CONVERSATIONS WITH A PROTECTED CHILD

One might wonder about the title of my first foray into dialogue through the social media…What is a “protected” child?

Well, let me explain as much as I as can? As a child of my generation …a child of the ‘the greatest generation’ I was protected from the vicious, venomous reaches of racism by two parents who employed the tactics of a military general.

I was an adult on the set of the Norman Lear Television series I starred in called 704 Hauser before I discovered I was protected. The unaired episode was discussing the ways Black parents of the 1940s, 1950s and even 1960s sheltered their children from the indignities of racisms. It hit me on a break that my parents had practiced this and I was never aware of it. Sadly my Father (Fred Godfrey) had passed away from the aftereffects of an abdominal aneurysm months before; however my Mother (Maggie Godfrey) was still alive. I rushed to the phone and posed the question to my sweet ailing, fiery Mother… ”Mom, did you create picnics and events on our trips to protect me from thinking or finding out that I was …no we were not welcome somewhere?” There was a silence and then an uncharacteristic “Uh huh” with a slight break in her voice…Tears immediately came to my eyes, for I know that even then my Mother never wanted me to think I was not allowed to do anything any other child could do. She was still  protecting  me.

Then a rush of memories came to my mind that over those formative years where My Mother and her friends… Black and White had protected me from the harsh stares and whispers.

I will recall one event….  My Mother’s  Jewish friend and customer Rhoda Lipoff of Englewood, New Jersey invited me with her daughter Lisa and Laurie (I think Laurie was home that day) to swim in the building pool downstairs. I remember my Mother’s funny hesitancy to have me participate. I thought ‘Oh, she’s afraid, because I really don’t know how to swim” She needn’t have worried about my swimming safety or my getting my hair wet because I was never going out of the shallow water and never putting my newly pressed hair under water…. 🙂

No …My Mother knew the women in that building, some of these same women being the product of racism at its worse decades before…but there was no desire to have their pool shared with any child that did share their same color unless the child’s parents were celebrities…maybe.

My Mother’s friend assured her fears by saying…”Oh no worries…I am going down with the girls”. I remember the stern looks displayed and then the those same looks vanished as the over powering presence (silently, of course) of Rhoda, made it perfectly clear she was ready to confront each and every one of them and their husbands if a moment of discomfort occurred. I saw it but paid no attention…I never thought it had to do with me…I was truly a product of childhood naiveté.

How I wish today I could hug and kiss both of these ladies for their bravery and love. That is not to be…. for my Mother passed away in 1996 and her friend Rhoda is still alive but is now the victim of Alzheimer’s as her loving family surrounds her; recognizes none of them. My hug and kiss would go unrecognized.

Yes, as I recall these stories I know there are countless more that can be discussed and recorded. SO here is my point…I was protected as a child…now it is my turn to protect…even if it is wanted or not.

My husband, Carl is a Mathematic genius in his own right, but has no patience or very little patience. When he decided to tutor children in our area…I thought…”Oh My”… But he returned home from his first session, he was exuberant, talkative and concerned but not inpatient. His concern was that many or most the children in this lovely program were without fundamentals. You know those things that teach reasoning and deduction in life.  The children did not know their multiplication table. Now as any adults now should be able to tell you, multiplication tables are memorization…but they teach us other things. They teach how to reach solutions, deductions, reasoning etc. Our children are entering our society and are not equipped to deal with the challenges…Why? Many reasons…

Budget cuts, no job incentives given to teachers…but what is our solution…I can type here and type a number of reasons…We need solutions. Let us protect our children as we were protected…ALL our children… All COLORS AND RACES… to rephrase a Beatle tune…

HELP! We need somebody

Please just everybody…HELP!!!

So, I invite a conversation…from those of you on line…teachers, parents, insightful adults…Where do we go from here?

Let us find some solutions

Let us have a conversation….share some of your protection stories…Let us find an answer for the CHILDREN!!!!

Write me on twitter @ #lynniegodfrey

Upcoming CD Release

UPDATE:

I have completed my two CDs… my debut CD…LYNNIE GODFREY…DOING IT HER WAY …and my Holiday CD …SPENDING THE HOLIDAYS WITH LYNNIE GODFREY…both are available on this web site for purchase as promised.

I am also starting a theatrical project…a new play…working with a wonderful writer and wonderful creators…Will let you know more as the project get closer to the finishing product. I am due to direct a reading of it NEXT SEASON!!!!

LOOK FOR IT!!!!

The passing of Broadway producer Ashton Springer has prompted me to reflect on his influence on my career as well as the industry in New York City.
His determination to produce theatrical works that featured people of different colors was the impotence that drove me into working theater. One may be enthusiastic about going into the theatre but Ashton Springer made it possible to make a living. Thank you Ashton Springer.
He was brave enough to take a chance on a young girl fresh out of college who did well in his showcase of SHUFFLE ALONG and bring that same naive child to Broadway in the musical revue …EUBIE! and start a career that is still going today…
Thank you Ashton Springer and in the same breath thank you Dr. Chauncey Northern Sr. of Carnegie Hall for nurturing my passion for music and performing from my early teens until my forties…You were an inspiration…
I am involved in the creation of a wonderful program that is being started at Arts Quest/SteelStacks that will honor the artists of Leigh Valley. It is called “Artists Among Us”….What a wonderful idea that was started by the chair of the Committee I serve on Robin Staff. I am also involved in the presentation of a Theatrical reading scheduled to take place at SteelStacks …what another wonderful opportunity to showcase the fabulous talent of the area….
So much talent in one area….

On a sadder note…I want to express my sadness at the passing of the son of Ms. Toni Leslie James (designer)…the senseless killing of our young beautiful men. The same horrible action occurred to the son of my friend Dwight Cooke (director,stage manager )…Senseless and Horrible…My heart and prayers go out to the families who must experience this heartbreak… God Bless

Great Review from Jazz Weekly

George W. Harris offered a glowing review of  Lynnie Godfrey: Doing It Her Way. Read below or visit  Jazz Weekly at this link: http://www.jazzweekly.com/2014/08/lynnie-godfrey-doing-it-her-way/

Lynnie Godfrey: Doing It Her Way

Vocalist Lynnie Godfrey delivers a song like a stage production. You can tell she’s comfortable acting, as each of these songs with the mix and match team of Roger Latzgo/p-g, Tom Hamilton/ts, Anthony Marino/b and  Gary Rismiller/dr is delivered like a story being told. Her dramatic vibrato inflections on a dramatic intro lead into a swinging and enthusiastic “It Don’t Mean a Thing” while other tunes with the whole band such as “The Best is Yet to Come” and “L-O-V-E” feature her in respective moods of saucy and coy. When she Spartans down the support with simple support by Latzgo and Hamilton, she glows with an evocative “Moon River” or reaches down deep and gets the red clay beneath her fingers on “But Beautiful” as her inflections give descriptions to each adjective. A sole duet with Latzgo on guitar during “Send in the Clowns” makes you want an encore performance, which is what all actresses desire-leave the crowd wanting more. Impressive tales!

Lynnie Godfrey’s New CD “DOING IT HER WAY” Is NOW AVAILABLE !!!!

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Lynnie Godfrey”s debut CD “DOING IT HER WAY” is available at all performances and events. and on cb.baby.com and itunes and very soon on this web site.

Here are several excerpts of a few choice song selections.

 

 

Little lady Lynnie Godfrey shows big personality/voice in cabaret at Symphony Hall

6a00d8341c4fe353ef019b002570b2970cSinger Lynnie Godfrey charmed a sold-out crowd last night during her first appearance in Symphony Hall’s Rodale Room as part of its Jazz Cabaret Series.She brought it all – fabulous dresses, theatrical savvy, witty banter, a crackerjack backing band, a powerhouse voice and a selection of popular classic songs presented in uique style.

Sheila Evans, Symphony Hall Executive Director, addressed the audience happily.

“I can’t tell you how much fun it is to post a sold-out sign on the front door,” she said.

Jazz Series head Ethel Drayton-Craig introduced Godfrey with a long list of her credits, which include a Drama Desk nomation for her Broadway debut in the musical “Eubie” and a starring role in “704 Hauser,” the Norman Lear sequel to “All in the Family.” Godfrey moved from New York to the Lehigh Valley a few years ago and has been creating a stir ever since.

The expectation was high and Godfrey met them from the moment she made her dramatic entrance from the back of the room in a hot pink sleeveless gown, shouting “Hello,” “Hello,” “Hello” as she worked her way through the tables to the front of the room.

The more than two-hour concert, with one intermission, featured nearly two dozen songs with focuses on Johnny Mercer and Ethel Waters. Godfrey introduced most songs with some background.
She opened with a songs by hitmaker Mercer, starting with “Accentuate the Positive,” and including “Jeepers Creepers “ and “Moon River.”

A series of what she called “boo hoo ballads” included “Lush Life,” “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “Cry Me a River.”

Then things turned more upbeat — “It’s time for us to fall in love again,” she said — with “L.O.V.E.,” “When I Fall in Love” and “The Best is Yet to Come.”

An interesting turn came with her performance of George Harrison’s “Something in the Way She Moves,” a contemporary song not part of Godfrey’s traditional songbook.

She ended her first set with a growly version of “Fever” that showcased her large vocal range, and the zippy “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”

Godfrey’s second entrance was as dramatic as the first, coming through the room in a snug black and brown striped halter dress with a black and pink feather headdress.

Numbers included “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” “Bye, Bye Blackbird,” “Good Morning Heartache” and “God Bless the Child.”

She got “down and dirty” with songs by her main inspiration, Ethel Waters. Godfrey does a one-woman show of her songs.

She started with a dramatic “Stormy Weather,” then got teary and choked up during “Suppertime,” an Irving Berlin song about a woman about to make supper for her children when she learns her husband won’t be coming home because he’s been lynched.

She ended her main set with what she said was her favorite, the gospel song “His Eyes on the Sparrow,” and returned for two quick encores.

Godfrey made it a fun evening with jokes and stories. At one point, she got the crowd laughing as she did a “little something” for Bill Steele, owner of Mr. Bill’s Poultry, which provided the light meal for the evening. A couple times she held some long notes, encouraging the audience to encourage her to keep going. Over and over again she expressed appreciation to the audience, which included family and many old friends.

Godfrey is a little lady with such a big personality, it was easy to forget there was music behind her, but there was a talented band – Gary Rissmiller on drums, Roger Latzgo on piano, Gene Perla on bass and Tom Hamilton on saxophone.

The band is working with her on her first CD, which she expects to have out in early 2014. The concert was sampler of what to expect.

Read the original article here: http://blogs.mcall.com/lehighvalleymusic/2013/10/little-lady-lynnie-godfrey-shows-big-personalityvoice-in-cabaret-at-symphony-hall.html

Lynnie Godfrey Performs on WFMZ

LynnieLynnie Godfrey visited WFMZ to perform selections from her upcoming CD which will launch in January 2014 at the Jazz Showcase in New York City. Area residents can catch a live performance of these selections at her next performance Friday, October 18th @ 7:30PM at the Allentown’s Miller Symphony Hall where she will be headlining their Jazz Cabaret Series.

Click here for more information on the performance.