I’m a Star by Abbie Taylor

Abbie J. Taylor 010This post by Abbie Johnson Taylor

I wanted to be a star ever since I sang Simon and Garfunkel’s “El Condor Pasa” while accompanying myself on piano in the Kiwanis Club Stars of Tomorrow contest in Sheridan, Wyoming, back in the 70’s. I was twelve years old at the time. A couple of years later, my younger brother Andy found an old paint can he used as a drum and a wood chip I pretended was a microphone. To hear me read a poem I wrote about that experience, visit https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/I%27m%20a%20star.mp3 .

Soon after that, Andy got a drum set. Our band moved from the front porch to the dining room with me on piano and vocals and Andy on drums. As a sophomore in high school, I again entered the Stars of Tomorrow contest. They had a silly rule that a younger person couldn’t accompany an older person so Andy couldn’t play the drums while I sang “You Light Up My Life,” accompanying myself on the piano. However, I could accompany Andy on piano while he played drums. In this fashion, we performed “You Don’t’ Have to be a Star to Be in My Show.” To hear the original sung by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nb9jJg_wIU . Andy didn’t win, but I took second place with my rendition of “You Light Up my Life.” Here’s what it sounded like. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/you%20light%20up%20my%20life.mp3

After graduating from high school, I decided not to move to Nashville, New York, or L.A. and try to make it big. I went to college where I majored in music and eventually got into music therapy. For fifteen years, I worked in a nursing home, singing old standards like this one. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/stormy%20weather.mp3 After fifteen years, I decided to become a writer when I married my late husband Bill.

Three months after our wedding, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I became a caregiver but found time to publish two books and write poems and stories and submit them to publications. Now that Bill is gone, I have more time for that and have published a third book and am working on a fourth. I still sing but not as often.

Recently though, I became a bit of a celebrity in my home town. I entered a talent competition connected with our monthly third Thursday festival that runs during the summer months downtown. To my surprise, I won and was asked to sing the national anthem at a polo match. Andy and his wife Christina, who were visiting from Florida, managed to catch most of my performance on video. The sound you’ll hear in the background is the wind, not bombs bursting in air as you might imagine. It may take a little longer for this one to come up when you click on it. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/national%20anthem%20polo%207-26-2015.MOV

If you’re within the sound of my voice, I’ll be performing on the main stage at the next third Thursday festival in downtown Sheridan on August 20th. It’s located in front of the old Woolworth building on the corner of Main and Grinnell. My program will run from five to five thirty p.m. I’ll accompany myself on guitar instead of piano.

I’m not a super star like Olivia Newton-John or Debbie Boon, but that’s okay. I love to perform when I get a chance, and audiences love me. That’s what matters.

It’s the same with my writing. I’ve published three books with a fourth on the way, but I’m not a best-selling author. That doesn’t bother me. I love what I do, and my readers enjoy my work. As the song goes, “You don’t have to be a star.”

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Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of:

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

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Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Visit my blog.

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea

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19 Responses to I’m a Star by Abbie Taylor

  1. Mike Staton says:

    Love your posts about your singing gigs. Some good anecdotes about your brother and you singing, playing the piano and the drums. I played the guitar a bit — badly but bravely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mike, one thing I should have mentioned is that I was kicked out of a bar on my fifteenth birthday. I was with my family at the Historic Sheridan Inn. After a nice dinner in the dining room, we wandered into the bar where a man was playing the guitar and singing.

      We found a table, and Dad ordered a Coke for my younger brother and me and a bottle of wine for my mother and him. The manager immediately came over and said, “Gee, I hate to tell you this, but after ten o’clock, we don’t allow kids in here.”

      As we left, Dad suggested I might want to tell this story if I make it to the big time. I’ll do just that when I take the stage on August 20th in downtown Sheridan.

      Like

  2. You have a lovely voice, Abbie. And I agree about what’s important: as long as you get to do what you love and people/readers/audiences respond, then that’s what makes it all worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neva Bodin says:

    Glad you are getting to share your pretty voice and your writing talents. You are right and your happiness and satisfaction is very important. Congratulations on your stardom!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wranglers says:

    Enjoying what you do is so key, isn’t it? Sometimes I get discouraged about not selling many books, but then I remember that I love writing and that’s what’s important. It doesn’t hurt when a little recognition comes our way, but it’s not the main goal. Nice post. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wranglers says:

    Del and I are listening to you in a Petro Truck Stop. He said (and I agree), “You should go on Americas Got Talent. Love all the clips and the poem. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    I think you have a lovely voice, too, and I’m sure you warm people’s hearts when they hear you live, Abbie. Congratulations on your recent singing venues!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I admire you, Abbie, for getting on stage and singing in front of crowds — you certainly do have talent and I know you inspire many with your voice and your words. My husband sings with the Casper barbershop chorus and they performed at Beartrap Festival on Casper Mountain this year. I used to pretend to be Karen Carpenter while a boy down the street portrayed Richard — what great memories you brought forth for me with your post! Best to you for your upcoming performance; wish I was in Sheridan then to hear you live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gayle, I believe I heard your husband’s group, now that I think of it. When I attended the Alan H. Stewart Camp for the Blind on Casper Mountain, we were occasionally entertained by a barbershop group.

      Like

  8. Doris says:

    Abby, following your heart and passions is what gets us up in the morning. I am so happy for you and the wonderful gifts you are sharing with the world. Keep it up and congratulations. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  9. S. J. Brown says:

    Abbie, I so agree with you. Do what makes you and others around you happy. My thinking is that being a best selling author isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Once you hit that list you are expected to write what sells, not what you enjoy writing about. The same goes for photography. I will never be a world famous photographer, but that okay I shoot what I want, when I want and I get to share my work with small intimate groups instead of huge intimidating crowds. Keep Singing !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are such an incredible woman! To have all the talent you do and choose not to take the commercial path to stardom but to share your gift instead is really outstanding. Good luck in all you do. Enjoy your next performance – I know your audience will!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Travis says:

    That is so great Abbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. sstamm625 says:

    Good for you, Abbie! What matters is that you are doing what you love!

    Like

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