That's Not The Way It's Supposed To Be

03:44
Lori Grigsby
a million years ago
Melanie Hammet

Story

I can still remember the first time I heard a singer who opened my heart. 

 I was sitting in the auditorium of the Wesley Foundation in Blacksburg Virginia. I might have been eight. Or ten. It doesn't matter--anyway, this kid came out on stage in a chimney sweep costume, replete with soot. I say "kid" because she was a year younger than me. Her name was Lori Grigsby and she launched into Chim-Chimery from Mary Poppins and wrecked my world. I fell in love with her voice; I probably cried. I never forgot it.

Fast-forward ten-plus years: Ann Goette and I have written "Coming Of Age." It's a musical about being thirteen, performed by the only people who could, and it's time to make a record. As in LP. As in put it on your turntable and drop the needle; 33 1/13 RPMs. There's a song, sung by a character who's mourning the dissolution of her parents' marriage. It's called "That's Not The Way It's Supposed To Be," and although the lyrics are so simple, the song is deeply poignant and this recorded version will be its artifact.

Who else but Lori Grigsby could sing this song? The sad soulful voice from so many years ago, paired with other childhood friends: Michael Furey on piano, Wes Crawford on drums. She still tears me up, fifty years hence.