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If you had no dangly thing at the back of your throat, how well could you sing?

That dangly thing at the back of your throat, properly called the uvula... Could you sing without it?

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Suppose you had a nasty case of tonsillitis and had to have an operation to remove your tonsils. But the surgeon's knife slipped and cut off your uvula. Would you still be able to sing?

Well, perhaps you would be able to sing like this...

This is Anita O'Day and, yes, this is exactly what happened to her in her childhood. And she can sing. She can SING! When do we get to hear singing of this quality and invention these days?

O'Day commented that her lack of a uvula meant that she couldn't do vibrato, for which she compensated by singing in a more rhythmic style. Well, I don't know any singers who do vibrato with their uvula, but whatever O'Day's motivation, her sense of rhythm and style of performance are amazing.

Some more...

By the way, I could have titled this article, If you were a heroin addict, and your drummer was a heroin addict too, how well could you sing?

Well, Anita O'Day wasn't called 'The Jezebel of Jazz' for nothing...

P.S. I recommend neither bungled surgery nor drug addiction as an aid to singing. I do recommend having loads of talent and putting in lots of hard work!

By David Mellor Wednesday June 5, 2013
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