Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Sing in a Trio

I started singing in a trio many, many years ago.  Mary Spreitzer Brower and Alva Morgan were my side kicks back then.  We did some really sweet, tight, three part harmony with Phil Siegler on the piano.  Now there was a man with tremendous patience.  Mary and Alva were naturals but I needed a lot of help finding my part (I'm an alto) and Phil would tirelessly pound it out for me.  We sang together for a good long time and then Mary had to pull out because of allergies.
Nothing happened for a few years and then my friend, Sue Buese, mentioned a song from Smokey Joe's Cafe that she thought would be great for us.  We performed "I'm a Woman" for Cabaret that year and got a standing O every night.  Singing with the band was a blast for many years after that (although I missed Phil terribly) and our performances were pretty much limited to Cabaret which was fine with all of us.
Our last Cabaret performance was in 2007.  Sue and I have become "snow birds" and are gone for the month of March (gotta work on the tan, ya know) so no more Cabaret.  Alva's still having fun there, tho'.
Then a few years ago a new group was formed known as SASS.  I'll explain the name in a minute.  The group was new only in that we had a keyboard player - finally.  Same old dames at the mic, new person on the keys.
Marty Hesse helps us out when we have a gig now and then.
When we were trying to figure out names for our "new group", several were tossed around and we finally settled on Sue's suggestion of SASS.  We're too old to be referred to as sassy and we thought SASS (always all caps) sounded mature, with plenty o' attitude.  Say it out loud and draw out the esses.  See?  Mature, bold with a kick.  Am I right?

This is SASS singing at the summer concert series at the Gazebo on the riverfront.  I believe we're doing "Kansas City" - cuz why else would we be wearing those stupids hats?
Also, see how we're using music stands?  Didn't have to in the old days.  We memorized a ton of lyrics. hmmmm, wonder what caused this need for lyrics IN LARGE FONT?
I have a tough time with lyrics and IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY AGE I'm sorry to say.  I've been screwing up lyrics since forever.  One time I stole Sue's entire verse from the very song we're singing in this picture.  While I was singing it and wondering what the hell had come over me, I was also wondering what the hell Sue was going to do when her turn came up?  She's a trooper and just sang her verse again.
Just this past summer at the gazebo we were closing the show up with our signature song, "I'm a Woman" and I screwed up my verse.  Been singing that song for many years now and I screw up my verse! - and swore into the mic.  I didn't drop the F-bomb, thankfully.  Only said "damn it" but apparently a little girl in the audience put her had to her face which had raised eyebrows and a big "O" on it.    I got to start my verse over again so all was not lost.
So, now you know all about SASS.  We hope to sing at the Gazebo again this summer (I'll try not to swear - unless you're into that kinda thing) and will definitely be singing at the Second Sunday Benefit music series at the Presbyterian Church in July.
Come on down.  It's always an adventure.


  1. I remember when you first started and you interpreted the songs with your hands as well as your voice. Pretty impressive that was.

  2. Oh, I forgot about that, Stace. I love 'terping music.

  3. Hi, Ellen. Lovely to read your blog. I looked you up and found "I Sing in a Trio." What fun to reminisce. Your writing style is as fun to read as your voice was to sing with in harmony. You are really a wonderful singer. I don't know why you sell yourself short. I loved that singing experience. You surely made your dad proud! This thought just occurred to me. He used a particularly descriptive word to describe a kind of full bore singing style I think he enjoyed: gut-barrel. Do you remember that? I've dropped the B in my name but not in my life. Back to M.S. Thanks for sharing this. m