does this sound familiar?
In 1974, the year when Mama Cass died, Lyn Paul had her example to follow. Mama Cass had used The Mamas and The Papas' last hit, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, to launch her solo career. The song became her signature tune. When the New Seekers split up, Lyn also had a high profile, having sung the lead vocal on the New Seekers' last number 1 hit, You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me. The song became Lyn's signature tune and gave her the launchpad for her own successful solo career.
In addition to their on stage charisma and rapport with an audience, Bette Midler and Lyn Paul share a song and a situation in common.
In 1986Bette Midler became a mum at 40. That same year, aged 37, Lyn Paul told the TV Times: "I often say I would love a baby, but I think it has probably all passed for me now." Three years later Lyn also became a mum at 40!
In 1989Bette Midler had an international hit with a song from the movie Beaches, Wind Beneath My Wings. Prior to this, in 1987, Lyn Paul had won the Euro Country Music Masters in The Netherlands singing the same song.
Like Liza, like Lyn! In 1973, when the New Seekers toured the USA with Liza Minnelli, Lyn Paul would make a point of watching Liza while she was on stage - "If I've learned anything about stagecraft, then I've learnt it from her ... I watched every show she did and I think I learnt more from her than from anybody else in the business."
Speaking in 2020, Lyn said: "Oh my God, the tingles. When she sang she told the story. You lived it with her." (The Musical Theatre Show, 6th December 2020)
In 1974, when Lyn went solo, she named Liza's show as "the kind of act I'm aiming at."
P is for Parton and P is for personality, which Dolly possesses aplenty. She's written some great songs including I Will Always Love You, Jolene and The Seeker, which was recorded by the New Seekers in 1976 after Lyn Paul had left the group.
Gretchen Peters can hold a tune but her real strength is her songwriting. Her album The Secret Of Life is well worth a listen but, for the more polished versions of her songs, you should look to the likes of Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood.
Another talented songwriter whose recordings have a rough 'n' ready quality about them. Kim Richey's songs have been recorded by Suzy Bogguss and Trisha Yearwood. If it's classy vocals and a smoother sound you're after then you'll prefer these cover versions of her songs.
In 1971 the New Seekers' Never Ending Song Of Love was kept off the top spot in the UK by Diana Ross' first solo number 1, I'm Still Waiting. Unless, of course, your read the NME, in which case you'll remember that the New Seekers kept Ms. Ross waiting for a week before she made it to the top.
In 1974, when Lyn Paul and Marty Kristian were guests on the radio show My Top 12, Lyn introduced one of Peter Oliver's favourites - a Diana Ross hit from the previous year, Touch Me In The Morning. The song is also one of Lyn's favourites but, as she told Brian Matthew, she'd managed to lose her copy of the record while the New Seekers were in America: "I bought one of her albums, which was 'Touch Me In The Morning', and put it in my suitcase to bring home and I lost my suitcase!."
Photo used with kind permission of
One of Lyn Paul's favourite songs is Timi Yuro's début single, Hurt, a Top 5 hit in the USA in 1961. Lyn included the song on her album Late Night, recorded a year or so after Timi Yuro's death on 30th March 2004.
Remember two things. First, when you sing a song you must mean every word of it. Next, you must always dress beautifully. Ted Heath (bandleader),
advice to Alma Cogan
(quoted in 'She Bop' by Lucy O'Brien)
Definition of a true musician: one who, when he hears a lady singing in the bathtub, he puts his ear to the keyhole. Morey Amsterdam
Quotes, quotes and more quotes
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