My first solo performance was at the age of two when my daddy set me on a table at the local country club and I sang Three Little Fishes for his golf buddies. (I’ve been singing ever since.)
My first original song, written when I was 14, was entitled “There Will Never Be Another You”. I was crushed to find out that there was already a song by that name, so I shortened it to “Another You”. (I’ve been writing songs ever since.)
My first musical show was written while I was in college. Later, in the 70’s and 80’s I wrote two more with my husband, Neil. They were both produced but didn’t make it to Broadway. (Sigh!) I gave up writing shows.
In college I hung out with a group of jazz musicians and started playing jazz piano to accompany my singing. (I have an autograph from Oscar Peterson that says, “Keep working at it, Gretchen!” so I’ve taken his advice and still practice almost every day. It’s paid off!)
In college I started playing with bands and doing lounge work. (I’ve been doing it ever since except for a 13 year break when my asthma kept me out of smoky clubs!) Thank goodness NY State passed no smoking laws in 2003 and I was able to get back to performance on a regular basis.
I taught vocal music in the public schools for 31 years, and have taught voice and piano privately since retiring in 1997. (Yeah, you guessed it '" I’m a senior citizen, and a life member of the musician’s union, but music keeps you young at heart!)Who counts the years, anyway?
My husband and I raised three great kids, all of whom are musical! My son Noel engineered the CD that is currently for sale on this site. I sure am proud of him, and me, too, that I haven’t settled for a rocking chair on the porch! Life is too short too give up on what you love to do just because you grow older. Look at Marian McPartland and Lena Horne, still going strong in their late 80’s, and Tony Bennett, not far behind. They’re my role models! I hope this CD of some of my favorite standards is only the first of many to come!
The best thing about being a singer who plays piano is the independence it provides. When my side men are not available I can still make music by myself. This was the situation in June 2005 when I traveled to California to record a CD with my son, Noel Gould, at his Aquarian Studios in San Pedro. My bass player and my drummer wouldn’t fit into my suitcase, so I was really “By Myself” on this project and decided to pick songs that would fit that theme. It was only after I started to work on my 16 “Lonely” songs that I began to realize that I wasn’t alone at all. With me were the many talented singers and musicians (and composers) whose recordings first introduced me to these songs and influenced me through the years. Every song brings back the memory of another artist to whom thanks is long overdue for the inspiration they have provided.