Monday, July 6, 2009
Woman of Interest: Phyllis Hyman (In Remembrance)
July 6, 1949 — June 30, 1995
Her beauty was beyond belief...her voice was so rich and her personality larger than life...to know her music was to love her.
I became a fan of Ms. Hyman as a sophomore in high school when my drama teacher showed me a clip of her singing "It Don't Mean a Thing" in the Broadway musical, Sophisticated Ladies (plus I found out that she was originally from my hometown, Pittsburgh!). Ever since that day her beautifully rich alto tone has haunted me. Along with greats like Sarah Vaughan and Anita Baker, her artistry is something that I have aspired to because all four of us possessed one similar gift: a strong lower register (as well as some nifty highs). Now if only I can get mine to sound half as glorious as Phyllis'... Unfortunately, all that talent did not help her bouts with depression and extreme sadness. I wish she knew how much she was and still is loved.
Make it your business to learn more about this American treasure and her music. For more information, click here. As a gift to her memory, purchase some of her music today. :-)