August 27, 2013

Gorgeous Goulet

Robert Goutlet (1933-2007)
I grew up with Robert Goulet's voice in my ear, but can't say that I really heard him - and I mean really heard him - until I started listening to him on Youtube. 

The Goulet that I knew as a young man was the one parodied on Saturday Night Live - a very different guy than the one who sang like a god in the 60's. Am I saying he wasn't good in the 70's and 80's? No. His voice was still beautiful, but time itself- the setting if you will - changed the way he was perceived. The Mad Men era, with its suave suits, slicked back hair and tuxedos gave way to leisure suits, aviators and facial hair - a very different look. While Goulet caught my ear, he wasn't in my sights. Until now. 

The man had a gorgeous voice. Operatically trained, the listener hears - especially in early recordings - a round, full and ringing timbre that is heard coming right through the face. At one time called 'singing in the masque,' this kind of production was viable across many kinds of media during the 60's. After that? Singers like Goulet found their way to Las Vegas.

There are fewer venues for this kind of singing today, the divide between Classical and Contemporary Commercial Music (a term coined by my colleague Jeannette LoVetri) having grown wider with each passing decade. Today, a guy like Goulet can sing in Opera and revivals of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. That's about it. No late-night TV shows or any of that stuff. Our culture has moved on. A crying shame if you ask me. What is a young man with a great voice to do, especially if he wants to sing Standards? Id tell him to start his own Youtube channel; be his own network and discover himself! 

You can find Goulet's official website here, an interesting blog post about him here, and his Youtube channel here



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