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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Budd and Buddy: My Exclusive Q&A with the Delightful Ms. Julie Budd, part 1

Julie Budd is a real New Yorker, there was no denying that when I heard her speak with me during this Q&A. An astoundingly gifted performer, she has done recordings, live shows, tv and film. After 40 years in show business (starting out at the ripe old age of 12), she is still a much sought-after, popular and in-demand entertainer.  She will be at The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Finger Lakes, New York this Saturday, May 2. She has a new album, They Wrote the Songs. And she has a residency coming up at The Metropolitan Room, NYC starting May 14th. Press inquiries, please contact Richard Skipper Celebrates at 845-365-0720 or at Personally, I found Julie Budd to be down-to-Earth, considerate and just a complete delight. Enjoy!

Buddy Beaverhausen: You have been performing since you were 12! Although you're not quite as old as I am, you started at the time of girl group music. Most young women singers at the time, even Marilyn Michaels & Betty Buckley, have done the "girl" thing) in the style of, say, Lesley Gore or Dusty Springfield. Did you ever venture into that territory back then?

Julie Budd: No, no, not really. I mean, back then, I was hoping to have a hit record so I chased the market a little, But I was never seriously in that particular market.

BB:  I understand you were brought to national attention by Merv Griffin on his talk show, then also appeared on Johnny Carson. What was it like meeting these classic talk-show hosts? And how has the talk-show circuit changed since then?

JB: The talk-show circuit has changed a lot. They're very different now. I think, when I did them, everybody did that. Now, it's very, very hard to get tv, unless you have a hit record or movie or tv show to promote. When I started in show business, there were the variety shows on television, and they had all types of talent on. Variety entertainment then was really in the mainstream. Everybody did it! Today, television is very different.

BB: I remember, growing up, watching the talk and variety shows -- even on afternoon tv, like The Mike Douglas Show -- and it was different because the celebs didn't have people advising them on what and what no to say. So, it was more candid.

JB: Yes, I think that's absolutely right.

BB: What music did you listen to growing up, and what singers influenced you the most?

JB: The first person who really struck me and influenced me was Julie Andrews. She was the ultimate to me. She could sing, dance, she was fabulous on Broadway! She could do everything! Also, when I was a girl, I had an extremely high voice and I could sing in her range. I loved her! And my mother and dad used to go out on Saturday nights and once they brought me back to original cast recording for My Fair Lady. They bought it at Colony Records. Remember Colony?

BB: Yes. I the Brill Building. I loved that place!

JB: Right, the biggest record store in NYC at one time. A little above the theater district. Anyway, one night they brought me home My Fair Lady and I thought it was the greatest record I ever heard in my life! I learned all the songs and sang them for my dad. I did little shows for him when he came home from work. And my mom would tell me, "Leave daddy alone and let him have his dinner." [Laughs] My dad would say, "No, no, that's ok. Let her sing."

BB: That's so funny. I'll tell you, very briefly, that when I was about six or seven, my mom took me to our downtown record store where she always bought me 45s. Well, this time I wanted an album. She thought I'd buy a Disney soundtrack or rock'n'roll, but I wanted My Fair Lady!

JB: [Laughing.] Isn't that something? Well, you know, my mom could really sing. But she was too shy for show business. You know, this business is very tough. And there I came, you know, all ready to go into show business. I think it drove them crazy. It got to a point where they couldn't deny it any more so they let me try it. So I started out at 12 years old and there I was meeting Merv Griffin. Meeting Herb Bernstein changed everything. He got me on Merv's show. And I'd never done anything before like that. It was a whirlwind but I didn't know anything else, so I thought, "Well, I guess that's the way it works."

Part 2 to come.

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