Top 5 Singers of My Father’s Generation Whose Concert I Want to Watch

As a child, my earliest musical influence is the music my parents play at home. I was familiar with many standard songs that my father loves and it is only when I was older that I get to appreciate the artists behind the songs.  It warms my heart when I see that these artists still doing shows  and tours. Most often, it is not about earning a living but getting the music out there. So, I understand when people get excited about enduring bands like Status Quo putting up a series of shows. If you check out their touring schedule, you’d be amazed how they are able to keep up with it. It is no wonder many are buying their Status Quo tickets now.

In case you are not familiar with the band, Status Quo is a British band who is known for boogie rock.  Check out this Status Quo Performance.


This made me think of the artists of my father’s generation whose concert I want to watch. Their music has filled our happy home during Sundays and I remember my father bursting into song whenever he feels like it.

I am listing this in no particular order.

1. Paul Anka. A few years ago, we got to watch his concert in Las Vegas on DVD. He was already in his 60s but the arena was filled with women in their 50s and 60s still gushing like teenagers. This did not make sense to me while watching a few minutes into the concert. Slowly, I realized  how popular he was when each song he was singing was familiar to my ears. Songs like Diana, Put Your Head on My  Shoulders and You are my Destiny. The biggest revelation to me is that he composed, My Way. Yes, he wrote that immortal Frank Sinatra song that can cost your life if you butcher it in karaoke bars.

This is Paul Anka singing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

 2.  Barry Manilow. This guy sings like he knows what you are going through. Ha! Every aspect of a person’s love life seems to have a Barry Manilow song as a soundtrack. The songs are smooth and easy on the ears.  My favorite Manilow song is “A Weekend in New England” because the lyrics gave a few hints on the title of the song. I thought the title was “When will I hold you again”. HA! Interestingly, it is Manilow’s favorite song.

 3. Johnny Mathis. This guy has a crystal clear voice.  If you want a song for your wedding, you can go through his repertoire and you can find one that is not commonly used in weddings. My father was particularly impressed at Johnny for being an athlete. From what my father told me, Johnny Mathis was  a high jumper and hurdler and he was supposed to try out for the Olympics but singing got in the way. I love his version of “How Do You Keep the Music Playing.” 

4. Neil Diamond.  My father had a close affinity with Neil Diamond because Diamond was almost his age and they shared the same first name. When he was alive, my father claimed that he is the oldest ‘Neil’ in the Philippines. Oftentimes, people would ask him, “Is Neil a nickname for Danilo?”  There are not many people with the same name as him until the 1960s when a man stepped on the moon and Neil Diamond started selling records.

 This is Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline“.

5. Barbra Streisand. The woman needs no further introduction. She’s multi-talented- actor, director, singer, songwriter, writer. I really wish I get to listen to her sing live in concert. What I love about Barbra is that she’s got some comedic timing. This is Barbra and Judy Garland singing “Happy Days”. They both have powerful voices but their voices are in harmony and they are not outdoing each other.

How about you? Do you like artists from your parent’s generation?

Afternoon Music

We almost missed the sunset but I am glad I was able to take this picture.

As we cruised along the highway, music blared from the car.  Since I forgot the songs he played, I am just going to share the song I kept singing yesterday.  I found a Gary Valenciano pop version.



This is supposed to be Day 19 of the 30-day blogging challenge.

The Beauty of Mathematics

Mathematics is easily the most feared subject in school.  Fear diminishes the beauty that mathematics can offer.  Okay. In the spirit of transparency, I have a degree in mathematics. I can wax poetic lines about this subject matter but it may fall on deaf ears or lose its relevance because of my desire to use superlatives like a giddy school girl.

Thankfully, Vi Hart has a creative way of illustrating the beauty of mathematics. Check out this cool video.  Don’t worry, you do not need great mathematical skills to appreciate this video. However, it does not hurt to try and learn about some cool math theories.

This is just part 1 of a series of videos. I can’t wait to watch the sequel.

There are other interesting videos by Vi Hart. She incorporates art, music and mathematics. And she calls herself a mathemusician. Cute!

This reminds me of a TED Talk video of Arthur Benjamin, a mathemagician.  Watch and be amazed.

Isn’t mathematics interesting?

On Singing

Now that Christmas is fast approaching, there will be gathering of sorts and what’s a Filipino party without the videoke machine?  For years, I have been avoiding to hold the mic. I don’t know how long I can keep up with this strategy on mine.

I’ve hear it said often that all Filipinos can sing. I am Filipino therefore I can sing. The sentence is partially true. I do not have the best of vocals but I can deliver a pleasantly sounding rendition on one condition: when I thought no one is listening.  When there is another person listening, an awful “vibratto” takes over, the jitters resonate in my voice, the confidence level drops and it does not feel good.

Maybe I should start practicing songs that I know the lyrics to.


Videoke ruined this part for me. I don’t think I learned new songs because if I wanted to sing, I can always run a search and Google will direct me to a Youtube video with the lyrics.  I have to dig into my playlist and sing 3 songs from the heart. Naks!

I never thought this would be a difficult process. There were songs that I kept playing but I never knew all the lyrics (e.g. Adele’s “Someone like you” and “Rolling in the deep”). Most of the songs I knew all the lyrics to were songs I learned more than ten years ago.  Should I be afraid? Most people with Alzheimer’s  have problems with “recent memory”.

Here are my 3 songs:

“On My Own’ is a song from Les Miserables. The version I like best is the one performed by Lea Salonga. I have been a Lea Salonga fan for as long as I can remember.  I might have sung this song several times that I did not forget the lyrics.

I would blame my high school classmate on this one.  In one class presentation, I belonged to a group who sang this song. After all the rehearsals I did, the song stuck to my memory.

There is an unwritten rule in American Idol: Never sing a song by Whitney Houston if you can’t sing as well as her. I just broke that rule. But then again, I am not auditioning for a singing contest. This might the first pop song I memorized.

I found this cool video and it eased my fear a little bit. Maybe there are no tone deaf people.  Some just take time to wire their brains to the right pitch. With practice, who knows?

I sing like I feel.  ~Ella Fitzgerald

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