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Marlena Shaw




I was talking to my friend Lola on the phone one day about music and our go to divas are Esther Phillips and Marlena Shaw.  

I realized that Marlena was at the top of my list to see live in person and that I was living in New York so  I had the  epiphany of googling her for a touring schedule. There was none. But there was a website for a management company. I called the number and asked if she was performing in the city anytime soon..  

They took my number and email. 

Lo and behold, two days later, I got an email from Marlena herself, telling me my dream was about to come true, Marlena was performing at the Blue Note for two shows on the same night. 

I called and got a ticket for the first show.  

It was one of those hot, humid nights, but there was a breeze.  I grabbed flowers from the corner deli and rushed down to the club.

When I got there, they sat me at a table about midway.  She had a jazz trio backing her and they were great.. Marlena and I had chemistry. I knew the hits and she changed her zingers to keep it fresh for me and the rest of the boys who knew her recordings.

When the show was over, the club’s host took me backstage to meet her.  I brought a stack of records and cds for her to sign. She told me to put them and the flowers on her dressing table. 

“I hope you’re not like the guy the other night who brought every damned thing I ever recorded for me to sign.”

She invited me to join her while she took her smoke break.  She invited me to be her guest for the second show.  I was moved to a table closer to the stage.


We lost Marlena on January 19th.






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