Thursday, July 29, 2010

Music for the Writer's Soul - Melissa Etheridge

What can you say about Melissa Etheridge? She's an amazing vocalist. Her music is rock and roll instrumentals with pop/folk lyrics. You can jam to her songs and actually understand what she's singing. *cackle*

She's also a champion of gay rights. When she came out in 1993, coming out wasn't easy. She risked alienating fans and her tenuous rise to stardom. But she survived. Her 1993 album "Yes I Am" put her on the charts.

She's also a survivor of breast cancer. She appeared at the 2005 Grammy Awards with her head bald from chemotherapy, proving bald can be truly beautiful as well as brave.

The first time I heard her music was in 1992, maybe a little earlier. I'd stopped at the video store on my way home from work. I was rather late, as usual in those days, and the more popular videos had already been scarfed up. I kept browsing until I came across a movie I'd never heard of starring Winona Ryder. I remembered her from Beetlejuice and Heathers. Both very dark comedies that I really liked so I thought I'd check out Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael.

The movie was cute. A coming of age story with a twist and Winona once again played a dark, angsty teenage heroine. But the soundtrack! O.M.G! One song I went crazy for was called "In Roxy's Eyes" in the movie. I must have played the end credits over a dozen times trying to make out the tiny print for the soundtrack. I looked at everything I could find at the music store. Keep in mind, this was way before the internet was common. I didn't have a way to look up Melissa Etheridge's entire musical history!

Well, I gave up looking for "In Roxy's Eyes" and bought Melissa's next album, "Yes I Am". Much to my surprise, the CD included a song called "I Will Never Be the Same". Yes, you guessed it. It was the same song as "In Roxy's Eyes". Much later, I found out the original title was just for the movie.

Since then, I've snagged all of Melissa's CDs and continue to adore her work. My latest favorite is called "I Want To Be In Love". A great song for a romance. And a theme I plan to use in the near future. Here's the YouTube video from Melissa's channel. You can subscribe here: Watch the woman in the club scene. It's Jennifer Aniston.



Hales said...

Great blog and artist. I think I heard her around the same time. I woulda been a Jr. in highschool lol. I didn't know she was a survivor of breast cancer.

Shayla Kersten said...

Hiya, Hales!

LOL Jr in high school? I was 33 when Yes I Am came out.

India Arie's song "I Am Not My Hair" has a verse dedicated to Melissa's appearance on the 2005 Grammy's. The lyrics are:

Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY...

Thanks for stopping by!

Jeannene Walker said...

Great post. Thanks Shayla

Kayelle Allen said...

Excellent video and even better blog -- which is saying something!

Shayla Kersten said...

Thanks, Jeannene and Kayelle!