The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a New Yorker. Born in Manhattan, grew-up on Long Island, and went to Queens College (Aaron Copeland School of Music). I like living in New York City very much, and until I visit more corners of our world, New York will continue to be a huge influence on all my work.
The next thing that is very important to me is music. I am an artist and a writer, but my ultimate personal expression is through music. I have been singing my whole life and writing songs since about the age of six, when on a bright Spring morning, as I walked to school, I wrote a new set of lyrics for a popular song I liked.
I clearly remember walking one foot in front of the other, heel-to-toe, along an elevated curb at the top of my street. I walked on top of this improvised balanced-beam holding a box of hard candies, shaking it along with the beat as I sang, writing my own lyrics to “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops. (This is that catchy tune that begins “Ooh, sugar pie, honey bunch, you know that I love you. I can’t help myself, I love you and nobody else”.) I suddenly realized that, Wow! I could write a song if I wanted to! It was a truly empowering moment.
I wrote hundreds of songs like that, just off-the-cuff lyrics and tunes while doing everyday activities. Songs created in the moment and never repeated again, songs written just to write them, just to enjoy the process of creating this soundtrack to describe my life at any given point in time. My favorite time to create these “in the moment” songs was while riding in the back seat of the car on long trips, window open, hair all up in my face from the wind, singing out into traffic where only I could hear myself.
Sometimes I wish I had been able to record these songs in some way, but the memories of creating them are pretty joyful on their own. Of course, as I grew older I wrote down the lyrics and the guitar chords (if I had the changes nailed down). Again, I lost many of these early song notebooks as I moved from place to place, but I have the memory of family members asking me to sing this one, or that one, or the funny one about Al Capone.
Fast forward to present day…After many years of a capella singing: sacred text and other musical genres, I have now devoted my musical exploration and studies to Jazz, especially Bebop. So, you will see references on my posts and pages to my current mentor, Dr. Barry Harris. His workshops are fantastic, I have learned dozens of new songs. I am also in his Jazz Chorus and we perform all over the city and in the tri-state area. In the last few years I have written many songs that were inspired by jazz changes and themes I have been studying and I hope to have a CD produced in the next five years–that is one of my goals. I also plan to post some of my lyrics from my CD project here on the site, as well as lyrics I have written for other musicians, vocalists, and composers.
If you would like to follow me,
on FaceBook, my “official” page is: https://www.facebook.com/Laurie.Early.Songwriter/
on YouTube, my channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/LaurieEarly
and, my Pinterest Boards are here: https://www.pinterest.com/songkiller/
P.S. I am now offering freelance Creative Services: Lyric Reviewing, and New Lyric Creation (when my schedule permits).
I dedicate this site to the late Ulysses L. Slaughter, Jr., my former mentor and friend forever, lost too soon after beginning our work together. He encouraged me to pursue this jazz path, and I will always be indebted to him for the confidence he instilled in me to keep going.