Backup Singers Get Some Love

19 Jun

In the new documentary, Twenty Feet From Stardom, we are introduced to the singers who don’t get the credit. Who you see on stage but who largely remain nameless. That is, of course, until the star introduces her backup singers to the audience – always to rapturous applause. Because they made the performance and the song so much more – more harmonious and indelibly memorable. I watched it with abounding admiration for these wonderful talents. And sometimes through tears, reminded that I have been fortunate to call many of them my friends, including Ula Hedwig, Pattie Darcy, and Darlene Love. The fact is their lives are just as compelling as the lives of the stars they stand twenty feet from – for they have helped shape the popular music we have come to love.

DarleneLove.lastfmMerry Clayton, whose growling vocals have been behind Joe Cocker and The Rolling Stones, says her job is:

“…to make them sound incredible, because I’m gonna be on my thing.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love explains:

“My life has been trying to make a success of the gift that I have.”

Director Morgan Neville sums up:

“…they’re the most incredible musicians you never heard of.”

 

Sources
Clayton and Neville quotes: CBS Sunday Morning June 16, 2013
Love quote: Twenty Feet From Stardom
Darlene Love pic: last.fm

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