Way Back Wednesday: Lasting Voices


    Shirley Bassey TheLavaLizard
    A young Shirley Bassey

    There is nothing as tragic for us music fans as seeing our favourite singers under the pressures of time and slowly lose their ability to handle their signature songs. However, some artists have maintained their gifts and this week’s Way Back Wednesday will celebrate their talent!

    People often credit Patti LaBelle as the only singer to keep her voice in fine form throughout the decades but although she has certainly outlasted many of her peers, there are other artists over the age of 50 years who can still belt, riff and run with the best of them. From Chaka Khan to Shirley Bassey, these acts continue to dazzle audiences around the globe.

    Watch performances by some of these great singers from past and present below:

    Chaka Khan – “Sweet Thing” (1993 vs 2011)

    Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (1984 vs 2012)

    Gladys Knight – Medley (1973 vs 2005)

    Patti LaBelle – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (1984 vs 2007)

    Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger” (1973 vs 2011)

    Every singer is different and the effects of ageing change their voices in different ways. Also, environmental factors, the natural breakdown of their instruments, disease, singing styles, overwork and bad habits all contribute to such changes, so it is impossible to compare any of these artists.

    Yet, to hear Shirley Bassey bellowing “Goldfinger” with such ease after all these years is phenomenal and definitely deserving of praise. Yes, she lowers the key just a bit to suit her darker timbre, but she still has so much power that she probably doesn’t even need a mic!