Only a very few singers and music artist stand out and manage to cross generational or music genre barriers but they do. Sometimes it takes a long time before most of us realize this and sometimes it’s almost instantaneous.
Just to name a few and in no particular order of importance or time period here are some of my picks. I apologize if I’ve missed some of your favorites but I want the spirit and meaning of this article to be your guide.
Sam Cook, first singer that really caught my ear. Frank Sinatra, for his range of songs over his career, life does have its “Cycles” and he did it his way. John Denver, what a voice and beauty in his words, yes there really was sunshine on his shoulder. Elvis, for his early recordings and some “in the Getto” of his life. Luciano Pavarotti, “O sole mio” and the Three Tenors simply unforgettable. Fats Domino and "Blueberry Hill" who can forget The Fat Man. Johnny Cash, a man caught in his own “Ring of Fire” and lesser known “Flat-Top Box”, oh how he could sing and play. Roy Orbison, 3 and a half octaves kept you “Crying” for more. Doris Day, "Que Sera, Sera" or Whatever Will Be, Will Be and all those kooky comedies with Rock Hudson. Duane Eddy, forever a Rebel Rouser and I missed my chance to buy a DE-400 or was it a 500 back in the early 1960’s. Nat King Cole, who could not fall in love with a singing voice that was so clearly enunciated that it was like he was almost speaking the words that made “Mona Lisa” smile. Patsy Cline, everybody went “Crazy” after they heard her voice. Neil Diamond, it didn’t take this “Solitary Man” too many “Hot August Night”s before everybody said “I’m a Believer”. Michael Jackson, its as easy as ABC to know that someday this guy would walk on the moon in the music world. Marni Nixon, the voice that most everyone young or old has heard in movies, but never seen.