Why Duets? Why Not?

Cynthia Clawson

Cynthia Clawson

I donno, it just seemed like the thing to do. Here we lived in New York City and knew all these fabulous singers that we had worked with over the years, so Julia and I sat down and started to dream about who it would be a gas to work with on a duets CD.

Surprise! The list was 3 to 1 women! Don’t know why; it just worked out that way. So we started to pare down the list to a workable list, a serious list of real possibilities. Finally one day I came up with the idea of Duets – Woman 2 Woman and soon after that, Julia came up with the idea of Conversations With Wise Women In My Life. We liked ‘em both and after going back and forth for a couple of days finally decided to use them both.

So there it is:


Woman 2 Woman

Conversations With Wise Women In My Life

 A bit long, perhaps, but we felt rather intriguing. I had already begun this song called Nothing’s Impossible and every time I worked on it I heard all these harmonies to the melody, so it seemed the natural one to work on first.

Now the question, “Who to start with?” Well, let’s start with the most improbable choice, one of Julia’s singin’ heroes, Cynthia Clawson.

Referred to many as the “singer’s singer” and called “The most awesome voice in gospel music” by Billboard Magazine, Cynthia Clawson has received a Grammy and five Dove awards (The Christian Music Oscar) for her work as a songwriter, vocal artist and musician. Her career has spanned over four decades with 22 recordings to her credit. http://www.cynthiaclawson.com/

The chances of getting her to do it (or to duet, pardon the pun) were slim, but luckily I knew her husband, Ragan Courtney, a Christian Music icon himself, from the past, so I thought we might have a tiny chance. So I called Ragan after many years and carefully proposed the idea.

Turns out that Cynthia Clawson was a Julia Wade fan! Knew her music and owned some of her albums. A most pleasant surprise and a total coup to start the project with.

We flew them both into NYC from Houston, Texas for a wondrous long weekend of singing, filming, getting to know, and catching up. Had a blast! Recorded the song and also video’d parts of the session for future use.

So we had one in the can.

Then life swerved, as it often does, and the project got mercilessly pushed to the back burner by huge changes in our life. Julia touring, reshaping our staffing, moving out of NYC to the country, rebuilding the studio, rebuilding our lives …

We knew the idea was a great one and we’d had such a great start, but then again there was that old foe, Time, staring us in the face. But I’m a dogged kind of guy. And I own a studio. And I’m married to the singer …

So why not?

And so we began again …

Slowly at first because it’s not easy to schedule 10 busy professional singers – yeah, scheduling was the next obstacle, but that too is just a matter of being dogged, and like I said …

So then there was Georgia, and Jan, and Jenny, and Margaret and Gwen … and Emily …

Stick with me and I’ll share some very interesting stories of the times and trials of Duets and the making of this CD.

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