On November 3, 2002, I was rushed to the hospitaI and needed immediate surgery. The surgery? Successful. The recovery? Miserable.
The third night of my recovery, I dreamt of a woman whose face was unfamiliar. In my dream, she held out her hand and said, "Hello, Valerie. I'm Jane Froman."
After waking and hobbling downstairs, I turned on my computer and punched in her name. What came up on the screen gave me goosebumps. It was the woman from my dream, ball gown and all. No, really.
Over time, I discovered that Jane and I had much in common. We shared serious father 'issues,' and our mothers encouraged our musical talents from a young age. We both came to New York to make our mark, and a strong sense of faith and spirituality is a hallmark in both our lives.
Jane Froman's musical legacy is drawn from thirty years of the Great American Songbook, and every song is a gem. The lady had taste as well as talent.
I love the fact that George Gershwin asked Jane to introduce "Summertime" on the air and made a deal with her that no one else would be allowed to sIng it for a full year. He kept his word.
The more I learned about her, the more I wanted to pay tribute to her in some personal way. I wiII always be inspired by her tireless giving, her belief in anti-racism, her love for emotionally disturbed children, and her unending faith in the face of adversity.