I never really thought I’d one day blog about a singer. Until I saw 16-year-old (!) Filipino-Mexican-American Jessica Sanchez sing And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going:
The first time I heard that song (by Jennifer Holiday), I really got blown away! I can’t think of any song that’s been sung more powerfully than that. Grammy-winning producer Randy Jackson says it is “one of the hardest songs in the world to sing.”
And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going is the signature song of the 1981 musical Dreamgirls and was originated by the incomparable Jennifer Holliday when she was only 21, winning for it a Tony (for Best Leading Actress in a Musical) and a Grammy (for Best Female Performance, Rhythm and Blues), among others. While there’s a video recording of her 1982 Tony performance here, the quality is not so good. So I thought it would be better instead to upload the song from the Dreamgirls Original Broadway Cast Album, which is also in The Best of Jennifer Holliday. (Just click on the play button below and listen to her fantastic voice while reading the rest of the blog.)
I’ve also added a second track, I Am Changing, for your pleasure. Enjoy!
Incidentally, I’ve given away countless old music albums, keeping only a select few, and The Best of Jennifer Holliday is one of those few, along with Colm Wilkinson’s Stage Heroes, Carole King’s Tapestry, and Kenny G’s Breathless. Maybe I’ll blog about them one day.
But going back to this blog’s topic, what I found most interesting is that Jennifer Holliday herself tweeted this about Jessica Sanchez:
“Jessica’s performance of ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ was absolutely flawless!”
“Wish Jessica was my daughter! When I was 16, I also sang like Jessica does. They used to tell me that I had an ‘old soul!”
Wow! That’s like computer scientist John McCarthy, who coined the term Artificial Intelligence (AI), praising me for my AI research! (Which will never happen of course 🙂 especially now that he has passed away. :() Or like my favorite author, Dallas Willard, praising me for a (future) book I’d have written on spirituality. Or my favorite storyteller, Joseph Girzone, praising me for my (future) Christian fiction!
May 23, 2012 update: It must’ve been a dream come true for Jessica Sanchez to sing with the Jennifer Holliday during the Idol finalé. I really enjoyed seeing and hearing Ms. Holliday again. She’s truly amazing!