It shouldn't be a surprise that Brian Roman's favorite song is "My Way."
And his way hasn't been the traditional way into show business.
Roman was 42 years old when he decided to start singing professionally.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle
Canadian singer Brian Roman performs Tuesday at Packard Music Hall as part of the Warren Civic Music Association’s 2013-14 concert series.
"The funny thing is I never played in a band, never sang in a band," he said during a telephone interview from his home in Toronto. "I don't read read music, I never studied music. I don't know to this day what key I sing in. I just knew that I loved to entertain."
One of the things that inspired him to make the leap from selling insurance and real estate to singing was the media coverage about Pope John Paul II in his final days. Roman said he was blown away by the stories about the Pope and his belief that you should spend every day doing what you are supposed to do.
"It was almost to the point where it was divine intervention - 'This is what you're supposed to do.' Maybe I should do something about this."
Since he made that choice, he has performed around the world, released the albums "Dreamer" and "Classics I Love" and recently sang for the prime ministers of Canada and Italy. He will perform Tuesday at Packard Music Hall as part of the Warren Civic Music Association's 2013-14 season.
Roman is a fan of those great Las Vegas showmen and crooners. Growing up in Canada in the '70s, while his classmates were listening to Rush and Supertramp, he was listening to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
Roman's repertoire includes songs like "My Way," "For Once in My Life" and "That's Life," but he's not an impersonator.
"The music I do is the classics, everything from Sinatra to Elvis, Tom Jones to Dean Martin, the music that I loved when I was a boy and I represent it in a way that in no way, shape or form am I trying to impersonate these people," he said. "But I do it in a way that's familiar and makes you feel really good."
Roman said he tries to capture and convey the emotion of the songs he sings, and he he talks about his unconventional journey as a singer.
"I would like to entertain people but also share some of the lessons that I've learned," Roman said. "I just feel so incredibly fortunate that I get to speak and sing."
Roman has been on this journey for eight years. Last month he turned 50, the day after he buried the father who exposed him to the music he loves. And dad loved the career path he ultimately picked.
"Anybody who knew him knew how proud he was. It was all he talked about."