I was born the last of 11 children in Dallas, TX on October 9.. well quite a while ago! :-) When I was six, my family moved to Sydney, Australia.
The family tells me I sang a lot as a kid. My favorite movie musicals were "Finian's Rainbow" and Walt Disney's "The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band". I learned the words to every song and entertained my mother, mostly. I remember my father had a reel-to-reel tape of a San Diego radio station that he played all the time. It was the only American music we had and it included a lot of the easy sounds of the early seventies' (especially The Carpenters). I LOVED Karen Carpenter's voice! Then I heard Olivia Newton-John's "Let Me Be There" and I couldn't stop singing. I fell desperately in love with the Bay City Rollers who were HUGE in Australia in the mid-seventies and immediately began playing AIR-guitar with my tennis racket (didn't you?)
When I was thirteen (we had since moved back to the U.S. and settled in Bedford, Texas) Daddy bought me a student sized 'Harmony' guitar at a garage sale and I sat down to teach myself how to play. The first song that I tortured my family with was "Feelings …nothing more than feelings…." I still hate that song today! (And they probably do, as well!). I started with The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac - just playing along with the records (remember those?) and recording myself on cassette tapes (LOL).
When I was 15 my drama teacher made us sing a showtune for a class grade. I chose "How are Things in Glocca Morra?" from "Finian's Rainbow". When I was finished, she told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to sing in the next talent show. I did and I was terrified! I sang Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" and apparently I did well, because an old friend of mine who had shown up at the Talent Show asked me to sing in his newly forming rock band, SOUNDZ (see pictures - you just have to love the hair!) We only played one dive lesbian bar in Dallas, a pool hall in Hurst and a short lived teen club in Euless. The truth is we were terrible, but I knew then that I loved to sing! I also discovered Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart and my life was changed forever!
After the garage band disintegrated, I concentrated on high school theatre (I was a nun in "The Sound of Music" - don't laugh!). After graduation I moved to San Antonio with my parents and attended University of Texas at San Antonio for a couple of years. Those were the best times! I was involved in speech and drama in school and on evenings and weekends I immersed myself in the local music scene. I formed a band of my own called PHYSICAL (yes, it was named after Olivia's song & album). I sat in a lot with a great cover band called RENEGADE, singing great 80's rock 'n' roll like Joan Jett and Loverboy tunes.
I moved back to Dallas and got a "real" job in the financial services industry where I was trapped for the next 15 years. During that time I kept writing songs. I did some home recording, some studio work, just to keep the faith alive. I sent a lot of demo tapes to record companies - got my official rejections, etc. Then in 1998, a friend of mine who had heard me sing and play at a party asked me to open for him at THE FOUR STAR COFFEE BAR in Fort Worth. I got a great response and started getting my own coffee house gigs. In May of 1999 I sent in a demo tape to the "Lilith Fair Local Talent Search". The winner in each city would get to open the local Lilith Fair concert. I had no expectations, I honestly sent the tape on a whim. Well, lo and behold, I was one of the Top 20 finalists! The showcase was at TREES in Deep Ellum! The sound system broke on me three times before I could even get started. I didn't win, but I was mentioned on the website (local talent contest review) - the sites not up anymore and in the Fort Worth Weekly review.
So I guess that was the jumpstart I needed. I started booking more coffeehouses. I really like that type of venue so much better than bars. You can see your audience, they're (usually) much more attentive & polite and there's no smoke! People listen to your lyrics. There's nothing I love more than when someone says one of my songs touched them.
Come on out and listen. I know you'll hear a song or two that you know and perhaps you'll take home a new one that you'll be humming in your head for few days. And maybe make a new friend, too!