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Sing a Song of July: Marge Robin, Diva Extraordinaire



What a pleasure to awaken to exquisite warblings on a summer morning.  My new neighbor is none other than one of the foremost coloraturas of the bird world, Marge Robin.

I invited her over for a little refreshment and a chat about her musical life.  Here is an excerpt of that tête-à-tête.


Louise:  Welcome to my home, Marge.  I must say, I am honored to be an audience to your morning vocalizations.


Marge:  Well I'm glad you're a fan.  My last nest was near a family of angry hornets who only listened to Deathrock and Psychobilly.  As you can imagine, I high-tailed it out of that neighborhood tout suite.


L:  How awful.  I'm glad you're here now.  When did you start singing?


M:  Honey, I was tweeting when I broke out of the egg.  As the story goes, my Ma & Pa almost fell out of the tree when I hatched.  Unfortunately, my sister Lois fell out of the nest and hit the pavement.  The impact broke her egg before she had a chance to hatch by herself.  Pa rescued her and put her back in the nest.  Lois has never sung a peep in her life.  She still doesn't talk to me today.  I'm terribly sorry and feel responsible for her disability, but what can you do?


L:  Oy, families and guilt!  Let's not go into that now.  Perhaps another time.


M:  We'll have that discussion, I'm sure.  I plan to be around here all summer, but I do have some performances scheduled for the latter part of August.  I was invited to sing with the Chicago Civic Opera in I Fagiolini,  which is based on Aristophanes' fantastical comedy The Birds.  I play the Robin, of course.  Not much of a stretch, but a real juicy role.


L:  Have you always sung opera?


M:  Every so often I get a jazz gig.  That's my second love.  I sing locally at the Parakeet Lounge and the Catbird Seat in Eagleville.  And, of course, Birdland.


L:  Who are your favorite jazz artists?


M:  Oh, Charlie "Bird" Parker, Chick Webb, Chick Corea, Jimmy "Little Bird" Heath and "Sassy" Miss Sarah Vaughan.  She didn't have a bird name but she sung like a nightingale.


L:  Well, thanks so much for stopping by for a chat.  I look forward to all future mornings that I'll hear your melodic singing.  Is there any last thing you'd like to leave with our readers?



M:  As Eubie Blake once said:  "Listen to the birds and don't hate nobody."





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