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Mel Torme Quotes


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Mel Torme
December 13, 1925 - June 5, 1999
Nationality: American
Category: Musician
Subcategory: American Musician

As regards my feelings about drummers - there's Buddy Rich, and then there's everybody else.

   

I would be a liar if I said it wouldn't be lovely and soothing - that's the word - to have a hit single or a hit album.

   

I hadn't been a recording artist all that long when albums came on the scene, and I was one of the first singers to point the way to how varied an album's contents could be.

   

I was a singer professionally when I was four years old, and I did not really begin to play any instrument - the first one, of course, was drums - till I was about nine years old.

   

Right now, my career is in three directions: as a performer, as an arranger, as an author - and I don't give any one of them true precedent, or true top marks, as opposed to the other two.

   

As a singer, the biggest joy I have are the arrangements.

   

Talking money is crass; so I'm not going to tell you what I made last year.

   

So I'm sorry, I'm going to continue to talk to the people, because I do believe that if they get to know you and what you are as a human being, they can more appreciate what you are as a performer.

   

But, in fairness to them, too, the popular song per se is really a pretty shallow medium to perform in.

   

My initial career, really, as a baby, was as a singer.

   

Because Chicago was to radio what Hollywood was to films and Broadway was to the theatre: it was the hub of radio.

   

There isn't a dearth of it, but I will confess that it's harder for me to find songs on which I'm willing to invest anything from ten to fifteen hours writing an arrangement than it was in times past.

   

I didn't really have an act per se - a theatrical performance, as opposed to just: here I am, folks, and you're all supposed to be dead quiet while I sing eight or nine songs, then get off the stage.

   

As Buddy Rich, for instance, broke into the business at the age of three, I think it was, on drums, so indeed did I break into the business at the age of four as a singer.

   

Buddy Rich is one of a kind; he's a genius, and that's all there is to it.

   

See, I never wrote arrangements for the band for Judy Garland; I did strictly special material, special lyrics, put together all of her medleys.

   

Whenever I did a good performance, my Dad and my uncles, who were rabid movie fans, took me to the movies. There began my underlying love affair with film.

   

I want to sing for the broadest possible audience.

   

It may sound a bit like an army barracks, but the truth of the matter is: there must be some time laid aside for arranging, time for working on either a book or an article - I've written two articles in the last four months for the New York Times book review section.

   

How many radio shows I did is lost to memory now; it's in the hundreds - maybe even close to being in the thousands - for the span of years from the time I was eight till I was about fifteen.

   

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