StoryCorps N.O.
12:04 pm
Thu July 29, 2010

StoryCorps: Marilyn Barbarin

Marilyn Barbarin knew from a very early age that she would be a singer. It began when a priest at her school in New Orleans heard her singing in the girls' bathroom, where she was taking an unapproved break from class. But instead of facing punishment, she was taken to a recording session at the now-shuttered Nola Studios.

Marilyn Barbarin knew from a very early age that she would be a singer. It began when a priest at her school in New Orleans heard her singing in the girls' bathroom, where she was taking an unapproved break from class. But instead of facing punishment, she was taken to a recording session at the now-shuttered Nola Studios.

After talent shows and performances at the Municipal Auditorium and more recordings, Barbarin's career was on track. But problems continually arose with getting paid for her talents, especially on overseas trips she made with bands. In this conversation, recorded April 5, 2010, she talks with StoryCorps staffer Sara Culver about the problems of the business, and the rewards of the art.

ALSO: In this extended conversation, Marilyn Barbarin, when asked if she had any idols while developing her singing career, she didn't hesitate: Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and gives a taste of one of her favorite Knight songs, "Midnight Train to Georgia," as well as her own song, "Good Morning New Orleans."

StoryCorps New Orleans interviews were recorded by StoryCorps, a national project to record and collect stories of everyday people. This excerpt was selected and produced by WWNO producer Eileen Fleming, with support from the WWNO Productions Fund and from Villere & Co., managing the investments of New Orleans' families for almost 100 years. Listen again at wwno.org or at nola.com.

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