Faye Carol's musical education began in middle school in Pittsburg, CA. Though she sang on various programs while a child in Meridian, Mississippi- it was in California that she began to gain experience in school choirs and church groups.
Initially it was Martha Young (Lester Young's neice) who took Carol under her wing & exposed her to a side of her musical heritage that was totally new to her. The pianist & singer had a unique musical chemistry that made for a natural transition from Carol's gospel & r&b background to include the style known as jazz. Soon after the duo met, Martha introduced Carol to her soulmate Jim Gamble.
The two soon married & Gamble became his wife's musical director and manager- her professional career officially began. Although Gamble had a personal preference for classic jazz, he supported Carol in her choice to begin her career in the genre of r&b soul singer. As the phenomenal vocalist successfully launched her singing career she began learning about the history of African American culture, with a heavy emphasis on jazz. Carol regularly attended the class Gamble taught at UC Berkeley entitled Black History Of Music.
When the bay area soul music scene changed to disco, the power couple decided to change musical directions, too. It was during this time that Gamble began to teach Carol the cabaret music songbook. With a sincere love for the artistry of folk such as Judy Garland, Carol studied diligently, respecting the traditional style of the torch songs she rapidly added to her repertoire. She also began to immerse herself in the jazz & blues styles Gamble continued to expose her to.
Under the tutelage of Jim Gamble, Carol's repertoire impressively expanded & she quickly became known for her unique approach and individual style. Gamble encouraged his prime student to take musical risks and instead of being industry lead, be lead by her heart and respect of her culture.
Decades later, Faye Carol is still growing, reaching, inspiring & trail-blaizing. She has become a sought after educator herself, including the history of African American music in the School Of The Getdown curriculum.
Photo credit: David Greene