Monday, November 05, 2007

Missing in Action

I don't often succumb to the blues, but today was one of those days. I'm having difficulty writing without Tribble in her usual place beside my computer on the desk.

I have an ARC for which I need to write a review; it's the new
Peter Robinson Inspector Bates mystery. This one is called
Friend of the Devil and is due to be released in January. I'm
about 20% through it.

After finding myself unable to write or to read this afternoon, I whiled away some time watching video clips on YouTube. I came across one that caught my attention. It was a very old one (maybe thirty years old) of torch singer Jane Olivor.

I'm a fan of Olivor's. I was introduced to her music by an older friend, and I have a number of her CDs.

Olivor got her start singing in small clubs in and around New York City in the seventies. Although she was an admirer of Edith Piaf and wanted to model her style on Piaf, she was probably more often compared to Barbra Streisand. Like Streisand, who was five years older, Olivor was Jewish, from Brooklyn and found her earliest success among gay audiences.

Columbia Records took notice of her, and Olivor released two albums in the mid-seventies: First Night and Chasing Rainbows.
I just checked Best Buy and found that both are still available on CD. She released another three albums before disappearing from sight in the early eighties.

Two things derailed Olivor's career. First, like Carly Simon, she suffered from an almost paralyzing stage fright. And, second, her husband contracted cancer. His death in 1986 led to a depression that--combined with the stage fright--kept her from performing.

Interestingly enough, her fanbase remained loyal enough that she was able to stage a comeback. In the fall of 2000, she released her first studio album in more than twenty years. Four years later, Columbia released The Best of Jane Olivor.

Although I rarely get blue, I almost always play Olivor's CDs when I am blue. A coincidence prompted this post. While I was moping around on YouTube this afternoon, I had First Night playing on the stereo. Olivor did a cover of Don McLean's Vincent on that CD. Since I had just posted a video of the song with my post on van Gogh, I did a YouTube search for Olivor. To my surprise, I found fourteen video clips.

The clips weren't great quality, but I found one of my favorite songs--Carousel of Love--so I'm posting the link here tonight.

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