« Lee at the Gate -- Urban Ministries of Durham | Main | "Endangered Durham" on the web »

Nov 17, 2006

Background Singers

Roxy_music16_prev Georg's recent post at Mondo Mundo got me thinking about the incredible backup singers whom I crushed on back in the 80s.  I didn't know the names of many of them, much less their faces.  But their voices -- sigh -- their voices. And me all young and longing... 

Some song-settings that come to mind as I type:

ABC's The Look of Love ("I care enough to know I can never love you.")
Joe Jackson's album Heart and Soul
Thomas Dolby's My Brain is Like a Sieve and Budapest by Blimp from the album Aliens Ate My Buick
Roxy Music's Avalon.

How about you?

Once, in the early 90s and not far removed from my 80s crushes, I was in a wedding party with an emerging professional singer/composer.  Post-wedding, we were singing our way through the airport when I told her that I dreamed of being someone's backup singer.

"You can be my backup singer anytime," she said.  A sweet if offhand remark, I think, but still good to hear.  Now she's got a real recording career, but I think I'll back off my request.  It's one thing to be a backup singer in a smalltime band -- a couple of months' practice and I could probably be passable in a baritone background.  But to risk a Peter Brady* while on the clock of people who are trying to earn a living?  Mmm, I don't think so.


*ed. note/correction -- thanks to Pants for pointing out that it was time for change when I mistakenly typed "Bobby" instead of "Peter".  For some reason, I always get their names screwy.  Maybe because I found Peter's character more interesting but Bobby's name more accessible.  At least none of them were named "Sue".

12:24 AM in Weblogs | Permalink


Peter Brady, my dear. :-)

Posted by: Stew | Nov 17, 2006 1:15:22 AM


nice to meet you as well. . . you don't look like your picture in real life (someone try to diagram THAT sentence). . . any friend of joe's is. . . well. . . a "friend" of mine. . .

i liked the backup singers for bruce springsteen circa "born in the usa" & if i remember correctly so did bruce springsteen. . .

i will try to get my blog rolling so you can blogroll me. . .


Posted by: Mitch Payton | Nov 19, 2006 12:46:50 PM

Thanks, Mitch. Yep.

I verified on Wikipedia that Patti Scialfa was the backup/duet singer on the Tunnel of Love Tour. Should I assume that she was also the excellent (if not crush-inducing) backup singer on the album?

Posted by: Phil | Nov 19, 2006 9:23:41 PM