RS: You perform around the world, what's been a place that
you've performed where you surprised the crowd sang along with you?
Thelma Houston: I don't know because the song was on the radio every around the world. The people always sing along and they are nuts about it. Whatever country I go to, everybody screams "aaahhh baby" and then after that they kind of make up their own words. <laughing>
RS: You perform around two hundred nights every year, don't you?
Thelma Houston: No baby, I don't perform that much. My Lord, if I performed that much I'd... good grief. It's about a hundred and something dates. There was a time when I was doing that much but now I want to enjoy my life, so I do bigger dates and bigger concerts, but I do less. So I do like a hundred and something dates, I've cut it down but it's still a lot.
RS: I saw you perform on TV for a show called The Disco Ball and
it was wonderful that you were helping bring disco music to the new
generation. Why do you think disco music has lasted so well over the
Thelma Houston: Because I think people are very good, when I do I do a lot of concerts throughout the year and some of these are corporate dates and the corporate dates, when they want to have a really good, good time with the like corporation, you know, with their workers, you know, this kind of music, because this kind of music is so happy. People like happy music and disco music is happy music. People dance to it and t forget their worries - it's about going and having a great time. Everybody's happy and I think that it represents what that era was about. People were together, supportive of each other, and having a good time so I think that's why it's lasted so long. History is letting us see that this music is still great and people still want it, and that's why we're attracting the younger audiences too. I have grandchildren who range in age from twenty down to six and they listen to disco music and love going to the concert. It isn't just because I'm their grandmother, I think it's the fact that they love that music from that era. They like a lot of hip-hop and other music also, but they also embrace that music and I think it's because it's happy and you can dance to it and it makes you feel good. A lot of people come to me and say that their mom used to dance around the living room when my record would come on. People remember the good times dancing to disco music.
RS: What advice do you have for all the artists out there?
Thelma Houston: Having a career in the industry is something that I've always wanted since a very, very early age and I've always worked towards that goal. The thing that has kept it alive for me is that I have a passion for it. I love my work, I love performing, and I love the charge that you get with an audience. So if you are thinking about this as something they want to do as a career, think of it as longevity and always try to find something about each performance to make it seem like it's the first time. If you can do that and each audience and every time you perform will be like another experience then it will never become dull to you. That's how I've managed to do it and that's my advice to all the performers out there.
RS: What would you like to say to all your fans out there?
Thelma Houston: Something about the word fans seem so "Old Hollywood," so I like to call them my supporters because without the support of people, I wouldn't be here. Even when I didn't have records out there, people would continue to come to see me in concert and so I owe my career to the fact that I've had supporters all along who have been there for me with or without a hit record. I'm eternally grateful and so thankful for them.