Marcus Goldhaber, Michael Jackson (1958-2009), and Judy Garland (1922-1969)

Yes, it is a random grouping, but that was my Thursday evening.  I would
like to thank Marcus for inviting me to sit in on his gig.  It was a
lot of fun!!  Both Marcus and I have pretty mellow voices, so we blend
well together.  We also share a love of standards and a dedication to
performing, so we have a few things in common.  Earlier in the week we
had been rehearsing at his typically small New York City apartment,
sitting around in jeans huddled around his piano.  The transition from
that to getting dressed up and singing together in a venue with great
sound along with three wonderful musicians was very energizing.  He
also remembered to plug my next gig at the Metropolitan Room.  I would
have totally forgotten!!  Marcus is a fine singer who also writes
excellent material in the style of the classic American tunes that we
both love.  He released a new CD late last year, and will be making
more appearances in Manhattan.  Here is his web site:

I first heard of Michael Jackson’s
passing while speaking with my husband on the phone as I rushed out of
my building to get to Marcus’ gig.  It took a few days for this
shocking news to sink in.  The person who immediately came to mind on
Thursday night was Judy Garland.  She died prematurely as well – aged
Both she and Michael Jackson were child prodigies with a domineering
parent/manager.  Both could not overcome their personal problems as
adults.  As a Judy Garland fan, it always bothers me that people
automatically speak the words “pills” or “sad life” or “miserable” when
her name comes up in a conversation, because for me her work is what is
most important and representative of her.  Unfortunately, for many, if
not most, people her personal problems define her more so than her work.

Even before his death, Michael Jackson’s personal problems defined him
more than his work.  Granted, as one tv commentator noted, he was
involved in unhealthy relationships with young
boys.  From the outside, his life looked like a freak show.  The whole
situation with the auction recently was just weird.  God’s gifts don’t come for
free, and for people who are extraordinarily talented like Michael
Jackson and Judy Garland, it’s even more true.  It is sad that
for all the joy and inspiration artists like Michael Jackson and Judy
Garland bring to others, they didn’t experience, or couldn’t find, the same
in their own lives.

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