I was playing for some event called “The R&B Awards” a couple years back. On this program there were a LOT of stars that I had to play for, and some of them we had absolutely “no rehearsal with whatsoever.” Jean Knight, the lady who had the classic hit titled “Mr. Big Stuff” actually met us for the first time when it was time to actually perform the song onstage. We didn’t even get the chance to say “hello.” They announced her and then she came out from the right stage entrance and began singing right after we started playing the song. The same thing happened for Dionne Warwick and several others for this program. I remember one group that we actually “did” get the opportunity to rehearse with and the name of that group was “The Whispers.” This group has been around for over 50 years, and I remember years ago being part of their tour when I was with Jean Carne. I remember being backstage and watching women go in and out of their dressing rooms like water. They were full of energy going in, and they were “very lethargic” coming out. At this point I am sure you can imagine what I was thinking at that time. Needless to say, now I actually had my opportunity to play for these guys. We were only doing one song, and that song was a nice classic entitled “Chocolate girl.” Everything went well as we rehearsed the song, until the very last note that they had to sing. The last not was one that the group was to sing in harmony (the last 2 lyrics of the song which actually were the words “chocolate girl.” Well, somehow the harmony didn’t turn out right. I looked around and asked the fellas if they were okay. Nicolas looked back at me and said “We normally have voice samples that hit that harmony for us, but we didn’t bring them.” Well, that told me a lot about their show. Nevertheless, it was a great chance for me to play for them. By the way, they DID manage to get that harmony together for the actual performance of the song. I also had a chance to talk to them in length and of course, I DID ask them about the women that I saw coming in and out of their dressing rooms years ago. Needless to say, I will NOT comment on that today. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my story with you today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
The Whispers and Brett Jolly in concert