Rocci Johnson

Musician Rocci Johnson has been a singer in a rock and roll band for many years. She and her husband own Hannah's Bar in Boise, Idaho, where she is the lead singer with The Rocci Johnson Band. She also organized The Divas of Boise, who accompanied Rosalie Sorrels in the 2005 concert at the Liberty Theater in Hailey, Idaho.

rocci johnson

Q: Who are the Divas of Boise?
A: I always had an idea of getting all of my girlfriends together and being on one stage and doing one thing. so I called every female entertainer in town that I knew. Our first year nine women came on board. We chose the Women's and Children's Alliance Crisis Center as the beneficiary of our performance, and we raised a ton of money and had a line down the block for hours, and it was just amazing.

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The only criteria to being a Diva is that any differences, any problems, anything you have with each other all gets left at the door at all rehearsals and all performances. That's the only criteria. When we hit the stage, we're on one page, and it's amazing. We've had an amazing 11 years together, and it's been just terrific.

"...I don't think she fits into any one box. I think she transcends any kind of definition of her work. I think her material goes beyond all of that."

We all have our own style, our different costuming. It's just a rainbow of diversity when we step on stage. I think the biggest thing for the Divas of Boise is that we believe in the celebration of life. We believe in coming together to show how diverse and amazing life can be when you are all on one page and all with the same cause.

Q: What was it like performing with Rosalie Sorrels at the Liberty Theater concert?
A: Supporting Rosalie was an incredible thing for us, because of who she is and what she has achieved in her life. And we feel that she's the Queen Diva of Idaho! Not only is she amazing in what she has achieved but all of her performances are for a purpose. She wants to make a change. She wants to make a difference. She wants our society, our nation, our culture and indeed the world to be a better place. So all of her material, whether it's about love, about family, about community, about healthcare, about war and peace, all of her material is about making this a better place, making this earth a better place.

And how could one not support that? That's what The Divas are about, and she started on the path decades before any of us were even in the picture. We could not have been more pleased to support who she is, what she's about, what she's accomplished.

rocci johnson singing Q: Thinking of Rosalie as a Diva might be a stretch for some people.
A: Look, if you are a powerful woman who's out there in the frontlines of life, you're a Diva, whether it's on the TV screen and radio, whether it's in non-profit work, whatever. You are a woman who takes your talents to the forefront and makes a positive difference. And that's what Rosalie's about.

Q: Was there a favorite song that you sang at the Liberty Theater concert?
A: "Apple of My Eye," because for every mother it sheds light on that relationship, that special relationship between you and your child.

"We're not one, we're worlds apart, you and I, Child of my body, bone of my bone, Apple of my eye." I mean, that just puts into one sentence how you feel about that child who came forth from your body. It puts it in a way that addresses the problems between parent and child, but yet puts you on the same page, that you will always be together as one, even though there's always other things going on.

Q: What's your take on Rosalie's legacy in the music world?
A: I think that Rosalie's legacy will only become more pronounced as we move forward, because there are so many stories that haven't even hit the surface. Her life's work is amazing. She is an encyclopedia of wisdom when it comes to performance, when it comes to the front lines of life, of raising 5 children, all of her incredible difficulties with illness that she has surmounted. She started her own record label at the age of 70.

"...all of her performances are for a purpose. She wants to make a change. She wants to make a difference. She wants our society, our nation, our culture and indeed the world to be a better place."

I think that if nothing else comes of this, that this performance documentary will expound upon who she is and what she has accomplished.

Q: Is there a train of thought that runs through what Rosalie does?
A: It always comes back with Rosalie to the fact that she feels that her material and her performance is important for social change, whether it's on the family front, in the community, nationally or world wide. That's what is important to her, that she makes a difference in peoples' lives. That is probably the thing I admire the most. That is so important to her. And she has made a difference.

I'm a person who believes in being involved in life. The time for silence is over. The time for discourse is here. The time for discussion about who we are as a nation and where we are on the world stage is hugely important. And we as entertainers have a responsibility to bring that to the forefront and to help that discourse to take place.

Q: Would you describe Rosalie as a folksinger?
A: Rosalie does not fit into one box. Yes, you could say she's a folk singer. Yes, you could say her material is Idaho-based or country-based; but I don't think she fits into any one box. I think she transcends any kind of definition of her work. I think her material goes beyond all of that.

Q: How would you describe Rosalie's voice?
A: At 71 years of age Rosalie has the most crystal clear, omnipresent voice, beyond people half her age. She is always in tune. She is always in the moment. Even when she's not feeling well, even when she's been through breast cancer, aneurisms, horrible family tragedies, she is in the moment and she makes it work. I am completely and utterly impressed with that.

And the fact that she's 71 years old, and she has done all these amazing things, and she doesn't complain, and she's made it all work. Oh my gosh!