You may be one of the almost 5 million people who have viewed this YouTube video of Mr. Rogers "singing" a song "Garden of Your Mind." I was just watching this with my friend Eric and you could see the endearment with which we both were watching this man with whom we grew up. I hear he was as authentic as it gets. The song was written and Mr. Rogers' speaking voice was Auto-Tuned into a melody and chorus by a company that is trying to reinvigorate the Mr. Rogers' brand and make him relevant today. Interesting idea and one I support knowing how much my generation learned from this sweater-changin' neighbor.
But I think we wouldn't be doing Mr. Rogers justice if we didn't try to learn a lesson from this as well. When it comes down to it, a majority of the music we buy and listen to today is created the exact same way the audio was on this. People go in and record some form of their voice -- whether it's a talk/sing version or sung-ish -- the vocals are then completely manipulated so it sounds like someone singing and it sounds like someone who actually can hit the correct notes -- most of which are completely out of the original "singers" range or capability even if we're just talking pitch and key.
There are so many of my friends, clients and colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of experiencing their true musical talent -- that person who sings as well in the shower as she does on the stage as she does on a recording; that person who can create harmonies upon the first listen of a song that is played for him. Those are the people I want to flourish. They make a living off their talent and i want to support them as they try to do just that. The next time you think about supporting an "artist," I hope you think about Mr. Rogers and through the garden of your mind support the artists that can actually sing a song. For more information about others who feel the same, www.realsing.org