A moment of silence for one of the greats … Blossom Dearie

(And yes, that’s the real name: Marguerite Blossom Dearie.)

You may not think you know her but a lot of us grew up listening to her beautiful voice on Schoolhouse Rock!. Her ethereal singing on “Figure Eight” was as close to the sublime as TV got in the 1970s. The only thing better than her way with a serious song was her way with a silly one — my favorite is her “Rhode Island Is Famous For You.”

Copper comes from Arizona
Peaches come from Georgia
Lobsters come from Maine
The wheat fields are the
sweet fields of Nebraska
And Kansas gets bonanzas from the grain
Ol’ whiskey comes from ol’ Kentucky
Ain’t the country lucky?
New Jersey gives us glue
And you come from Rhode Island
And Rhode Island is famous for you

rooting-songsMarketing connection: In the early 1960s she sang a song for a radio commercial for Hires Root Beer. It was so popular she recorded an album called “Blossom Dearie Sings Rootin’ Songs.”

As if her talent wasn’t enough she had attitude to match:

Ms. Dearie didn’t suffer fools gladly and was unafraid to voice her disdain for music she didn’t like; the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber were a particular pet peeve.

“Didn’t/doesn’t suffer fools gladly.” Is there a more wonderful phrase in the English language? Well, anything that points out how terrible Andrew Lloyd Webber is a close second.

Thanks Blossom. I miss you already.


One thought on “A moment of silence for one of the greats … Blossom Dearie

  1. what a gal…a voice like no other..a gloved hand on the piano..wow, I feel thrown back to another century!

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