NPR Story
9:57 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Singer Lea Gimore On The Musicals That Move Her

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:55 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to turn now to a regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests tell us about the songs that inspire them. Singer Lea Gilmore's mastery of gospel, blues and jazz has made her a name as far away as Siberia. But she freely admits her musical tastes are equally wide-ranging, including a popular tune from a musical that's for an Oscar this Sunday.

LEA GILMORE: Hi, my name is Lea Gilmore and this is what I'm listening to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?")

HUGH JACKMAN: (as Jean Valjean) (Singing) Do you hear the people sing, singing songs of angry men? It is a musical for people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.

GILMORE: From "Les Mis," I'm listening to "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Why I love this song so much more than my just worship of "Les Miserables," is it's such a galvanizing song for freedom. Do you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men, you know?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?")

HUGH JACKMAN AND SINGERS: (as Jean Valjean and as characters) (Singing) Do you hear the people sing, singing songs of angry men? It is a musical for people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO I MOVE YOU?")

NINA SIMONE: (Singing) Do I move you? Are you willing? Do I groove you? Is it thrilling? Do I groove you?

GILMORE: I'm listening to Nina Simone. Nina Simone is one of my key inspirations and I absolutely love her "Do I Move You?" And I listen to it when I really want to get into a bluesy mood or just calm down. It's a great song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO I MOVE YOU?")

SIMONE: (Singing) ...that pleases me.

GILMORE: "Jesus Christ Superstar" along with "Les Miserables" is one of my absolute favorite musicals. I am a musical fanatic, and I love, (Singing) I don't know how to love him.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM")

YVONNE ELLIMAN: (Singing) I don't know how to love him, what to do, how to move him. I've been changed, yes, really changed. In these past few days when I've seen myself, I seem like someone else.

GILMORE: One day I'm going to sing that. You know, somebody's going to ask me to sing that. I know that's going to happen.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM")

ELLIMAN: (Singing) Yet, if he said he loved me I'd be lost, I'd be frightened. I couldn't cope, just couldn't cope. I'd turn my head, I'd back away, I wouldn't want to know - he scares me so. I want him so. I love him so.

GILMORE: And my other favorite song by the late and great Mahalia Jackson, "Come On Children, Let's Sing About the Goodness of the Lord."

MAHALIA JACKSON: (Singing) Come on children, let's sing about the goodness of the Lord. My Lord. Come on children, let's shout all about God's rich reward. Guide our footsteps everyday - keeps us in this narrow way. Come on children let sing. Come on children, let's shout. How the Lord Almighty has brought us out. There's none like him, without a doubt. Come on children, let's sing of the goodness of the Lord.

GILMORE: Nothing but handclapping and good time having there.

JACKSON: (Singing) Oh, oh-oh, sing it. God is walking. Sing. God is walking. Shout. Because I know what it's all about, the goodness, of the Lord, the Lord, the Lord. Come on children, let's sing of the goodness of the Lord. My Lord now. Come on children, let's shout all about thy rich reward. Guide our footsteps everyday. Keeps us in that narrow way. Come on children let sing. Come on children, let's shout. The Lord Almighty has brought us out. There's none like him, without a doubt. Come on children, let's sing about the goodness of the Lord.

MARTIN: That was Baltimore's own Lea Gilmore telling us what's playing in her ear. If you missed our previous conversation with her from last December, or just want to hear it again, head to NPR.org, click on the Program's tab, and then TELL ME MORE.

And that's our program for today. And remember, to tell us more, please go to NPR.org and find us under the Programs tab. You can also find our podcast there, and you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TELL ME MORE/NPR. I'm Michel Martin and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium. Let's talk more tomorrow.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.