A West Virginia native, Dejie sang before she could speak. The well-worn family story goes that while vacationing at Williamsburg's House of Burgess, the tour guide mentioned all the great men who had spoken there.
When Dejie heard Davy Crocket's name, her eyes lit up with recognition thanks to an older brother with a coonskin hat and a TV set. She lit into a baby garble of 'Davy! Davy Crocket! King of the wild frontier' without the words but the melody was recognized by all. A communicator at such an early age.
Thanks to the TV breaking after she entered Grade School and to a record player that still works to this day she was soon enjoying the British invasion of Julie Andrews, Hayley Mills, T. H. White and J. M. Barrie. The Beatles were soon to follow but only up until Rubber Soul when they turned into hippies. Little did she know she would grow up embracing the bohemian and having to reacquaint herself with those lost boys.
Piano lessons came next. When Dejie's Uncle Warren died and left her a suitcase full of standards from the 1940s and '50s, little Dejie sang 'What's New', 'Bluesette', and 'Everything Happens to Me' to the family in nightly serenades. When she coyly asked her mother recently what she and her father could possibly have been doing at 2:00 am during these romantic song fests, her mother replied, 'Trying to sleep.'
Emulating Julie Andrews' pure voice was followed by emoting along with Barbra Streisand and deepening Dejie's resolve to move to NYC much to the chagrin of her neighbors. Dejie made it to NYC and into a Broadway show. She also performed La Streisand in full drag in Atlanta's production of 'Stars and Feather's Forever'. She was always the greatest star in her own mind!