Over the years there have been so many requests for Street Choir music. This website is meant to chronicle the history of this amazing group and provide a space where people can leave comments and renew contacts. So many people had a chance to express themselves through this vehicle called The Fairfax Street Choir. The Choir itself had a very simple musical platform. Anyone could sing in the Choir if they could carry a tune. The thing that was the most amazing about the Fairfax Street Choir for so many years was that everyone in it at one time or another was given the chance to at least try to live their musical dream. That is how it had been set up in the beginning and as long as that one principle was followed Peace reigned in the ranks.
The first gig the Street Choir ever played was at the newly opened Sleeping Lady Cafe at 58 Bolinas Rd. in Fairfax, California. Several people who worked at the Sleeping Lady Cafe were also members of the Choir. They came out from working in the kitchen to get up on the tiny little stage to sing with everyone else who was a part of the Choir. Sarah Fulcher who sang with the Jerry Garcia band and Mark Springer who sang with Van Morrison were up on stage singing with the choir that night. "I remember looking over at Mark Springer and he had a big grin on his face while he was singing. It warmed my heart. I was happily playing the old upright piano next to the stage and pretty soon everyone in the place was singing along", said Marla while remembering the first show the Choir did. That night the Choir sang Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Onward Christian Soldiers, and a various assortment of other songs. Everyone laughed a lot and sang a lot and a great time was had by all.
There was a hierarchy in the musical landscape of the Bay Area in the 1960's. Bands competed for the best jobs hoping for gigs at the Avalon Ballroom which was run by Chet Helms or the Fillmore run by Bill Graham. And of course Winterland was the supreme place to play. Even the smaller clubs had bands competing for jobs. When the Street Choir first started they were loved by all but considered to be just a fun group of people who were not really serious musicians or singers. In fact, they were considered harmless and no threat to anyone. Because there were so many beautiful ladies in the Choir, in jest someone dubbed them "The Heaven's Hookers" and somehow it caught on. Other musicians who knew Marla would say "Hi, how are the Heaven's Hookers doing?". Then they would laugh and Marla would respond with "Well, we are having a lot of fun if nothing else". What they didn't realize was that the Street Choir was a delightful, talented, dedicated group of people who started practicing several times a week on both a group level and an individual level and they were getting better and stronger every day. After a short time the other musicians stopped laughing because the Street Choir was being offered gigs. They were being offered the gigs that the other musicians were fiercely competing for and all of a sudden the Fairfax Street Choir had some clout. The Fairfax Street Choir had become a contender.
The Fairfax Street Choir was a unique and inspiring group of people. No matter who passed through the Choir's dynamic group consciousness they became better within themselves because of it and as a result so did the Choir. There is a place where people meet that is well beyond space or time. Those of us who were members of the Street Choir are all still in each others hearts. That is a pretty safe and wonderful place to be and it lasts forever.