Back when I was a kid, one of the remarkable things about Barbra Streisand (before she became, simply, BARBRA) was that she hailed from Flatbush, Brooklyn, making someone like me feel that anything is possible for someone with talent, no matter where one is from. When The Roches (Suzzy, Maggie, in center, and Terre) first appeared on the music scene, they inspired me further--they, with their good looking and equally talented brother, David, were four Irish Catholic siblings from Bergen County (I believe Park Ridge) New Jersey, who, while not quite as renowned as, say Joan Baez, were beloved by any of us fortunate enough to discover them. As an Irish Catholic kid, originally from New Jersey, The Roches still continue to inspire me, as I keep trying.
I loved them for the beauty of their sound. Their harmonies, on songs like "The Hammond Song," and their Christmas album, "We Three Kings," were so pure in tone, so achingly beautiful, it broke one's heart to listen. But they always had you coming back for more.
Maggie was the eldest, and this past Saturday, she died, at the age of 65. According to sister Suzzy, it was breast cancer. Google Maggie and read Suzzy's Facebook tribute to her sister. It made me dissolve in tears.
In retrospect, I have to wonder. Several years back, The Roches, who gave annual Christmas concerts I always wanted to attend, pulled back from performing. I wondered why; now I think I may have an idea.
Maggie's voice was the group's anchor. She will be deeply missed by this fan, and my heart goes out to all the Roches.
But please come back, when ready. Maybe with David.
Here are "The Hammond Song," and an a capella version of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." The beauty of these sounds remains unsurpassed.
God bless, Suzzy, Terre, David, and all the Roches!!!!!!!!!!!!!