Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Kathy Troccoli & Sandi Patty - Together

  • 1999 8 Dec
Kathy Troccoli & Sandi Patty - Together

Join Sandi & Kathy for a chat on Sunday, January 23rd, 2000 at 9pm Eastern here on Buy a copy of Together here at and get a FREE autographed album cover from the ladies! For more about the chat event Click Here!

Earlier this year, Christian music divas {{Sandi Patty}} and {{Kathy Troccoli}} came together for the first time on an entire album. The Monarch Records project, appropriately titled ==Together==, features three one-of-a-kind duets including the re-creation of the famous Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand version of "Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again," "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," and the title cut. The project also contains solo tributes to Garland and composer George Gershwin with classics like "The Man I Love," "Summertime," They Can't Take That Away From Me," "Embraceable You," and more.

I recently had a chance to chat with both of these talented women on the phone from their respective homes in Anderson, Indiana and Long Island, New York. They are both so thrilled about the opportunity to record some of these great musical classics, and were eager to share some of the following thoughts:

DA: I understand that the idea for this project stemmed from the Barbra Streisand/Judy Garland duet you and Kathy had already performed together on several occasions.

SP: Yes, exactly. That was kind of the beginning seed of the project. When we performed it in the past, people seemed to really love it. Eventually, we had enough encouragement to put together a whole record.

DA: How did the idea for that duet come together in the first place?

SP: It was an old duet that Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland had done back on Judy Garland's TV show years ago. Kathy and I were scheduled to perform together somewhere and she called me before we got there and said, "Hey, I've got this crazy idea!" I'm a huge fan of Barbra Streisand and she's a huge fan of Judy Garland, so it was kind of a no-brainer.

KT: Sandi and I became friends a number of years ago on the Young Messiah tour, and we kept in touch. I ended up sending her a videotape of the performance by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, and asked her if she'd be interested in doing that song. We ended up performing it and the audience absolutely loved it.

DA: How long have you been talking about the possibility of an album? Was it your idea, or did the record label come to you?

SP: Well, I had previously done a couple of songs on a Gershwin tribute record, and Kathy had done some songs on a Duke Ellington tribute, both for the same record label. So the record company finally said, "Well, how about" and Voilá! Here we are!

KT: It's just so great to be able to go into the millennium still performing some of this music. It's timeless, the melodies are so beautiful, and the arrangements are so lush. It's just a great project.

DA: How did you end up choosing mainly Gershwin and Garland tunes?

SP: Well, we just began looking through the catalogs of their songs and we'd come across something and say, "Oh, that's a fabulous one!" or "Yes! That's a great one!" It really wasn't hard coming up with the songs, but it was very difficult cutting down the list. We ended up with so many to choose from.

KT: I've been a big Judy Garland fan ever since I was a kid. It started with "The Wizard of Oz" and went into a lot of her classic movies. I think I was attracted to Judy Garland because she was just a great all-around woman. She could dance, she could sing, she could communicate vulnerably and with such passion from the stage. She could really do things in a way that few performers could. That's what endeared her to her audience. One of my most favorite gifts I've ever been given is a pair of Judy Garland's gloves that she wore when she was making the movie "A Star Is Born." I even collect black and white postcards of those actresses like Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball and others. There's just something about that era of women-they had a class, an elegance and a romance that I would like to be able to portray in my music.

DA: Where did the recording of the ==Together== project take place?

SP: We did a lot of it in Indianapolis, and some of it in California.

DA: Tell me a little about the recording process.

KT: Both the orchestra sessions and the band sessions were almost surreal to me because I was weaned on this stuff. This music is my first love, as far as musical styles go. When I started doing Christian music, I personally did not want to do Jesus songs in a big band style. So I didn't really get the opportunity to perform this style of music for a long, long time. This was definitely an experience I'll never forget, and it's something I hope to keep doing. My Christmas album that's out this year also contains some of the same type of big band sounds on it.

DA: What are your favorite songs on the project?

SP: Well, the "Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again" duet is definitely one of my favorites. I love one of the songs that Kathy does called "Come Rain or Come Shine" and another of hers, "Embraceable You." Both of those are just fabulous. Another favorite is "The Man I Love." That's a wonderful song! There is also an amazing arrangement of "Summertime" on this album.

DA: I love that one.

SP: Oh, it's incredible. I love it.

KT: Aside from the duets, I loved singing songs like "Embraceable You," where I could sing from that part of my voice that's kind of velvety. I love not having to sing in that belt-it-out chest tone all the time. I think that's what made singers like Nat King Cole so endearing to his listeners. It was just the tone of his voice that people loved. You think of people like Karen Carpenter. You just hear the sound of their voice, and you know it's them. They didn't have to do any of these great vocal flips, or have huge musical arrangements. There was just this simple sound to their voice that was beautiful. I personally think there's a beauty that comes out in my voice in those types of arrangements that doesn't happen in a lot of the pop stuff.

DA: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is such a huge classic song, and kind of a daunting song to take on. How did you two approach the idea of recording this particular song?

KT: Well, we knew we couldn't do a Garland/Gershwin project without including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Sandi had even recorded it already on another project. We had to really look at the arrangement and think it through, because sometimes if you duet a song that's not supposed to be a duet, it can sound really corny. I think we tried to do it so that it emphasized more the emotion of the song, rather than taking away from it. We decided to end it so tenderly, instead of this huge ending, (she sings) "Why, oh why can't I!"

DA: Sandi, you grew up in a musical family, so I would guess that songs like this must have been a part of your household. Were you a big fan of movie musicals?

SP: Oh, definitely. We listened to a lot of different things growing up.

DA: Do you have any favorite musicals?

SP: Probably "Music Man." I just absolutely love that one. Of course, "West Side Story" was also a big one.

DA: What about Broadway? Have you ever thought about doing something on Broadway?

SP: (Big sigh) You know, here's how I feel about that. While I would love to do Broadway, it would just be really difficult to have to move to New York for a while. Because family is so important to me, it's just not something that's possible. I don't think the reality of it would ever come to be.

DA: Which Broadway musicals come to mind when you think of favorites?

SP: Definitely "Phantom (of the Opera)" and, although I haven't ever seen it, "Jekyll & Hyde." The music to that is just awesome. And "Sound of Music" is probably my all-time favorite.

DA: You have a houseful of kids. Do they show any interest at all in old movie musicals or in musical theater?

SP: Yes, actually they do. They really enjoy it. Next summer, here in our local city theater, my oldest daughter is going to do "Fame." She's really excited about that. My son Jonathan, who's eleven, has this beautiful soprano voice, and I've always had this dream of doing "Amahl & the Night Visitors" with him. But we'd better do it soon, or his voice is going to change!

DA: How about you, Kathy? Were you a big fan of musicals growing up?

KT: I was more a fan of the old black and white movies. I used to sit and watch them with my mother. They used to play the old movies-similar to what we have now with the American Movie Classics channel-all day on Sundays. We used to watch Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Esther Williams, all those.

DA: Do you have some favorites?

KT: I loved classics like "Singin' In the Rain," "White Christmas" and "From Here To Eternity."

DA: So, the two of you will be performing songs from this project together on several joint dates after the first of the year?

SP: Yes, we're still pulling it all together right now, but we are planning to do some shows together after the New Year.

KT: We haven't really performed an entire show together yet, but we've joined each other on a few different occasions for a song here and there, so we're getting small glimpses of what it's going to be like. It's just so much fun.

DA: It seems like the two of you really get along well together. Are you looking forward to doing these shows together?

KT: Yes. Not only were we surprised that our voices blended so well when we first started singing together, but some people just have an effect on you, just a chemistry thing. With Sandi and I, it's just easy. We don't even get to see each other that much, but we have such a good chemistry together that allows us to just cut up with each other in ways that we probably wouldn't do with other people. Even on the back of this album cover you'll see us laughing. They actually had to ask us to calm down during the photo shoot because we were cutting up too much. She could basically just look at me and I would burst out laughing. That's just how we are with each other.

DA: I understand you're both doing some individual Christmas shows this year. What's coming up next for each of you?

SP: I'm doing a Christmas tour from November 27th through December 18th. Then Kathy and I will be doing some of our shows together. I'm also going to be doing a new live video and live CD next year, so I'm looking forward to that.

KT: Yes, I'm doing about six or seven Christmas dates this season, and then next year I hope to do a big band tour. My very first Christmas album, ==A Sentimental Christmas==, is out this year, and I'm just so excited about it. To me, it's just the ultimate of what Christmas music should be. It sounds very holiday-ish and very romantic. I got to sing with Andy Williams, which was great.

DA: What are your holiday plans over the next few weeks as we head into the new millennium?

SP: Actually, we're going to have a lot of fun this year. We're going to Walt Disney World. I'm doing the narration for the Candles & Carols ceremony they have down there every year, so I get to take the whole family with me. We're really excited about that.

KT: I'm going to stay in New York for the holiday and for New Year's. I plan to just spend the time with my extended family. I think everyone just wants to stay near the people you're close to during this time of year, and I'm looking forward to doing that.

Check out the MP3
we have available here of the song
"Together" from Kathy & Sandi!

Join Sandi & Kathy for a chat on Sunday, January 23rd, 2000 at 9pm Eastern here on Buy a copy of Together here at and get a FREE autographed album cover from the ladies! Keep coming back to the Music Channel for more details!

The Together Tour Schedule
2/17 Naples, Florida Philharmonic Center for the Arts
3/20 Sarasota, Florida Van Wezel Hall
3/23 Melbourne, Florida King Center
3/24 Ocala, Florida First Baptist of Ocala
4/30 Clinton Township, Michigan Macomb Center
8/27 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Dollywood