Mirabai, 22, was recalling her days as a struggling Greenwich Village folk-singer during a recent set at one of New York’s leading nightclubs, Reno Sweeney’s. “I used to wonder,” she said, “how do you meet the right people and get to headline at Reno Sweeney’s?” Her way was to meet and play for Danny Goldberg, V.P. of Swan Song Records, who grabbed her for the label dominated by heavyweights Led Zeppelin and Bad Company. Mirabai’s cult of fans and swooning critics has quickly expanded now that her first LP, Mirabai, is out. (Born Karla Major, she took the name of an Indian princess who wrote love songs to Krishna.) A veteran of a preteen sister act in her native Chicago, the San Francisco folk scene and, since 1971, the Greenwich Village small-club circuit, Mirabai sings both bluesy rockers and breathy ballads with a cheery spirituality that also infuses the songs she writes. “I’d like to sell a million albums,” she says, “if only to prove that people really do want to hear beautiful things in music and not just be rocked and socked.”
Serafin Trejo has spent his last three summer vacations from Yale as an intern for WIND radio in Chicago. And every summer his work has won a major broadcasting award. The Forgotten People—on the special problems of life in the Chicago barrio—got him the Roy W. Howard Public Service Award for 1972. In 1973 his taped interviews with fellow ghetto youths—with whom he toured Red China as a guest of the Chinese government—earned him a Peabody Award for promoting international understanding. His 1974 project exposed the practice of dumping non-English-speaking kids into classes meant for the mentally handicapped. It won the Sigma Delta Chi Award.
Trejo, fiercely proud of his Mexican-Indian ancestry, still lives with his parents and eight of his 11 brothers and sisters in Chicago’s 18th Street Latin ghetto. Last summer he recruited minority youths like himself for Yale, where he will be a senior and scholarship student next fall. Concerned with more than raising issues, Trejo does not expect to make broadcasting his career. “I might go into law. Journalism is reporting the problems,” he says. “But law is dealing with them.”