Post by SavoyBG Post by Mark Dintenfass
Of course Elvis was a great singer. And he made more bad records than
most great singers do. The fact that I like great singing (Billie
Holiday, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Clyde McPhatter, Otis Redding, to
name a few) doesn't mean that I like their bad records.
I think most everybody "likes" great singing, but your statement was that
great singing is what you treasure most.
Since you're being so cussedly literal-minded, I'll clarify.
First, there's a big difference between having a great voice and being
a great singer. A great voice is something you can measure technically
by measuring range, volume, clarity, enunciation, breath control, lung
capacity and all the other things a vocal coach could explain. The
greatest voice award in 50s hit music probably would go to someone like
Mario Lanza, and, of course, his records are of no interest to me at
Great singing, in contrast, can't be measured. It's about the feelings
generated from the lyric and melody, and delivered to the audience.
It's about subjective things like honesty, wit, depth, complexity, and
a dozen others. Of course, if you ignore a song's lyrics, very little
or what constitutes great singing can make any sense.
Elvis Presley certainly had a great voice, but he was only sometimes a
great singer. Ella Fitzgerald had a greater voice than Billie Holiday,
but Holiday was a much greater singer. Chuck Berry did not have great
voice, but in many of his hits, he was a great singer.
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