Long, cool moment...
I was watching The Voice a while back and I heard one of the shows four coaches, Christina Aguilera, say to a contestant “I was waiting for the big moment, but it never came-”
The singer was Malford Milligan, a 54-year-old African American albino who worked in cotton fields as a child and was repeatedly overlooked as a singer because of his lack of pigment. He found solace in B.B. King tunes growing up, but chose to sing the Al Green classic “Lets Stay Together” on The Voice.
His rendition was flawless. “Too much like the original” the judges said. And then Aguilera chimed in with her “lack of a big moment”- She could have sat in judgment of Green himself and made the same comment. Green’s songs were full of “long, cool moments” and not just “big moments”. Milligan had treated the song with respect as he should have. It’s a classic.
Al Green finessed his way into your soul with beautiful songs and a voice that just put listeners at ease. He made it hard not to sway your hips and smile while you listened. He was a mood-changer. What’s wrong with that?
We live in an impatient world. We want our food fast, dry cleaning next day, movies full of non-stop action, and now I suppose our music full of “big moments”- Long, cool ones don’t count anymore.
It’s a cryin’ shame too. Malford Milligan had me singing “Lets Stay Together” for days after his incredible performance on The Voice. It was one long, cool moment, and it moved me as I’m sure it did many others. When they sent him home without a coach I really began questioning the show’s credibility.
Apparently the former cotton worker’s rendition sounded too much like Al Green himself, and there wasn’t a big enough moment for Christina Aguilera or any of the other three judges...
When Blake Shelton told Milligan to “Hurry-up and make an album- I’ll buy it” I had to wonder why he didn’t pick him? Had to be Ratings! Big moments outsell long, cool ones, I guess. I suppose the majority of paying customers want to be “shaken, not stirred”.
I’m going to remain patient and true to my music. I’ll continue to listen to Al Green and always wonder what could have been for Malford Milligan had one of the judges on The Voice valued a singer who can pull off a long, cool moment.
As for me? Stirred, not shaken…