I was 11 years old, I think, and I was staying with the family in southeast Kansas, and my Dad was to join us on Christmas morning. I remember waiting for him, and I remember him walking in the door and handing me a record album in Christmas wrapping. I unwrapped it.
The album was called “It’s a Living…” by Beth Scalet, with the artist’s plucky, smiling face ostensibly cruising down the road in a convertible. I think I thanked my Dad for the gift at the time, surely I must have; but I don’t remember at the time being much impressed.
As I grew older, I would, from time to time, put this collection on my turntable. Dad shared at some point this was a friend of his, which must have impressed me at some point to listen. The album grew with me, or I with it, through the years and was and is now one of my favorites ever of all time. It is a masterful, authentic, and lovely set of songs of which I have often been downright evangelistic about.
Beth was an independent artist based in the Kansas City area. Think Melissa Etheridge but without “I’m The Only One.” You know. Kinda. Among Beth’s last recording efforts was a mash note to Bob Dylan, “Beth Loves Bob.”
I am glad to have had an e-mail exchange with her a few years ago telling her this. I am glad she knew she counted me as a fan.
Sadly, this week, Beth Scalet stopped refusing to die.
She was really something.