Lemonade out of a Lemon

I grew up in a pageant family. My mother had been a title holder back in her day and had gone on to teach baton twirling as her career in life (and yes, in case you are wondering, I do know how to twirl). So pageants were a staple and we never missed one.

As I grew older into young manhood I wasn’t as part of the pageant circle as I had been at my mothers side as a youth, but I still was aware of who Miss America was back in 1983 when Vanessa Williams won her historic title becoming the first ever Miss America of color. Her official title was Miss America 1984, however she wouldn’t keep her title because in July 1984 Penthouse magazine announced that they were releasing nude photos of her in their magazine. Vanessa, after some pressure from Miss America, relinquished her title to the first runner up.

The history of most Miss Americas is they fade away after serving their one year term. Vanessa Williams didn’t even get to finish her reign, however Vanessa wasn’t only stunningly beautiful but extremely talented. To say that having to relinquish her title after being the first ever black Miss America made her just a little more famous than the average Miss America would be an understatement.

Pairing the fame with incredible looks and talent would become her catapult into mainstream show business. Vanessa didn’t let the setback break her but she saw the opportunity and ran with it. Since that time she’s had number 1 hit records, been in Emmy award winning tv shows and won awards for her motion picture work.

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

I had missed this recording of her singing one of the most loved Christmas tunes from my childhood. I found it today and am happy to share this jazz interpretation of a classical standard. Her talent really shines.

Vanessa Williams – What Child Is This (Greensleeves) – 1996

6 thoughts on “Lemonade out of a Lemon

  1. I’m a HUGE fan of Vanessa. She is probably my most loved celebrity. I don’t know what it is about her, but she has always been my favorite. And she can do it all, is stunningly beautiful and is just as nice on the inside. Of course when her song Running Back to You came out I fell more in love with her. And let’s not even discuss her on Ugly Betty. She brought that performance home. And this recoding is very good for the holidays….but her recording of I Wonder Why I Wander is my favorite, and one of the few updated holidays song I like.

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