Musical trip down memory laneBy Behn Cervantes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
I was resting in my room in the basement of my sister’s house in Ayala Alabang when my niece, Fini, knocked on my door to ask if I wanted to go with her and husband, Pete, to a show featuring the New Minstrels in nearby La Salle Zobel.
The Minstrels were popular in the ‘70s. The “alumni” of the group performing that night were made up of Eugene Villaluz, Jacqui Magno, Pat Castillo and Ding Mercado. Their guest was Rene Puno, a former member.
I agreed to go, because I was sure that the concert was going to be fun and full of wonderful memories. I’m partial to classical music, but I also enjoy listening to pop songs with clever lyrics—ditto for the swinging ballads, romantic numbers and dance music of the ’70s. I remember that great period, which produced meaningful songs with nationalist sentiments.
I recall the timeless tunes popularized by the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Henry Mancini. Along with their music, I remember Marilen Martinez, Dodo Crisol, Anton Juan, Ellen Esquerra, the Indios Bravos crowd, the people of Gintong Silahis, like Susan, Mackie, Tony, Mon, Louie, Lillian, Little Eva, Tox and Tos, George Kulot and George Liit.
The concert started late. In fact, some members of the audience got so impatient that they started clapping so that the show would commence—and I loudly agreed. When the performers finally came out, however, they expertly dished out songs we knew very well and loved.
The applause and the audience participation were tremendous! Eugene thanked the audience for participating so enthusiastically. He and Pat were the most natural, while Jacqui and Ding sometimes tried too hard.
I got so caught up with my pleasant recollections of the ‘70s and ‘80s that I ignored the performers’ stage antics. They should have realized that the audience went to the concert to remember their youth—long before they became matrons and business executives.
The audience was so enraptured by the music that many of them stood up and started to dance as the quartet performed one song after another. As the performers sang, I “saw” loved ones in the foreground, background—and everywhere! I enjoyed the night thoroughly—what a wonderful, musical trip down memory lane!
Maraming salamat for bringing back happy memories, Eugene, Jacqui, Ding and Pat!
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