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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Susannah McCorkle

Yesterday, May 19, marked the 8th anniversary of the death of Susannah McCorkle, one of my favourite singers. A manic depressive, Susannah killed herself by jumping from a window in New York.
She was 55.
Susannah McCorkle had a unique voice that first came to my attention when I, literally, stumbled over an LP of hers in a Drury Lane charity shop. The record was an album entitled "The Quality of Mercer" that, after picking myself up, I bought for 50p. It was the first of many LPs and CDs that I amassed and cherished. Recorded in London, in 1977, with a band that included Danny Moss, Digby and her partner to be (briefly) Keith Ingham she interprets the Johnny Mercer songs as good as anyone ever did. Check out her almost laconic rendition of "This Time The Dream's On Me" and other Susannah gems on YouTube. Here there is a frustrating interview with vocal snippets. I say frustrating because the actual interview is excellent giving an insight into her musical awareness but the music itself suffers from abysmal recording. Never mind it is worth it for the, I believe, only known interview. I have a vague recollection that Susannah did some gigs in Newcastle during the 1970s at, possibly, "Change Is" or maybe even the New Orleans Club. Anyone able to confirm this?
Lance.
PS: My Ideal is just that! She'd be So Easy To Love.

6 comments :

Russell said...

Hi Lance

A few years ago the Vermont Hotel ran a short - lived series of jazz cabaret evenings. Annie Ross appeared, as did, I think, Elaine Delmar. One or two others performed over the weeks. I wonder was Susannah McCorkle one of them ? The local backing was from the likes of Billy Harper and possibly Syd Warren.

Russell

Lance said...

At the time I'm thinking of - early/mid 70s I don't think the Vermont had been built.

Roly said...

Agreed she had a very warm, sincere vocal style. I have that Mercer tribute album - it's excellent. I remember her being very popular around that time, getting very established in the UK as well as internationally. A bit like Rebecca Kilgore now I think. Can't recall any local gigs though. Very sad, her demise.
Roly

Liz said...

What a truly lovely natural voice she had, I had never heard of her until Lance made me aware some time ago.
How tragic that her life was so tormented & short.
Liz

Hil said...

oh! how wonderful...

Off now to buy a cd for a certain young ladies forthcoming birthday.
Dont tell her tho, coz its a birthday secret...;o)

Hil x

Lance said...

Reading Chris Yates'new book - "Blue Horizons" he mentions a concert by Dick Sudhalter that had Susannah on vocals. I wonder if this was the gig I attended at the Peoples Theatre? If so I heard one of my favourite singers and didn't realise it!
Hang your head in shame Lance.

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