In her youth and young adulthood, she wore turned-down hose, bobbed her hair, smoked, drank whiskey, and was a chorus girl. She was unabashedly opinionated (in her youth and old age), and married and divorced several times (I never did know exactly how many).
By the time I met her, she was an old woman, but the spunk and chutzpah were still there. She spoke her mind without reservation, was ballsy and loud, and cut through all the B.S. and decorum so many of her era felt was necessary and proper.
Aunt Theresa was anything but “proper”.
And I liked her that way.
She was the antithesis of her sister, May – my maternal grandmother – who had once been a Salvation Army officer, raising five children on her own after kicking her husband out when he became an alcoholic and wouldn’t get sober.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved my grandmother without reservation, and it was she to whom I went for advice (or Mama). But Aunt Theresa always intrigued me, an...
Barry came to me with this song and some investor money and said, “You’re the only one I know who has the range and attitude to sing this. Wanna make a record?”
With this song we began to develop the persona for the project: strong but sensitive, confident yet vulnerable, sassy yet tender, bold and sexy.
One of four songs recorded in the initial sessions, this song set the tone for the entire project and influenced the direction that subsequent songs would take.
I also got to sing it on-screen in the film as the “Lead singer in convict reunion band” (don’t ask) in the film West From North Goes South (starring Sean Thompson [of The Heights], singer Morris Day, Tina Louise [Gilligan’s Island’s Ginger], Phyllis Diller, Larry Linville [Frank Burns on M*A*S*H]...