The song says, “What a difference a day makes.
For me ( ” Jackie Allen) , it was more like a year, but what a difference it made! ”
Three years ago, my singing career seemed to have taken me about as far as I could go, being a woman in my forties. I had six records, on various independent labels, with occasional national and international tours, but nothing sustaining. I had decided that if the seventh album didn’t catch the public’s imagination, I would finally settle down.
I’d marry my long-time sweetheart, move out of the big city and take up a life as a professor’s wife, indulging my passions for cooking and gardening. Having read those articles regarding my chances of becoming a mother, at this point in life, I thought, “Ok, if we want a child, we can adopt.”
Of course, that’s not what happened.
That December, my sweet heart and I finally took that romantic vacation, in Paris. Before January was out, we learned Wolfgang (now 2 1/2 years old) was on his way.
In April, the new CD came out, and raced up the charts. A big-time manager flew from LA to Chicago and saw me larger-than-life in June. Initially concerned about my commitment to balance both career and motherhood, he was reassured by the fact that we were already planning the next recording.
Moms know this: once you’ve gone through pregnancy, childbirth and a year of child rearing, you’ve learned you can do anything!
My life B.W. (before Wolfie) was consumed with my singing career. Time was spent learning repertoire, writing music, arranging, booking and promoting shows, touring and teaching students.
But artists know this: art reflects life. My life was pretty insular before my son came along, therefore so was my art, in hindsight.
I also had a fear of failure that often kept me from taking risks necessary to move my career forward. Now, through the chaos of chasing and guiding a toddler, juggling career and family, life is much richer and my love is deeper than I could have imagined. These experiences have fed directly into every aspect of my music.
Ironically, because my career is no longer all encompassing, it has taken off! I signed with the manager, and through him, Blue Note Records, the most prestigious jazz label (Nora Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Anita Baker).