I used to swing by Atlanta now and then and loved the drag bars and the big gay dance club, not to mention the chance to flounce my New York derriere around the hoity-toity Peachtree Plaza.
But legendary singer Barbara Cook had a much worse time there.
Barbara is performing “Let’s Fall in Love,” a fabulous show of personal standards, done in her inimitably crystal-clear way, at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.
And last night, after creamily rendering “Georgia on My Mind,” she admitted to the audience:
“It’s a lie!
“I couldn’t wait to leave Georgia!
“I knew I didn’t belong there.
“I left Atlanta when I was 20. I felt like I had my nose pressed against the glass of life, and I couldn’t get in.
“I only had one friend who wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about–culture.
“I felt like such an outsider. I thought there was something wrong with me.
“Well, I came to New York, and I fit in immediately.
“I came with my mother for two weeks and said, ‘I’m not going to leave.’ She didn’t realize I meant ever!”
Lucky for us!
And I know exactly how Barbara feels, by the way–not about Georgia, but about other places I’ve traveled to.
In fact, I can never get up in public and sing “Iceland on My Mind.”