By ALICIA LEONARD
Some people know what they are going to be from the time that are little. Redd Vizard is one of those people blessed by knowing her passion from an early age. “I have been singing since I was a little girl. I started with the hairbrush as a microphone in the mirror, singing to Donny and Marie. Funny how stuff works out since I sing a little bit country and little bit of rock and roll, and a little of everything in between.”
Vizard got her practice in every chance she had once the singing bug bit. “I joined every choir possible, church, elementary, junior high, high school. My first ‘show’ was a talent show in fourth grade in which I sang along to Cher’s ‘Half Breed.’ I was always an alto and always belted everything out. I did musical theater is high school, in Tucson, Ariz., and some Gilbert and Sullivan Community theater.” As she grew older she found she just couldn’t shake the singing urge. “I sang on and off through the years and was always asking bands at bars if I could join in. It was finally my then soon-to-be husband after a few years saying to me ‘you must sing!’ ”
Vizard soon found it took getting herself way down south in Florida, in the Keys, to finally find her niche in the performing world.”I worked in Key West as a professional bartender and also sang at some of the clubs around town. I hosted a karaoke show and then started doing the singing bartender thing at a place called Aqua.” Vizard said she got the idea after seeing a duo preforming a dueling bartender show, but, “I did it by myself. My favorite music is bluesy jazzy kind of stuff but I sing really everything from Etta James to Elton John.”
In May of 2007, Redd and now husband Paul Vizard of 30A TV made their way to 30A and since then, she has became one of the star attractions as well as an Internet sensation to many locals and visitors in the area.”I do miss Key West and have lots of connections there but have found a very special niche here. The people are amazing and the lifestyle is Florida ‘laid back.’ There is so much great art and music here and I feel like I bring something special to the table.”
To the table is right, Vizard performs at “Sally’s Backside, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 [p.m.] or a little later. It is a fun, casual atmosphere with the best ribs and meatloaf on 30A. We serve beer and wine and me. I have request lists on the table and folks ‘tip’ for their requests. On Tuesday and special shows, we stream live on my website, reddsings.com. I have folks tune in from Key West to Tucson, Los Angles to Kansas. You can even sign-in and chat with my husband, Paul, and request a song. Sally’s is at 2320 W CR-30A. Their number is (850)267-2016 Yes, I sing and bartend at a gas station for a living,” she said with a hearty laugh before adding, “We highly recommend reservations for dinner parties of four or more. I am also doing a special show there on Saturday, Aug. 27 that will be a Fabulous ’50’s party! I’ll be giving prizes for costumes and maybe some jitterbugging from 7-9 p.m.” Vizard and friends just enjoyed an ’80’s party at Sally’s that was “totally awesome” according to many of the diners in attendance.
Many also got to see and hear Vizard in the spring production of Honky Tonk Angels at Seaside Rep. She enjoyed being back onstage and working with the other performers,”I really enjoyed playing a character named Angela. Brooke Stettler is the artistic director and he asked me to audition for the part because they needed a big voice.” Vizard shared the stage with two other performers, Anne Marie Carroll and Anna Garrett. “They were great to work with and the show was a great success. I enjoyed working in the theater again and fell right into the routine of rehearsals and shows. I hope to do more.”
Those interested in hearing more about Vizard and from Vizard can keep up with her through CD’s and new media,”I have an IPhone app so folks can keep track of where I am all the time. Go to the app store and search ‘redd sings.’ It will pop right up. I keep the calendar updated so everyone will know if there are special shows. There is a little bio info and some free tracks. If you don’t have an Iphone, my calendar of events is on my website or you can buy my CD, ‘Redd… Discovered at Last’ at Sally’s. You can also get it at my website which is reddsings.com, or on Amazon, ITunes, Rhapsody, or CDBaby. You can also pick one up at Coastal Treasures on 30A.”
Is there anything the signing bartender can’t do? “I’m available for private parties, special occasions, New Year’s Eve and Derby Day parties. I’ve also helped celebrate lots of birthdays and anniversaries.”
One thing is for certain, Vizard likes to have fun and when she sings, she transfers a lot of that fun to her audience. To see some of this fun first-hand, visit her at Sally’s or check out her Facebook page Helen Redd or shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out reddsings.com to make a request of the signing bartender, herself.