A Wondrous Debut
BY Eric Henrickson
June 10 2009 11:00 PM ET
More than 30 years after Lynda Carter first twirled into our hearts on TV's Wonder Woman, she's putting her focus on a long-standing passion -- music. She's had a long and varied career since, but the former beauty queen (Miss World USA 1972) is best known to Gen Xers for that iconic star-spangled costume. Recently, though, the political spitfire has been hitting concert venues such as Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center, along with a London stint of the musical Chicago . Her debut CD, At Last , a mix of pop standards and a couple of nice surprises, is available now. (For more information on tour dates, visit www.lyndacartersings.com.) Carter talks to Advocate.com about music, Muppets, and her many political "high horses."
Advocate.com:Everyone thinks of you as Wonder Woman, but you've got quite a musical background, even from before the show. Tell us about that.Lynda Carter: I think I knew what I wanted to do all my life. As I'm sure you've seen, especially on American Idol, or really just anybody's career, they usually start singing at a very young age. My first paycheck was at 14, and I went on the road and sang all the way through high school at various places, everything from school dances to the pizza parlor and over by Arizona State University [her alma mater]. Then I went with a band on the road for three years. â€¦ So I moved to Los Angeles and struggled there for a while, and they decided to take a shot at putting a woman in the lead of a television show. There really weren't very many of those out there -- it was mainly men. And Wonder Woman came along. And that really helped me take myself musically much further.
You got to sing on the show, do variety shows, The Muppet Showâ€¦The Muppet Show was a blast. I really thought that was great. Just because they're so great, you know? It was so much fun to do. It's a great memory. And I thought it turned out really well.
Why return now to music?My children were going off to college and I wanted to sing again. It's a lot of work to put a show together. Basically, finding out I had a lot of time again -- I never wanted to take my children on the road. They're authoring their own lives, so I've got time, and I love music, so that's what I'm doing.
While I was listening to this CD I could picture you in a slinky dress in front of a band shell with one of those giant microphones. Was that the mood you were going for?I don't know if I was going for any mood anymore than I go for any genre. If you look at any person's iPod you'll find a vast variety of music, depending on the mood they're in. If I were going to say I had a genre, the genre would be "shuffle." Because I really love so many kinds of music and my influences were pretty varied. I grew up in Arizona. There was a lot of country, but there was a lot of blues at my house. Plus I had my own music. So I'm not about trying to pick a fast song or a slow song. There usually has to be -- it's a story I want to tell, I love the lyric, it's something that comes from my life in some way. I'm picking the things I like to sing and I want to sing.