Not ten feet away...Dionne Warwick!
I had grown up singing along with the radio, buying records, going to concerts and joining choirs. I had even sung a solo in a high school concert and another at college. I never could have imagined this particular opportunity occurring.
Jim Nabors called my university's music department and asked if there were some students who would sing Christmas carols at his front door as his holiday guests arrived. The Smothers brothers, Betty White, Florence Henderson, Charo, Richard Crenna...half of TVLand showed up. (Everyone else was arriving in limos, but Florence Henderson drove her own station wagon!)
While the guests were eating, they asked us to sing a bit more inside the heated outdoor tents. A flap was lifted and we crawled under and who should be sitting not ten feet away but Dionne Warwick? And we sang a Negro spiritual. And I was the only soprano. And we had been singing in a chilly wind for two hours already. She was gracious and did not wince as we made our way through the piece. One of my vocal heroes, and this is how I get to meet her! How many times had I sung along with "Do You Know The Way to San Jose," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Alfie," and the whole Bacharach/David catalog. Thank you, Ms. Warwick, for receiving our bumbling college-voice performance graciously.