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My name is Roberta Brinkman. Born Roberta Whiteside in Walnut Creek, California, I was raised in Concord, California and currently reside in South Carolina. I am one of 10 siblings. I have one brother and eight sisters.
Coming from a musical family, my two eldest sisters, Diana and Joanna, had a great love for music and had beautiful voices and were my first big influences. At a very young age, I knew that I had a very special gift, my voice. I remember I could always hit each note and pitch and sing in key as natural as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
The household I grew up in always had a piano to play, thanks to my mother. She encouraged me to take lessons and practice every day. As far back as I can remember, I would sit and play the piano for hours by myself or with friends and family and entertain them with song and dance. I loved to sing and dance. I knew from the age of 6 that I wanted to be an entertainer.
I took piano lessons from 7 to 12 years of age and took a guitar class in summer school at the age of 13. I sang in church and school choirs all through my youth, performed in piano recitals, talent shows and was also a cheer leader. All of these activities have contributed to the comfort and ease of my stage presence.
Growing up, our family always had the door open to people and one of our borders was a young man by the name of Michael, who played the guitar. He taught me to play such songs as, “Gimme Three Steps” by Leonard Skinner, a couple of songs by Tom Petty and songs by Bad Company. He played with other fellow musicians and I would sit-in with them and sing back-up harmonies.
Years later, with encouragement from my husband, Mark, I sang at a Christmas party on a Horn Blower cruise ship in the San Francisco Bay. I sang, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. After singing the song, I can remember looking out at a sea of lit matches and lighters and felt the magic of the crowd.
I then started singing at Karaoke venues wherever and whenever I could. I also sang at a work Christmas Party at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California. That’s when I met Janice, who was also a singer. Our voices, like our friendship, went together like peas and carrots. Janice invited me to sing with her on several occasions and at different functions with family and friends. We sang duets, provided backup harmonies for each other and our voices complemented one another. It was then that I started writing songs and the first song I wrote was for my son. That’s when I opened up the door to songwriting.
The first band I was in was a church/family/friend band and my brother in-law was the drummer. They needed a singer and I was it. That was where I met the extremely talented guitar player, John Whitworth. John later gave me guitar lessons, which led to John inviting me to play with his longtime musician friends as their lead female vocalist and rhythm guitarist (acoustic and electric). That’s where The One was born. Working with The One was like taking a leap off a cliff, free falling into a dream, and letting music be my compass and guide. In 2004, John and I recorded “Remember” and “My Everything” and in the summer our band played a gig and performed these songs for the first time. The One has performed our songs since then.
Mostly, John and I have concentrated on song writing and recording. The One released their first 12-song CD album, The One-Foreverland, on March 25, 2014. This first album features Roberta on vocals. By fall of 2014, The One music can be purchased on Facebook, Nimbit.com and iTunes.
I can’t thank John enough for his persistence, countless hours and dedication to our music and his complete faith in my ability as a singer/songwriter and musician. Together, we are The One.
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