Hello fellow lovers of superior sounds! My blog today has left the tracks and is
headed down a dirt road ... so LOOK OUT! Last
month I had the pleasure of doing a show with one of the finest singers I’ve
ever worked with, Melinda Doolittle.
Dear God in heaven, how that girl can
sing; I have goose bumps as I write this ... just remembering her performance on
that evening in December. For those of
you unfamiliar with Doolittle, she’s the long-time American Idol background
singer who came out of the background in 2009 to be a contestant; she almost
won the thing, and she DID score a record deal.
Well, this morning she was on one of the network news shows, and she
said something that I feel is well worthy of repeating. READ ON to find out what she said!
First, I want to take you all on a trip back to Jackson, Minnesota
circa 1979; I was a freshman and had joined the high school concert choir. I was already in a band, and had high hopes
that the choir experience would help me become a better singer. After a couple of weeks, I asked Mr. Anderson,
the choir director if he could give me a couple of pointers. That afternoon I sang and played a couple of
tunes for him on an acoustic guitar. His
response? "Vaughn, can’t you hear how
out of pitch you are? You must be tone
deaf." I kid you not, those were his
After that, I relegated myself to the notion
that I could perhaps be a guitarist some day, but not a singer. Okay, now fast-forward to 1985, when a very
green little Vaughn fell off the turnip truck in Nashville, Tennessee.
I immediately started working as an
engineer at one of the largest recording studios in town; life was good. Every now and then, just for fun, I would
sing songs with Cindy, the receptionist. It was a blast! One day Cindy asked if I would like to sing
with her on a project she was lending her voice to. The project turned out to be Sandi Patti’s "Morning
Like This" album. That album went on to
be the biggest selling Christian album of 1986, and won Grammy and Dove awards.
I was now a "Grammy award winning
vocalist"! As a result, I wound up
singing on quite a number of big name records.
Today, my voice is all over; radio, TV, and CD’s. I am also a praise & worship leader at a
large church. It took a while, but I finally
figured out that Mr. Anderson was wrong (and a total jerk). Okay, so let’s get back to this morning’s
morning news show.
Melinda Doolittle was interviewed right after a spine-tingeling performance. She spoke with conviction and compassion;
she has joy that is very evident in her face and through her words. One of the things she shared made me remember
Mr. Anderson’s remarks all over again. She
said that her high school choir director told her that she was "tone deaf" and
not good enough for the school choir. Good
God, the same thing Mr. Anderson told me! Another total idiot.
Is there a lesson here? You betcha!
Believe in yourself and your God-given talents. Never let some lame, burnt-out high school
teacher, or anyone else for that matter, tell you that you’re no good! Oh, and Mr. Anderson, I hope you are reading