Today I have a very special, different version of Women Who Rock Wednesday to share with you. As some of you may know, I also write a column for my local newspaper, the Forest Park Review, which comes out roughly every three weeks. It comes out on a Wednesday and I'd thought it would be cool to do a local version of Women Who Rock Wednesday at some point. Finally, I met an extremely talented pianist and vocalist, Ellen Bartolozzi who lives and runs her business Bella Angel Music just down the block from the Beacon Pub, where I bartend. So Women Who Rock Wednesday: The Forest Park Review Edition was born and the column ran today. (Though sadly they didn't use my title. I get edited a bit in my columns.)
I thought it would be cool to share it with you and to share some extended footage since I only get 600 words in my column, so I didn't get to share some of Ellen's quotes and stories.
So here was the intro to my column that they cut:
I do a weekly feature on my blog called Women Who Rock Wednesday where I interview women in the arts that I admire. When I met Forest Parker Ellen Bartolozzi , I realized I could do a special edition for the Forest Park Review.
Now you can read the column here and the come back for the extras below.
I was able to squeeze in one of Ellen's answers to my standard WWRW questions. I asked her about her biggest rock star moment and shared that letter with me about receiving a Studs Terkel Humanities award, but I didn't get to share her first album and concert experience. Here is what she said.
Ellen: When I was ten years old, my aunt took me to see Robert Goulet at a community center. He was washed up and he was drunk. He was saying all these risque things and my aunt was totally embarrassed. But really what I consider to be my first concert was WHAM! I had a blast. It was the best concert I've been to. (She then laughed and told me that she had a friend who told her not to tell people that, but clearly Ellen has no eighties guilt and it was another reason I liked her even more!)
She also added that her first musical purchase was three 45s, the theme to Star Wars, "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone and "It's So Easy" by Linda Ronstadt.
Ellen really was a cool person to talk to and I admire her greatly. She and I share a lot of the same aspirations including to ultimately just work for ourselves doing the creative work we love. If you are in the Chicago area, as I mentioned in my column, you can choose to be a winner of this weeks' Women Who Rock Wednesday by visiting bellaangelmusic.com for information on your free first piano or voice lesson, or consultation for music at your special event.
Are there women in your community that you admire? Feel free to leave a comment about them or about the talented Ellen Bartolozzi.