I've never been without music. Music was a member of the family: there on drives in the car, there in church and school, there all by myself everywhere I'd go. Everybody in my family sang and/or played an instrument. We sang so loudly in church as a family, people would turn around to see what that power was. That power was music, one of the better things human beings make.
That power led me to sing in chorus in school, choir in church, ensembles and by myself, writing my first song at 16 and recording three albums by 18. I was part of a rock band in college, and still playing folk music, trying to learn to write songs and play them on piano or guitar, much as my heroes did: Judy Collins, Laura Nyro, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell. I studied their work to try and discern how a song was made, and then, largely through imitation, try and do the same.
I had written six songs when I went to NY in 1970-71 to record in Jimi Hendricks' studio, and that album led eventually to the making of The Changer and the Changed, for Olivia Records, the embodiment of an idea I had to form a women's record company. The songs on that album have held true for nearly 40 years, indicating the importance of writing from a universal perspective, using language and images to speak of things that matter and that, possibly, hold true for people all over the world.
My love for music endures; it's still a member of the family. And as I finished making my latest recording, I was mindful of just how grateful I am for the power of music in my life - and for all the gifts received, so that I may give back to this world.