Monday, February 06, 2012

Your Favorite Voice

Whose voice can you listen to endlessly? Who can make even the dullest song thrilling to hear?

I am voting for K.D. Lang. And as much as I loved the silky smoothness of her voice, my second choice would be Leonard Cohen (back a few years) who has a very different sort of voice.


Chad said...

Neko Case and Tom Waits are two of my favorite musical voices.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hum, Pat Benatar had a great voice. Tom Kiefer of Cinderella has a very interesting voice.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Kiefer is new to me. Have to check him out.
Tom Waits would certainly head my list for the most distinctive voice.
My husband would choose Cat Power.

sandra seamans said...

Bonnie Raitt. There's something about her voice that just pulls you into the song.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Chrissie Hynde(The Pretenders).

Anonymous said...

Are we talking favorite here or smoothest? Because no one could call Tom Waits smooth.

I also like people with very distinctive voices, ones you could not mistake for anyone else: Roy Orbison, Neil Young, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, B. B. King, Don Henley.

If we're talking smooth, you could do a lot worse than (yes, I'm serious) Karen Carpenter, whose phrasing was never less than impeccable. And of course Tony Bennett is still right up at the top.

Jeff M.

PS - I'm sure I've forgotten many of my favorites and will be kicking myself later.

pattinase (abbott) said...

No votes for Frank Sinatra?
How about Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney.
And Feist is right up there for me.

MP said...

Here's a vote for Sinatra. He wasn't called The Voice for nothing. Among rockers, Dylan and Young.

Gerard said...

Robin Zander of Cheap Trick.
Lyle Lovett.
John Hiatt.

Hiatt and Lovett are touring together again. I enjoy them both but do not want to pay $55 for a cheap seat.

Kent Morgan said...

Glad to see you chose two Canadians, Patti. Sinatra would top my list, but K.D. would be right up there along with Patsy Cline. I really like all the work of the late cabaret singer Nancy Lamott. I also felt that way about Roberta Flack in her early years. And I constantly play Gram Parsons both while he was with the Flying Burrito Brothers and later his own group. His voice isn't great, but it's special.

Naomi Johnson said...

Sam Cooke. I never tire of his voice, maybe because he could sing so many styles so well.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Engelbert Humperdinck, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, Peter Frampton, Jennifer that's one too many.

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to bluegrass, so Doc Watson for smooth (The Banks of the Ohio) and Ralph Stanley (Little Maggie) for interesting textures.

F.T. Bradley: said...

Sinatra and Bonnie Raitt get my vote too.

Ray Lamontagne is my favorite.

Funny how the reasons to love a singer's voice are the same as a writer's--that unique personality only that person seems to capture perfectly.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Good point, Fleur.
Good list here. I expected Johnny Cash to turn up by now.

Richard R. said...

The first two I thought of were Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Patti. So you hit it on the head for me.

If it's DISTINCTIVE you want, Dylan, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin do it.

Dan_Luft said...

Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin. Stuff that I listened to endlessly during the last days of vinyl.

Also, an underrated blues man named Johnny Copeland. His records were good but live, back in the 80s...amazing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Another new name.

Erik Donald France said...

Certainly concur re: k.d. lang. I caught her in Chapel Hill in the 80s and she totally blew my mind, Patsy Cline incarnate.

I love the blues & torch singers, from Son House and John Lee Hooker to Billie Holiday, and Amy Winehouse does it for me on several songs.

pattinase (abbott) said...

When I think of all the years we might have enjoyed Amy's incredible voice, it is just too sad.

Court Merrigan said...

Hank Williams.
I also second Tom Waits.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tom is probably the winner. Funny isn't it because his voice is so unusual. I wonder if the songs he writes plays into it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I saw Lovett once and he was awfully charismatic in person. I think it was back in the early nineties when he was really hot.

Deb said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned smoky-voiced Sade. I could listen to her Greatest Hits CD all day long.

Doris Day had a lovely voice, but she often chose saccharine material that didn't do it justice. I love the big-band singers like Helen Forrest and Rosemary Clooney.

When it comes to men, the triad: Sinatra, Bennett, and Torme.

Jerry House said...

Gordon Bok
Tommy Makem
Harry Belafonte
Tom Paxton
Nat King Cole
Malvina Reynolds
Big Mama Thornton
Mahalia Jackson
Mary Travers
Mama Cass

Five men and five women who are hard to beat.

Todd Mason said...

Miriam Makeba. I'm surprised it took so long to get to Billie Holiday. Muddy Waters. Sarah Vaughan. (And, indeed, Sade Adu, Doc Watson, Chrissie Hynde, Leonard Cohen.) Abbey Lincoln.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Don't know Malvina Reynolds or Doc Watson.

Ron Scheer said...

No question. Diana Krall.

Cap'n Bob said...

Jackie Wilson. Paul McCartny. John Lennon. Sinatra. Orbison. Jimmy Beaumont.

Gerard said...

Bon Scott. How could I forget Bon Scott?

Anonymous said...

Patti, if you're interested in finding out about Doc Watson, you might listen to the Doc Watson and David Grisman youtube of Summertime.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Michel. You tube really filled a void, didn't it?
I think we take Krall for granted. She has a lovely voice.
You can never mistake Orbison, can you?
Bon Scott-another new name.

Todd Mason said...

Bon Scott is new to you as a non-pop-metal-head...but I'm surprised Doc Watson has gotten by you all these years, or Malvina Reynolds (best remembered for "Little Boxes," one of her recordings of it the initial theme for WEEDS, the Mary Louise Parker series).

Doc Watson...well, he's Muddy Waters or Frank Sinatra or Chuck Berry in his compass.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Keep in mind that my husband plays classical music all day. Especially in the car.

Richard R. said...

Good for him!!!!!

Gerard said...

Bon Scott was the lead singer of AC/DC through the '70s until he drank himself to death.

Cap'n Bob said...

I forgot Judy Garland.

John said...

I have to agree with Jeff about Karen Carpenter. My father loved her and I am just beginning to appreciate how musically rich her voice was. She and her brother may have written some of the 70s most treacly songs, but when she did a cover of an old standard like "This Masquerade" or an obscure song like "Calling Occupants from Interplanetary Craft" it was something worth listening to.

Here are my contributions for distinctive voices that I love to listen to:

Suzanne Vega
Shawn Colvin
Holly Cole
Nancy Griffith
Nina Simone
Dinah Washington
Ella - the Queen!

Don McLean
David Bowie
Jeff Buckley
Scott Walker
Neil Hannon
Rufus Wainwright

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love Holly Cole. I saw her in Windsor once and she blew us away. Have several of her CDs. Nina has a distinctive voice-especially love her own song Mississippi Goddamn.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Ella Fitzgerald, Elizeth Cardoso, Elis Regina, Clara Nunes, Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Carmen Linares.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Peter Rozovsky said...

I was glad to see that someone mentioned Sam Cooke. He probably has the best voice of any singer likely to be familiar to a rock and roll audience.

Most of the singers I mentioned in my comment above are Brazilian, by the way. Carmen Linares is a flamenco singer whose performance of a song called "Bordando un Capote" (available on YouTube) has to be one of the great vocal performances ever recorded.

On vacation in Portugal a few months ago, I discovered the fado singer Cristina Branco. She also has to be a contender for any top-singer list.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I meant to get back to this post and ask that. We loved Portugal when we were there in '97. And fado is amazing. I will look for her on you tube.

Peter Rozovsky said...

The Cristina Branco song I like especially is "Corpo Illuminado." A version of it, too, is available on YouTube.

And add Maria Bethania (Brazil, and Caetano Veloso's sister) to your list of distinctive voices.