Rebecca Bird

Laurie Interviews the Songbird, the Lovely Rebecca Bird

While hanging at the Jam each week at the Flying Dog Café, Sande Caplin and I did a number of interviews with various musicians and interesting characters that were regulars at the Dog.  One of my distinct favorites was my interview with Rebecca Bird, a.k.a The Songbird.  So as we were setting up the camera and the lights, I began to get to know Rebecca and I was taken with her soft personality, her Marilyn Monroe-type sex appeal and with her love of her Dad, whom she spoke about so passionately.  When people like Rebecca are up onstage you don’t really wonder about their backgrounds because you’re so caught up in the performance, but she did let go of some intimate details of her life.

Born in Rochester, New York, she was one of three girls who all sang and played instruments.  I always enjoy hearing this.  Some of our parents gave birth to future singers and musicians by having classical, jazz, folk and rock music being played in their homes.  So Rebecca was exposed early to every form of music and played the guitar and recorder both alone, and with the Singing Bird Sisters.

We discussed the value of the Ladies Sing the Blues events for charity, which was given birth to by Rebecca’s significant other, Steve Arvey, a genius in his own right when it comes to organizing and carrying off performances for all size bands.  In fact, Ladies Sing the Blues usually has 15 performers and Steve pulls that all together with great skill and patience.  What a great team…Steve and Rebecca!  I remember watching a video they made on the beach and the song was so spiritual that I had tears in my eyes just watching the loveliness, the gentle spirituality of the piece.Rebecca the Song Bird

Rebecca said of Ladies Sing the Blues Events “It’s not just a mass philanthropic effort but a magical way to bring together all these multi-talented ladies in one concert, all gathering for the same cause and donating their time for charity.” Rebecca’s been in on all the LSTB events from the beginning, and enjoys giving back to the community.

“I perform at many venues in the area… Ocean Blues, the Flying Dog, Aces, and pretty much wherever Steve is performing I sometimes join him on the stage.  What I like about Ladies Sing the Blues is that the charitable organizations are so deserving, like the NICU for Sarasota Memorial Hospital to expand the neonatal unit; the Manatee Children’s Services event, which went to help stop child abuse and provide safe shelter for child victims.  We did one to further finding the cause and cure for breast cancer, and the last one took place at Primo Ristorante and was a benefit for the American Business Women’s Association, who reward scholarships to women of all echelons who want to further their training or education.”

Being from Rochester, New York, Rebecca attended the Eastman School of Music.  The first recording Rebecca ever made was with her two sisters in the bathtub when she was a little girl, with father Thomas T. Bird doing the recording.  Rebecca shared with me her deep love and respect for her father, and the fact that he eventually went blind and did not let that stop him from working and being productive.  He was a solid example to her of what the human spirit can accomplish.

Her early influences were gospel music and she loved Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and other strong women influences.  She toured Ireland, and sang with her Irish cousins.  Steve, her significant other, created opportunities to play in the Chicago Blues Festival, and in Washington D.C.  Steve also invited Rebecca to accompany him on tour in Spain.     When she speaks of Steve her whole face lights up.

“I want to do a lot more writing.  I’d like to branch out and write more spiritually focused songs.  Recovery is a big theme in my life.  Even though I grew up with classical, jazz, some blues, I’m a Rocker at heart, so I still love the Beatles and the Stones, Bonnie Raitt,  Heart, Sheryl Crowe and Etta James.”  And we love you, Rebecca!  Thank you for your time!

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Aces, Flying Dog Cafe, Ladies Sing the blues, Laurie Mirkin, New York, NICU, Ocean Blues, Rebecca Bird, Rochester, Sande Caplin, Songbird, Steve Arvey

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