2003   JANUARY 24   #024

Esther Rolle - Maybe It's

My co-husband (Hi SHUG!) and I found it at a local used record store here in Chicago - we aren't sure which one, though... I think we bought "Way Out West", by Mae West the same day. We took a chance on the Esther just because of the cover... PRICELESS!!!) and because it was ESTHER! The music also turned out to be rather good/bad, too. That was a bonus!! I like this song cause it's rather frantic and crazy! I've looked around online for info about the record to find out what they were thinking, but haven't found anything. I just picture Esther on the set of Good Times saying in her rather, rough, scratchy voice with her short graying afro, "JAMES-Maybe it's!"

- Bryan McDaniel

TT-1:54 / 2.18MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
from LP, "The Garden Of My Mind" (
Savoy-16002) 1975

(Image courtesy of Bryan McDaniel)

from the LP liner notes:
Surprised? ESTHER ROLLE!!! Acclaimed actress of stage and television, makes another debut, the release of her first album. She made her acting debut with the Negro Ensemble Company where she appeared in "Sound Of The Lusitanian", "Bogey", "Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll", "God Is A Guess What?", "Day Of Absence", "The Dream On Monkey Mountain" and many others. On Broadway, she appeared in "Amen Corner", "Blues For Mr. Charlie", "The Blacks", "The Crucible", "Purlie Victorious" and Melvin Van Peebles musical, "Don't Play Us Cheap". Incidentally (sic), it was during a performance of "Don't Play Us Cheap" that she was seen by the casting director of Norman Lear's Tandem Productions and was asked to play the role of Florida in MAUDE, and after two seasons with the show, was selected to star in her own show on CBS-TV's GOOD TIMES. Esther has a saying: "The eyes are the mirrors of the soul." With this album, you not only have the opportunity to look into the mirrors of her soul, but also "The Garden Of Her Mind"... a mind full of so much warmth and goodness... a mind that is heavily steeped in a traditional Black life style. Growing up as the daughter of a Florida bean farmer, and the ninth of 18 children, she experienced lots of love, lots of sorrow, many defeats, and also many triumphs. In this, her first record album, she begins to reflect upon and recreate those instances and moments which are the common threads of human emotion. She feels that people in America don't spend enough time listening to their inner selves and the inner selves of our artists. Moreover, she maintains that some of our great artists, both past and present, do not receive the recognition they deserve. She says, "We have had poets and orators from the formative years of the nation to the present, advising and even crying out to America to follow the path of the spiritual and moral voices, but most people really don't listen." So do me a favor and take advantage of this opportunity. Sit down, lean back, close your eyes, release your mind, free your spirit, and LISTEN to what the lady has to say. While exploring "The Garden Of My Mind", you will find much wisdom and knowledge... but most of all, much love and understanding. - Notes by GLORIA VINSON