One of eight children who grew up in Springboro, Pa., a small town where her father worked as a farmer and tool and dye maker, Cord, born Mary Fabiano, began taking piano lessons at 12. For many years she toured the country as a jazz singer, singing and playing piano. She recorded her Dot album in Chicago when she was 19 in 1957. She is accompanied by several famous Chicago players, namely Dick Marx on piano and John Frigo on bass)
But while on the road, Cord met her husband, Nick, who owned a jazz club in Wisconsin. Cord took time off from her singing career to help him open a restaurant in Milwaukee. She ended up waiting tables, keeping the books and tending bar for 18 years, trading her singing career for love and family. She never went back on the road again. Today, she is a waitress at the Colannade Restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida where she has worked for the last twenty years. While waiting on actor Jack Nicholson recently, she sang “I Could Write a Book” for him. Maybe he gave her an extra-large tip? But that is just about the extent of her singing these days.
PLAY "I Could Write a Book," "Mad About the Boy"