Five Firsts: Betsy Cannon of Betsy & the ByeGons

Betsy and the ByegonsNAME: Betsy Cannon
BAND AFFILIATION: Betsy and the ByeGons
INSTRUMENT: Vocals and percussion

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies.” Considering I am really a “retro pop diva,” it may seem odd to some people that it was the first album I ever bought. But, when you think about it, Alice Cooper really is a pop artist. Just a very disturbed one.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Hmmm. Sly & the Family Stone with Earth, Wind and Fire. Madison Square Garden, NYC. Again, a pop concert, no? I remember sneaking down to the floor seats from the cheap upper balcony seats. In those days, no one seemed to care if you did that. In fact, people actually helped my friend and me climb over the railings separating the sections! Probably everyone in the place was stoned (except me, of course).

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3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … At first, I thought of that crummy plastic flute I had to play in grammar school music classes. But if you mean a REAL instrument, I’d have to say piano. I started late, in my teen years, and I don’t think of myself as being able to really play at all. I’ll just stick to my tambourine and cowbell, thank you.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Well, I performed in a lot of youth theater productions growing up, starting at around age four. If you mean first solo performance, it’d have to be something from “Carousel” or “Oliver.” I’m thinking either “You’ll Never Walk Alone” or “I’d Do Anything for You.” Corny, no?

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The PastElles, formed by me, in Hoboken NJ. We did (you guessed it!) “girl group” music (just like I do now), only we were a much larger group. Three singers, four-piece band. A scheduling nightmare, since the band members were all in multiple other projects (and had day jobs). Four people are MUCH easier to work with. We’ll stick with this for now. Though, we may eventually look for a keyboard player. Do you know anyone?

Betsy & the ByeGons will be performing at the Saratoga City Tavern in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Friday, as well as at the Waterworks Pub in Albany at 7pm on Sunday.

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