A self-described band geek from Whitehall has launched a new project she hopes will help her attain her dreams of becoming a successful singer-songwriter.
Barbara Spoor, a 2010 graduate of Whitehall High School, has been working in a Los Angeles studio recording covers and original songs under the name of Lucy Rae.
“I literally just launched this project two months ago,” said Spoor. “Music has always been one of my passions. I wanted to write songs; it’s something I’ve done since I was 12 years old, but just recently I decided I wanted to do more. I wanted to sing as well.
“It was a difficult choice, but I think it’s the right choice.”
There was one problem: “Barbara Spoor didn’t really work for a few reasons. It just doesn’t pop,” Spoor said, adding that most people end up turning her name into “Spoon.”
So like Roberta Joan Anderson (Joni Mitchell), William Broad (Billy Idol), and Cherilyn Sarkasian La Pierre (Cher), Spoor developed a more stage-friendly moniker.
She said she worked on a few names before ultimately settling on Lucy Rae. “Lucy was my great-grandmother’s name and Rae is my middle name,” she said. “I think it works.”
On her blog, Spoor writes that “Lucy holds the confidence Barbara lacks. Lucy makes the right decisions, where Barbara turns right into a brick wall. Lucy represents a dream.”
That dream was fostered at a young age.
Spoor was first introduced to music at the age of four after she enrolled in a local dance studio. The dance lessons led to a greater appreciation of music and impromptu performances in front of her bedroom mirror.
But when she was 11 tragedy struck. Her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died several months later. It was during this time Spoor began writing poems and stories. The exercise proved to be cathartic and provided an outlet for her grief. After awhile she began writing songs, but she kept them a secret until her senior year in high school.
“The first time I showed anyone my songs was at Jr. Miss. I performed an original song for the talent portion of the program,” Spoor said. “Everyone’s jaws dropped when they realized I had wrote the song myself.”
After high school, Spoor packed all her belongings into her car and drove cross-country seeking the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Once there, she and Melissa Notarianni founded Boundless Entertainment, an artist management and public relations company. She also worked with a few artists as a songwriter, but ultimately never achieved the success she was seeking and decided to launch Lucy Rae.
She describes her music as acoustic country pop, a “Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson cross.”
“I love acoustic. It’s very real,” said Spoor.
So far Spoor has recorded several cover songs and over the next few months is working on developing and recording her original music. She also holds down two part-time jobs that she says “helps pay the bills.”
On Oct. 6 she will headline an online benefit concert featuring performances by herself and Ronnie Day. The concert will be streamed on www.stageit.com, a forum for watching and listening to music.
Fans will be able to watch the concert and can make donations to benefit Stand Up to Cancer.
“I’m very excited about it. It’s kind of a big deal for me,” Spoor said.
She said she has received a lot of support from home and has continued to keep in touch with her former music teachers, Christopher Palmer and Marc Pratt.
“They were both so supportive of me and taught me so much,” she said. “The whole community has been supportive.”
“I’m so excited to get everything I want to say out there. I have lots of important things to say.”