Elizabeth Vardiman Wilson
My mother was a fabulous person, role-model and friend. As the oldest child, I had a lot of her attention during my first four years. Our nightly routine included her reading stories and singing songs. Much like many typical moms from the 1950s.
Where my mom differed is when she serenaded me to sleep. That’s when I heard one of the most beautiful voices on the planet. Probably a lot of folks think their mom’s voice is awesome, as they should.
My mother was a professional singer before she got married and had kids. About the time this picture above was taken, she was seventeen and had her own radio show on Sundays back in Kansas. That same year she was offered a contract with the Metropolitan Opera and a film contract in Hollywood. Her mother frowned upon performances outside of church and wouldn’t allow her to take either one. And the world was deprived of one of its most gorgeous voices. There are no remaining recordings of my mother’s voice, but the first time I heard Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice I was stunned at how much she reminded me of my mother.
My mother’s signature song was “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Rodgers & Hammerstein. In honor of my mother, I’m embedding a recording of the fabulous Kiri Te Kanawa singing this song. I hope you enjoy the song I grew up hearing from my mom.