30 August 2015
So much trouble in the world, yet programmes like X-factor return. The usual screaming voices singing songs without melody. Where was the exquisite Sinatra phrasing, the Fitzgerald soul, the charisma? I listened in vain. In the '50s my mother would drag me to distant cinemas showing Al Jolson in the Jolson Story. Electricity crackled when he sang. A few evenings ago we went to the Abbeye in Gaillac. Our friend, professional singer Martin St. Martin, gave a 'Sous les Etoiles du Tarn' concert organised by Entente Cordiale in support of cancer research. The setting was lovely, high above the tinkling waters of the Tarn. A full moon gave a rosy glow to the ancient pink brick buildings, but it was the music that enthralled. Martin even dedicated one song to me, the one that turns my knees to jelly: '...wise men say, only fools rush in, but I can't help falling in love with you....' Now there's a melody. Even Him indoors liked it, and he's difficult to please. And then Piaf's La Vie en Rose. Wonderful. A message for Mr. Cowell: stop pandering to youth's foolish notion of stardom. Find the next Jolson/Sinatra/Presley/Piaf. Now that's what a lot of us want to hear.