Nancy Nevins is back! Oh, you never heard her the first time around? No matter. The singer’s voice is unrecognizable anyway. As the sweet-slick soprano lead with the rock group Sweetwater, Nevins had met moderate success by the late ’60s. Then one day in December 1969, driving home from taping a Steve Allen show, her car was rammed by a drunken driver. As her family gathered in Glendale, Calif. for a distraught vigil, Nancy lapsed into a coma. She survived, but the breathing machine substituting for a collapsed lung destroyed one of her vocal cords, leaving her with only a whisper. Once out of the hospital, and heedless of the medical opinion that her singing career was over, Nancy unleashed animal-like noises until she had developed a raspy, gutsy contralto. The results won her a frenzied ovation from a crowd of 4,000 at a rock concert at Redlands, Calif. last year and make for a stunning first solo album entitled simply Nancy Nevins. A vegetarian and long-distance jogger, Nancy, now 26, admits some of her energy is directed toward “a closet I scream into.” But, in retrospect, she refers to her accident, and the courage it called upon, as “a blessing. If I hadn’t tried, I’d still be a whispering waitress. No thank you!”
Greg Busch has a passion—underwater exploration. He’s set up the Busch Oceanographic Equipment Company to manufacture and market Busch-designed underwater television and communication systems and a submersible towing sled—technological concepts on which he has been working since his teens. Busch, now 23, estimates that about 90 percent of his line is purchased by off-shore oil-drilling companies. But his own “wildcat” is a steamship, the Pewabic, which sank 180 feet below the surface of Lake Huron in 1865.
In May 1974, Busch—a graduate of the University of Michigan in physical oceanography—began salvaging the estimated 151 tons of copper ingots that went down, with 125 sailors, on the Pewabic, and has now written a book about it. Successful salvage could make a millionaire of Busch, a native of Saginaw, Mich. Dreaming of someday equipping a 140-foot vessel for undersea exploration along the mid-Atlantic ridge, Busch does not rule out a crack at the Titanic. “You can’t do much real oceanography in the Midwest.”