Another "voice" instead of "vocals"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 10 06:31:05 UTC 2012

On Sun, Dec 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> I would be more concerned if I saw "on vocals".

I wouldn't. Strings like "The Stan Kenton Orchestra, featuring June
Christie on vocals" sounds completely ordinary to me. But it is
surprisingly - to me, anyway - rare and recent in print with the
relevant meaning.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Super Seventies RockSite
Jan 15, 1971 - Though Emerson is "featured" on piano and organ, he has
some extremely strong support from Greg Lake (formerly with King
Crimson) _on vocals_.

And it's downright unnerving that the writer thought that this use of
_feature_  was so unnatural, so extraordinary, that it required
quotes, though he was willing to accept "on vocals." Can "feature" and
"on vocals" / "on the vocal" really be peculiar to jazz, pop, and R&B
DJ's of the 1940's to the 1970's?

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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