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Forever Amber: UK influncer

Susan Boyle of Britain’s Got Talent: I knew her when…

Posted on 3 min read

I don’t watch much TV. Well, other than Neighbours, obviously. So when I started reading a lot of hype about a singer called Susan Boyle, who’d appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and apparently blown everyone away, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it.  By now I’m pretty used to the fact that when I go out in public I don’t follow about 80% of the conversations that go on around me, because they’re all about The Apprentice, or some other show I don’t watch, so I just assumed this was another example of Stuff That Goes Right Over My Head.

But then I read that Susan comes from Blackburn, which is just a few miles from here. This was more interesting, so I clicked on a link and saw a picture of her. “Wait a minute,” I thought. “I’m sure I recognise this woman.” And I did.

Way back in the mists of time, when I was a reporter for The West Lothian Herald & Post, the paper (along with one of the local community councils) put together a CD called Music for a Millenium Celebration: The Sounds of West Lothian, which featured music from people around the area – everything from pipe bands to girl groups. I didn’t have much to do with this, but I did, at the time, have a weekly column called… wait for it… “Amber’s Reviews”, so it fell to me to review the finished CD.  Our editor, Eddie Anderson, had organised the whole thing, and as it all progressed, he kept talking about this one woman who really stood out. And when he gave me the CD for my review, I totally understood why he’d been so impressed. I just went and dug out the CD, and Terry put the Susan Boyle track from it onto You Tube, so if you want to hear it for yourself, here’s the link. (Not sure if You Tube will allow this to stay up, so if it dissapears, sorry.)


(For those all of you who can’t be bothered reading the whole thing I wrote:

“…the true show-stopper for me is Susan Boyle’s heartbreaking rendition of ‘Cry Me a River’, which has been on repeat in my CD player ever since I got this CD…”)

I met Susan a few weeks later at the launch for the CD, and was really struck by her humility: she thanked me profusely for the review, and seemed genuinely amazed that people loved her voice so much. I can only imagine what she must be feeling now that she’s all over the news, but as you can see from the video of her on the show, which I finally got round to watching today, the attention is well deserved.  It’s also a pretty cool thing for this part of the country, because Leon Jackson, who won the X-Factor a couple of years ago, also comes from around here (from my home town, in fact). So it may be Bandit Country, but damn, we got us some good singers…

(Listen to Susan singing ‘Cry Me a River’ here)


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  • Tal Greywolf
    April 17, 2009

    It's amazing, isn't it?

    There are times where you meet someone and get to know them a little, learn a little, then forget about them, only to see them reappear later on having written a best-selling novel, having a show at the local art gallery or appearing on television. And you realize that you remember them from that time frame, and knew back then they were going to be 'something special' one day.

    You can consider yourself very lucky, because you DID know Ms. Boyle before April 11th, and knew what she was capable of. It took the rest of the world 10 years to catch up.

  • Steve Whiteley
    April 17, 2009

    How is that for two degrees of separation! I know you through social networking and you know/knew Susan Boyle. I am impressed.

  • Terry
    April 17, 2009

    Maybe Simon Cowell will ask you to be on next seasons X Factor judging panel 😛

  • Maz aka MallyMon
    April 17, 2009

    Well, I'm impressed on two counts!

    1 – I love your page in the paper and 2 – you know Susan Boyle.

    Will she change her name, do you think? Not that there's anything wrong but well, Boyle?

    (OK, I AM superficial!!)

  • Maz aka MallyMon
    April 17, 2009

    P.S. I've not seen the programme yet but will definitely try to catch it if Susan's on.

  • Geo
    April 17, 2009

    Aye you never did a write up for me, did you !

    I lived in West Lothian too you know (sob!) I'm off to sing to Georgia and Dog…..

  • Meryt Bast
    April 17, 2009

    ::jaw drops::

    Wow. She's definitely going places. I'm just sorry it's taken so long for her to get the recognition she deserves. What a voice!

    <abbr>Meryt Bast´s last blog post..Rice Pudding</abbr>

  • Erin
    April 18, 2009

    She is so terrific. I super <3 Susan Boyle! 😀

    <abbr>Erin´s last blog post..Books and their covers…</abbr>

  • Lauren
    April 18, 2009

    Small world isn't it! Its amazing how many posts have sprung up about this woman – it seems she has been very inspiring!

    <abbr>Lauren´s last blog post..Grey Day</abbr>

  • nicky
    April 20, 2009

    Yahoo is running the story!


  • Kristabella
    April 20, 2009

    I just finally watched the video of her singing this weekend. She's awesome! And seems so down to Earth!

    I'm totally going to tell people that I know someone who knows her!

    <abbr>Kristabella´s last blog post..I’m Blaming It On The Cookie Dough</abbr>

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