I owe my introduction to Libby Holman, one of the early torch singers, to Marc Almond. After working together on Violent Silence, we extended our explorations not only into the world of Jacques Brel, Juliette Gréco, Barbara, Léo Ferré and others, but also into many American singers. Libby Holman, the showstopper with the husky and growling voice singing Moanin’ Low from 1929, was a key offering. It wasn’t long before I followed her tracks through two biographies, Libby by Milt Machlin, and the more substantial, Dreams That Money Can Buy by Jon Bradshaw. There I discovered her world was woven into the lives of Paul and Jane Bowles, Tallulah Bankhead, Montgomery Clift, Tennessee Williams and many more. And whilst that path opened out, another rarity that Marc presented, Serena Shaw, never produced more than the tape of her album Cry My Love that he gave me. Today I could buy the vinyl at a substantial price via the internet, but in 1984 all enquiries led to brick walls.
Return to previous page