In the Kingdom of Jazz land, before ISO, there were places called Clubs that held Song Competitions.
It was a chance for Singers to win money to stave off starvation, and to be given a recording contract that would open the gates and drawbridges of other famous Clubs.
These Competitions were live and fiercely contested. Singers had to arm themselves with ‘Charts’ to navigate the mind stream of jazz musicians who were lined up to play for you. Respect for them was key component of your success. A smile of acknowledgement didn’t go astray in this “dog eat dog” world.
I sat waiting on the bench with my friend “Singalot.'”
I came to provide her with my support and encouragement. She had a beautiful pure voice, but was prone to nerves. It was my job to occasionally give her sips of water and mop her brow with my hanky. A few minutes before it was her turn to go on,”Singalot” turned to me and exclaimed that she needed a cough lolly to clear her throat. Of course it was the one thing that I did not have in my purse.
“I have some.” declared a sweet looking contestant sitting on the other side of her.’ Would you like one of mine’
“Oh yes please!” said ‘Singalot’ who took the cough lolly and popped straight into her mouth.
I could see the look of gratitude on ‘Singalots’ face as the lolly worked its magic.
“Next!’ called the stage manager and up onto the platform went ‘Singalot’. She graciously handed her ‘charts’ to the musicians and took the microphone.
They began her Intro and then, to ‘Singalots’ horror, nothing came out. Her vocal chords had dried out and all she could do was make a rasping sound.
No musician with shining instruments could save her.
Moral Of the Tale:
You can’t have your Cough Lolly and Sing too.