Surrounded By Water
Joan Morrissey lit up a room. Her powerful singing held the audience in the palm of her hand with her rich, bold voice. She was a lounge singer six nights a week and raised her six children all day and night too. She was born in 1933 in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland and started singing on the radio at seven years of age. She was nominated for a Juno award, sold over 50,000 records and when a Toronto record company sent her a cheque for $38.00 she took them to court, insisting artists must be paid.
Joan washed her children’s clothes in a river, yet still managed to host eight TV shows for two local TV stations, performed live on Canada AM, where with Newfoundland bravado, she sang Thank God Were Surrounded by Water, to glowing reviews. Joan performed in Toronto and Nashville, and volunteered with the parent teachers association. Joan performed while pregnant and at times up until the last day before she gave birth. From Joan’s point of view, “I said I could do it and that is why I can. It is no more than folding laundry or baking bread. I always knew I could do it and so I do.”
She had withstood a court case with a national record label, a jealous and harsh husband, and a heart surgery that left her with severe depression. At 44 years of age, after singing ‘how great thou art’ to family and friends on New Years Day, 10 days later she ended her life. “Yes My Dear”, Joan would say, I will sing you a song…
Media Connections Film Inc. owner Rhonda Buckley