Vocaltraditions.com

A passionate fan celebrates 
the music he loves

Songbirds

                         


   The internet group Songbirds has provided me enormous information, insight and personal relationships since joining it in Sept 2000. The group has been, far and away, the most valuable contributor to extending my knowledge base to better perform the principal music activities I’ve been involved in during retirement – attending live events, CD acquisitions, reviews, presentations, radio programs and producing. But the overall value to me has gone far beyond even the incredible amount of information I’ve obtained.

WHAT IS IT & WHO CREATED IT?

  Songbirds is one of the thousands of special interest internet lists on Yahoo Groups. It is primarily a discussion forum on the legendary female vocalists of “Classic Pop and Jazz”, although messages often deal with related topics such as composers, male singers, instrumentalists, contemporary artists and associated themes. David Torresen, of Washington D.C. created the list in June 1998, is still the moderator and a key contributor of factual material. Although he has a fine voice himself, most of his music involvement has been as the premier and most knowledgeable expert on the career of Peggy Lee, greatly respected and appreciated by her family and organizations celebrating her legacy. This includes maintaining her official web site -
PeggyLee.com, in collaboration with her family.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

   The group’s essence is dozens of daily email messages posted and commented on by the membership. Non-members can view the Home page at Songbirds; but are required to apply to the moderator to become members to be able to view past messages
in the archives and post messages. The service is free.

WHO ARE THE MEMBERS?

   The more than 1,000 members worldwide include a large number of experienced music professionals - vocalists, instrumentalists, composers/lyricists, producers, agents, writers, etc. However, the majority of the members, especially those that post messages on a regular basis, could best be described as passionate and extremely knowledgeable lovers of vocal jazz and the Great American Songbook.

HOW DID I JOIN?

  In 1999 I struck up an email friendship with a very nice person, Marcia Baggott (also from Washington D.C.), through an internet
bulletin board with an extensive discography of Chris Connor, of whom she also was an ardent fan, like myself. In September 2000, she invited me to apply for membership to Songbirds, which she was already active in. I am eternally grateful to her, as it has been an enormously positive aspect to my life – well worth the thousands of hours over the last 7 years spent reading and communicating, with members all over the world.

WHY IS IT SO SPECIAL?

   Because the knowledge depth of the membership is so vast, Songbirds would be very special even if, as many members are limited to, one uses it as an exchange of information and opinions on the music we love. Certainly, I was amazed to find out about numerous truly excellent (but very under-publicized) singers, that I didn’t know about, despite my extensive collection & history dealing with female jazz vocalists. Members continually marvel over the group’s knowledge base and willingness to share in answering professionals request for urgently needed detail information on songs and arrangements. However, an even more meaningful personal dimension to my involvement has been the wonderful friendships that I developed with members on the list. I have been fortunate to socialize with many of these warm, bright and interesting members, on occasion at live events in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., where we shared the joy of performances by artists on Songbirds or others. In addition to these folks who've I enjoyed meeting, I'm also appreciative of the special friendships I've developed with others outside of this country, who I may never get to meet. With many of these special individuals, our mutual passion for the music has also extended to creating and mailing compilation tapes and CD’s to each other of artists we enjoy. 

MY OWN POSTS ON SONGBIRDS

    Since joining in Sept 2000 up until April 2009, I have posted over 750 messages, including over 150 reviews of CD’s and live performances. Subsequent reviews are listed at Reviews written to Songbirds 2009 - 2014.
The various topics, like those of other members covered a wide range of music subjects, some of which have led to extended threads of dozens of responses that were very stimulating and enlightening. Most of the information and insight shared by the very knowledgeable members is not easily available elsewhere – a fact for which I’ve expressed my gratitude to David Torresen and the members, as a whole.
 
   In September 2014 I found my Songbirds Profile, created nine months after joining the group. It contains basic personal info, as well as my favorite passed & living singers, favorite Great American Songbook tunes and my all-time Top ten "Desert Island" albums. With minor modifications, these remain pretty much unchanged today.




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