Back in the 70’s, one of my favourite music listening choices was Chuck Mangione. Chuck is an expert flugelhorn (like a trumpet) artist, but also very good at arranging broader music compositions much greater than his flugelhorn prowess.
Here’s Chuck back in the day:
One of his greatest, and unsung, achievements was to bring into his productions a female vocal artist by the name of Esther Satterfield.
I listened to three of Esther’s songs in the 70’s and was thunderstruck by her sound. Something stuck a chord. Her sound was special and something about it was unusually vulnerable. You may agree if you listen to the three songs linked here. And that’s the point of this post……the vulnerability of Esther’s voice.
Did Esther rise to stardom after that? Not at all. She got married, raised a family and still hasn’t re-emerged into the public. Her daughter does respond to some public forums, but Esther has chosen a private life. Too bad for those of us who found something important in her voice and the lyrics she sung.
There is something to this story that is untold, and perhaps will always be untold. Esther, can you come out again? If not, we can accept that.
Here is what I can find in the public sphere on Esther’s songs:
This is one of her best. Land of Make Believe based on Wizard of Oz. (warning, this one is about 12 minutes. The following two songs are much shorter).
I love these lyrics in this song with a veiled reference to MLK:
“In your world there was a King
He once said, “I have a dream,”
Now there’s a man who knew
Here is my favourite…called “Soft”:
And this is her best if you want to experience the beautiful vulnerability of her voice:
Esther, you produced something special. If you can come back, you have a lot of supporters. If your choice is anonymity, it is well respected and thank you for your work that has been recorded.
I hope my readers enjoy her work! After all “what is there to fear from the darkness that surrounds us……as long as we’re together?”.