By Mark Ambrogi
At 74, Vikki Carr has an easy explanation to why she continues to perform.
“I love to sing,” Carr said. “Why would you not continue doing what you love? Not only that but I was born to sing. God gives every single one of us a very special gift. It’s up to each one of us to figure out what that gift is.”
Carr will share her gift with a Palladium audience in Carmel at 8 p.m. on Jan. 30. Carr promises it will be a trip down memory lane filled with the memories of all the legendary performers she has known. Carr sang for the Queen of England and five U.S. Presidents.
“It’s kind of sharing who I am and who I have been in this short overnight success of 57 years,” Carr said. “It’s going to be a show that deals with love, memories, people that I known in my career that have been helpful in one way or another and who I respected and admired like Nat King Cole, (Frank) Sinatra and Elvis (Presley). With the situation the way it is the world, music has the opportunity to lift people’s spirits. In my shows, I try to have the people feel a little better when they leave than when they came in.”
Carr, whose given name is Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, will sprinkle anecdotes such as the time she sang at an event during Bing Crosby golf tournament event.
“Sinatra wasn’t paying attention to anything until I sang ‘Tea for Two’ and I did it as a slow ballad and I sank it in Spanish,” Carr said. “All of sudden he started lifting up his head to look up and he listened. Dean Martin came back stage and said ‘It’s so nice to see a nice Italian girl make it in the business.’ I said ‘I’m Mexican-American.’ He said, ‘Oh, you’re still Latin. It’s OK, you’re Italian.’”
As she has throughout her career, Carr will sing some songs in Spanish.
“Even though I was nominated for a Grammy for “It Must be Him’ and ‘With Pen in Hand,’ I never won for songs in English,” Carr said. “Not until I recorded in Spanish did I win three Grammys and a lifetime achievement Grammy.”
Carr said it was her anglo fans in the United States who encouraged her to do an album all in Spanish. Carr used to explain her Spanish songs but soon realized the audience didn’t need an explanation.
“I realized then that music is the universal language,” she said.
Carr, who lives in San Antonio, has a new management group and is trying to get more tour dates set up. Carr, who will perform in San Antonio on Feb. 20, is trying to get dates in Australia and England, where she a great success early in her career.
“Hopefully with success in Indiana, other performing arts centers will see that we’ve done well,” Carr said. “Management says we have to be selling out these venues so people can see Vikki Carr is still relevant.”
For more, visit thecenterpresents.org