Monday, November 12, 2007

I don't think so

If I heard her correctly on her television program today, Oprah Winfrey introduced Celine Dion as "the greatest female singer of all time." This will probably come as a surprise to fans of, oh, I don't know, maybe Joan Sutherland, Maria Callas, Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Roberta Peters, Kathleen Battle, Kirsten Flagstaad, Birgit Nilsson, Renata Tebaldi, and Amelia Galli-Curci. If you don't care for opera, try another genre. What about Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Eydie Gormé, Kate Smith, Wynona Judd, Judy Garland, Joan Baez? The list goes on and on.

Oprah, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: Don't exaggerate. A little hyperbole goes a long way.


  1. Gosh, you've got that right! So, Allan Bloom wasn't crying wolf with his book "The Closing of the American Mind." We've come to this! One of the most influential voices in America is absolutely impoverished with regard to the arts and what constitutes greatness. Really, how did we get to this point? And, more importantly, how do we turn things around?

  2. tansui,
    We got to this point by becoming obsessed as a culture with celebrities, staying glued to our television sets, never reading a book or attending a symphony concert, all the usual hand-wringing-causing items. How do we turn things around? I haven't a clue, but I hope it isn't too late to do so. I'm reminded of the old joke, how many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to want to change.

    I was just floored by Oprah's statement. And so many seem to hang on her every word.

  3. Oprah obviously hasn't spent enough time listening to Sarah Vaughn, Jo Stafford, Helen O'Connell, Dinah Shore and Peggy Lee.

  4. S.W.A., yes and yes and yes and yes and yes! My point exactly! There are so many wonderful voices out there. Most people today don't even know who Helen O'Connell was, but she is one of my favorites. If you want to hear some really BAD singing (as in BAD, not good), try to find the Jonathan and Darlene Edwards album--it's really Jo Stafford and Paul Weston doing a number on the rest of the industry. On the album cover, the hands playing the piano have six fingers on each hand.

    Glad you found my blog! Were you searching on Celine or Oprah?