I've always loved music. I can remember lying on my mom's bed as a child listening to her portable radio until I started my own collection of records and could listen to whomever I chose.
I would sing along with Barbara Streisand, Carole King, Dionne Warwick and many others, imagining I was on stage with them, imagining having an album of my own.
In junior high, I joined choir and continued with it in high school and then in college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches where I was truly inspired by fellow musicians and awesome teachers. I've been a teacher, myself, for the last 28 years, teaching choir for the first six years and English as a Second Language (ESL) ever since.
So why did I make this album? For the last few years, I have been singing at various venues around the Houston, Friendswood, and Clear Lake area- a lot of Jazz, a lot of Easy Listening - and during set breaks, I kept being asked, "When are you going to put out a CD?" I guess they liked what they were hearing!
So...here I am. Stepping Stone will be the beginning of a new season in the life of Traci Stone Cooper, a stepping stone to new adventures. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed making it.
I chose songs for this album that reflect my own experiences, that I've enjoyed singing live, and that Jane Vandiver, my awesome producer, coach, and friend has recommended. Without her, Stepping Stone would have never happened. I don't believe in coincidences. She stepped into my life at just the right time. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. I truly believe she is a part of those plans.
I do want to mention one song that has a special place in my heart. My father was a traveling salesman when I was growing up and sometimes during the summer months, I would get to travel with him. I would close my eyes on those long road trips and listen to one 8-track tape after another. But one song in particular was very special to me- Engelbert Humperdinck's After the Lovin'. I've put this song on my album as a special tribute to my dad.