A voice that sways any crowd As time goes by, Gina Grazier keeps couples waltzing to her favorite songs.

September 07, 1998|By Sarah Pekkanen

OCEAN CITY -- The first thing you notice about Gina is that she has one glorious pair of gams. Stems that start under her armpits and stretch to infinity. "Look at those legs," says a woman whose husband is doing exactly that.

But they don't call Gina "legs." They call her "mouth."

Then, you notice Gina Grazier can really belt out a song.

She stands in the Carousal Hotel's ballroom, wearing pink heels and a madras-print miniskirt. Behind her, the brass instruments of a 20-piece orchestra gleam. She glances at the bandleader, her husband, and winks.

"I chased him till he caught me," she confides.

Gina won a Little Princess contest at age 3 and hasn't stopped singing since. She sang with the Glen Miller Band at 14. Later, she sang on a Friday afternoon radio show. She sang with the Army, she sang with the Navy. She doesn't sing in the shower, but she sings in her car.

Tonight, she'll sing for a group of vacationers who have shunned the rock-blaring bars. Tonight, her smoky voice will introduce four tank top-wearing teen-age girls to real music. Her kind of music. The kind of music Gina -- who won't give her age -- has sung for "well over five decades."

"A kiss is still a kiss," she begins. "A sigh is still a sigh ... As time goes by." The lights dim, the orchestra swings, and Gina sways back and forth.

A couple -- he dressed all in black, she in white -- waltzes across the floor. They have been married 47 years, and still they love to dance.

The teen-agers look intrigued.

Gina launches into "Bye Bye Birdie," and the girls can resist no longer.

They step tentatively onto the floor and imitate the waltzing couple, gaining confidence with each circle of the floor.

All the while, Gina sways back and forth, back and forth, lost in time.

Pub Date: 9/05/98

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