Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lynda Carter Brings Her Music to B.B. Kings

Yes, we know Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, and the star spangled outfit likely resulted in its share of supernovas long before the Big Bang Theory cornered the market on superhero worship and angst among longing teenage boys. But the Arizona born actress had a career before and after we invited her into our homes every week from 1975-1979, and an upcoming appearance at B.B. Kings on October 12th is just another day in it.

Lynda Carter: I’ve never been there so it’s very exciting.

Times Square: Tell me about your band.

LC: They’re all studio players with a lot of blues and jazz experience. My drummer Paul Leim has been nominated Country Music Drummer of the year a whole bunch of times, keyboard player Shane Keister has been nominated for three Grammies and Lou Marini has played sax all over the world.

TS: Do you ever feel intimidated by some of these credentials?

LC: No, it’s much more about feeling really comfortable because the caliber of the musicians makes things beautiful. You never have to think about anything but what you are doing. So I’m just wildly appreciative and I’ve got one of the best bands in the country.

TS: When did music first enter your life?

LC: My mom used to play a lot of old jute joint type of music. That’s old blues, St Louis music – you done me wrong kind of stuff. Otherwise, there was a big country influence growing up in Arizona and the blues followed.

TS: How about actually hitting the stage?

LC: I started signing professionally when I was 14 as the girl singer in a number of bands. I traveled the U.S. playing Vegas lounges, the Catskills, and it seems like everywhere else. Eventually I moved to L.A., did some studio work, jingles – those kinds of things. But you couldn’t really tell people you were a singer when you’re trying to be an actor.

TS: Did you miss singing once you signed on to do Wonder Woman?

LC: After I got Wonder Woman, someone heard me singing in Vegas, and I went on to five specials on CBS and signed several record deals.

TS: It still looks like you ended up having time away from music.

LC: I left the road when I got pregnant with my son. To be on the road all the time, it’s no way to raise a family.

TS: What brought you back?

LC: In 2005, my son was starting to talk about college and I was like owww. So I put out some feelers to see what was out there.

TS: Translate that “owww” for me?

LC: I cried. I just burst into tears, and I thought my God, talk about a looming empty nest.

TS: That’ll do it.

LC: I said to myself, I guess I better get going because it’s a huge undertaking to put a show together and get yourself back.

TS: How do you and the band make it work?

LC: I sort of decide, yeah I’d like to try this song. I’ll give one of them a call, we’ll get a key on it, and then we get together for rehearsal.

TS: Do you do any originals?

LC: I do a couple of originals and so does the band.

TS: Describe the scene at one of your shows.

LC: We all work very hard to lift the veil on the stage.

TS: What do you mean?

LC: We try not to make it an inside set where we just get up there and you get to watch us. There’s an attempt to really communicate with the audience, and we talk about whatever pops up in the moment.

TS: Do people clamor for you to do Wonder Womany things at your shows?

LC: I can’t really do anything Wonder Womany, but certainly do talk about it and a zillion other things, but that’s the one thing everybody remembers.

TS: What kind of things did you consider when the role was offered to you?

LC: I didn’t consider anything.

TS: So you just took it.

LC: You have to realize that at the time, there were no roles for attractive young women except to play someone’s girlfriend, someone’s mother or a hooker.

TS: She was certainly none of those three.

LC: Here was a chance to carry a series on your own and play two parts at once. Diana Prince was her alter ego.

TS: What about being typecast?

LC: People did say, you will be typecast forever, and I said, well it’s now. I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to do the work, which I was thrilled to do and would have paid them to let me do it.

TS: I assume you’re happy with the decision you made.

LC: Very few actors have a role that’s so pivotal in their career, and she still is an iconic figure that will live way past me.

TS: When do you think she will twirl back into our lives?

LC: They’re always talking it. A few years ago, there was talk at NBC, and I heard they wanted to portray her sort of mean. I didn’t want her to be mean, but I have no idea. I can’t figure out why it hasn’t come back.

TS: As far as acting, how do you like going back and forth between careers?

LC: I’m still doing parts here and there. I like doing it. It keeps the muscles sharp.

TS: What’s the show at B.B. Kings going to look like?

LC: It’s going to be very entertaining. I think I can easily say it’s probably one of the best bands you will ever hear. They are so good and so tight. At the same time, I really make it my job to bring people into the mix with me and the band. All of us love each other so we have a blast.

TS: Good formula.

LC: I think people get it and enjoy the time with us so I hope they will come out to B.B. Kings.

TS: Sounds like it's going to go well.  Good Luck

LC: Thanks.

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