Skip Navigation Summer Camp, Day 13! Look Out, Babs! Melba Moore Breaks the Sound Barrier with Her Crazy Belt Summer Camp, Day 13! Look Out, Babs! Melba Moore Breaks the Sound Barrier with Her Crazy Belt
Melba Moore
Belting a 22-second note and scooping up the octave? No big.

We’re gonna be honest: Things around the offices have gotten really boring the last few weeks. It’s sweltering, it’s humid, and worst of all, no new Broadway shows open until after Labor Day. But never fear, dear readers, we’ve got a great way to spice up the month of August: Summer Camp! Each day for 31 days, we’re highlighting the campiest, craziest, wildest—and did we mention campiest?—videos we can find. Put on your gaudy bathing suit and dive in!

First things first. If you haven’t heard Melba Moore sing “I Got Love” from her Tony-winning turn in Purlie, that is absolutely required viewing before you proceed. In this clip from the ‘70s variety show Flip, Moore performs a Funny Girl classic with a handful of riffs that only she could get away with. Don’t let that sensible suit and flower fool you. This woman is anything but conservative when it comes to belting, and she makes that clear early on.

1:35. Here it is, folks, proof that Ms. Moore is the master of the "option up"—that is, chucking what's actually written in favor of something higher. For those keeping track on your beltress scorecards, she goes a third higher than Kate Shindle at the end of “Legally Blonde Remix.” Melba Moore: pioneer for belters and mixers everywhere.


22. Just 22. That's how many seconds she holds a single note before her big finale. THIS is how you make a song your own.

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