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December 12, 2013 / thackersam

December 11 – Wednesday – Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual

Cyndi LauperWe have had a few really strong and influential women of song lately. Grace Slick, Ricki Lee Jones, Janis Joplin and now, yes the unusual Cyndi Lauper. And let’s not forget Bonnie Bramlett from back in the Cs and Ds. And there are more to come.

But this is about the Grammy and recent Tony award-winning Cyndi Lauper. And didn’t she also win an Emmy? Like Ricki Lee Jones, her appearance and character could have come off as gimmicky if not for its authenticity and the talent that went – that goes with it.

Cyndi was once with the band Blue Angel that released their only album in 1980. I had heard her in an evening or weekend radio interview back then. I used to listen to the radio a lot. It provided views to the outside world that I appreciated. It was probably on WNEW-FM in New York. In any case, she was talking and she was very unusual then as well. The DJ commented on her multi-colored hair and Cyndi mentioned discovering the harmonics in her voice. I don’t play any instruments, and the only thing I remember from guitar lessons was learning harmonics. I didn’t know, until then, that one’s voice could produce such a sound. They played the song “Maybe He’ll Know” from the album, and lo and behold – harmonics.

I didn’t automatically become a Blue Angel fan, but was intrigued. One night that year, Blue Angel was playing at the club in Bayside that was all of one block up the main street from which I lived one short block. I would have been 24 or so at the time, and though I had no problem driving home late at night, parking on the street and walking back to my apartment, I was wary of walking up the block for a midnight show, then coming home afterward for some reason. My mother, who had parked herself in my living room for three years (don’t ask), was sympathetic to my dilemma and asked if I would like to call her after the show (no cell phones then) so she could walk up the street and escort me home. I did think this was pretty cute, particularly since this was not a type of service she had ever offered before, except I think once when I was in 7th grade. But as I couldn’t ask my mother to do something that I was too nervous to do myself, I didn’t go to the show.

In any case, Cyndi Lauper managed to survive without my support that night. This is her first solo album, and is the one with “Girls Just Want to have Fun,” “Time After Time” and “She Bop.”

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