I was wondering, why is it that so many foreign singers can sing in a perfect North American accent yet have a thick accent when it comes to holding a conversation?
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I was wondering, why is it that so many foreign singers can sing in a perfect North American accent yet have a thick accent when it comes to holding a conversation?

I find that interesting, as well.
I have a friend who has a severe speech impediment. He isn't retarded, but many people think him so, he has so much trouble getting his words out, let alone pronouncing them so people can understand what he is saying. Yet, when it comes to singing, he never slurs or delays a word. He is a good singer with excellent dictation who has committed over 200 Irish traditional songs to memory.
I knew a stutterer who generally spoke with no stutter at all when on the telephone. I first worked with him when he was based on the other coast, never knowing he had the problem. I learned of it only after he was transferred to the East Coast.
How do you explain these things?

Charles Riggs
There are no accented letters in my email address
How do you explain these things?

There are many cases of stutterers who sing normally (e.g. Gareth Gates), suggesting that speaking and signing are two distinct mechanisms.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
How do you explain these things?

There are many cases of stutterers who sing normally (e.g. Gareth Gates), suggesting that speaking and signing are two distinct mechanisms.As one is done with the mouth and the other the hand, I would think so.

Ray
I was wondering, why is it that so many foreign singers can sing in a perfect North American accent yet have a thick accent when it comes to holding a conversation?

I'd stop short of calling them "perfect" myself, but I know what you mean. In days gone (1) by I think Brits did it because (a) they modelled themselves on American singers who dominated the popular music world and (b) because they wanted to sound American and (c) because unless you actually concentrate on your phrasing, it is surprisingly easy to sound "American" when singing popular songs.
It was notable that the Beatles inserted a Liverpool twang into their singing most of the time and many of the "Mersey Sound" groups followed. Otherwise it's rare for popular songsters to allude to their origins. One exception in recent years was the Proclaimers, the Scottish twins whom I saw yesterday on a nostalgia programme.
(1) I'm thinking from the 40s, maybe late 30s. Sinatra, Crosby, Fitzgerald, Vaughan, Bennett et al. Prior to that I think English affectation was more common for the popular crooners - Rudee Vallee and them.

John Dean
Oxford
Otherwise it's rare for popular songsters to allude to their origins. One exception in recent years was the Proclaimers, the Scottish twins whom I saw yesterday on a nostalgia programme.

Peter Gabriel always sounds very "Home Counties" so much so that a friend of mine once remarked that this sounded unnatural and that rock music should always be sung in an American accent (no matter how *cod).

Ida Goode-Johnson
*Roger Daltrey is a good example of this.
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I was wondering, why is it that so many foreign singers can sing in a perfect North American accent yet have a thick accent when it comes to holding a conversation?

Consider that conversations cannot be
rehearsed in the way concerts are. There
is no printed score for a conversation.
Another consideration is that singing (combining
pronunciation, pitch, timbre, emphasis etc.)
points specifically to a single best sound
much more than does everyday speech. Singing
requires the integration of many variables, but
singers train explicitly in this skill. (Traditionally, stage actors trained similarly in voice projection but this tradition is no longer universal the way it used to be.) Lastly North Americans are not trained at school in speech the way they used to be before the 1960s, so the range of American accents may
have enlarged.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
I was wondering, why is it that so many foreign ... a thick accent when it comes to holding a conversation?

I'd stop short of calling them "perfect" myself, but I know what you mean. In days gone (1) by I ... time and many of the "Mersey Sound" groups followed. Otherwise it's rare for popular songsters to allude to their origins.

There's that whole generation of London-region-origin punk and New Wave singers who seemed to sort of exaggerate their cocknE-influenced accents. Moreover, their American counterparts often attempted to sound quasi-British.

I repeat: Erk, this can't be!
How do you explain these things?

There are many cases of stutterers who sing normally (e.g. Gareth Gates), suggesting that speaking and signing are two distinct mechanisms.

There's also American Country and Western singer Mel Tillis.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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