Growing up in Los Angeles as a child of the 70′s (though a young child…) I was exposed to all kinds of music including soul, jazz, disco, pop and rock. Unlike the majority of today’s female performers that base their fame on sexuality, female artists of that time were strong, talented and smooth. I’m thinking Carole King, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Karen Carpenter. And of course, Dionne Warwick. She was always singing about the chapters of our lives with grace and a voice of silk.
I had the awesome opportunity to see her perform this past weekend at the Swinomish casino – which is an hour north of Seattle in Anacortes. A friend of mine Rob Shrock is her music director and keyboardist. So I packed up a few gal pals and road tripped it. I had been looking forward to her performance. She has so many hits, one almost forgets the impressive list: Walk On By, Close To You, I’ll Never Love This Way Again, That’s What Friends Are For, What the World Needs Now, Then Came You, I Say A Little Prayer….
Dionne has been performing for 50 years. I admire her. She has been through a lot in her life, especially lately with the passing of her niece, Whitney Houston. She’s toured all over the world many times over, entertained presidents, dignitaries, kings and queens. From what I see in the media like everyone else in the public and from the small insider’s glimpse of knowing Rob, Dionne is gracious, giving of her time and remains filled by dignity. She is still driven to share her music and talent with the world and at over 70, still has plenty of energy and love to give.
I wish more of today’s women performers took their cue from those soul-full songstresses that came before them. There is an element of class that is apparent when you meet someone like Dionne.
The performance on Saturday night was a lot of fun and she had the whole room singing with her, “What the world needs now…is love, sweet love…” And it was pretty cool to look around me and see so many people with huge smiles on their faces, singing the words out loud, mesmerized and inspired, if even for a few hours, by a true living legend.