The thing that influenced me most was the way Tommy played his trombone… . It was my idea to make my voice work in the same way as a trombone or violin not sounding like them, but playing the voice like those instrumentalists.
—Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) American Singer
If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is all about.
—Aretha Franklin (1942–2018) American Gospel And Soul Singer
I get tired of playing a guy who gets into a fight, then starts singing to the guy he’s just beat up.
—Elvis Presley (1935–77) American Musician, Singer, Songwriter, Actor
Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside.
—Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) Bengali Poet, Polymath
There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.
—Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49) American Poet
A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
—Joan Walsh Anglund (b.1926) American Poet, Children’s Book Author
If I cannot fly, Let me sing.
—Stephen Sondheim (b.1930) American Musician, Composer, Songwriter
Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
When an opera star sings her head off, she usually improves her appearance.
—Victor Borge (1909–2000) Danish-American Comedian, Musician