Posted on May 15 2020
By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
I've been thinking about music and how it soothes us. Let it fill the air during these days when we're quarantining inside. Music lately has become my new friend, and I am revisiting the repertoire of the old-time vocalists I have loved.
Many of these artists have left us, but their music still sounds great on the Bluetooth speakers that fill my rooms with happiness. Listening to music also can keep us from overdosing on too much TV news, too, I've found.
My favorite vocalist is Jane Olivor, and her recording of "Stay the Night" has always been on the top of my list. I also enjoy Karen Carpenter for her magical voice and Dusty Springfield of "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" fame. Such songs open my heart and mind to lovely memories, including those acquired during my time in Mallorca, Spain, as a student abroad back in the day.
When I was studying at the University of Madrid and vacationing in Mallorca, I was introduced to Dusty Springfield by the actor Errol Flynn, whose wife and son were friends of mine. Dusty was in rehearsal for a nightclub performance one morning, and Errol enjoyed listening to and seeing the singer sans makeup and with curlers in her hair. Errol never attended evening performances and enjoyed morning rehearsals when nightclub guests were not yet awake and the beaches or the pool at the Mediterranean Hotel were empty. When they weren't visiting with friends, Errol and his wife, Patrice Wymore, were enjoying their time on Errol's boat, Zaca!
I recall my decorating days in the 1960's and early 1970's with Ethel Merman, who loved to listen to music and played records on a carry-around suitcase-style phonograph. Ethel found the way to enjoy her favorite records, wherever she might be.
Every home, I think, should be filled with music. In this world exceptional technology, you can find the way to make sound part of your interior design planning, and that planning need not be complicated.
Today with state-of-the-art amplifiers and high-definition television, your eyes and ears can be open to just about everything. And with wireless speakers, you can even carry around music by the artists you love. For me, that's Mary Martin, Julie Andrews and Carrie Underwood, as well as the great male vocalists, including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Ezio Pinza.