Music and Magic members recall singing for P85 a night
Back in the early days of the popular show band Music and Magic, which used to perform at the Alibi Bar in Regent of Manila, the members, including Kuh Ledesma earned around P85 a night. That doesn’t sound like a lot today, but, Kuh insists, back in the 1980s, it wasn’t so bad, especially since they were doing something they loved, anyway.
“Eighty-five pesos was big for us, considering that we only had to open our mouths and sing,” Kuh recounted in a past interview with the Inquirer. “We did four shows a week and, each time, the place was teeming with people.”
Of course, it wasn’t all about the money for Kuh and pals Fe de los Reyes, Eva Caparas, Jet Montelibano and Angeli Pangilinan, who was eventually replaced by Vicky Sevilla. They were in it to hone their craft and give people something pleasing to the ears and visually fabulous.
“People came in because they loved what we did. We had great songs, put importance on the choreography and had beautiful costumes. We spiced things up onstage,” related Kuh, who focused on her solo career after being with Music and Magic full-time for two years.
There were other great show bands then, Kuh pointed out, and so everyone took the job very seriously. “We wanted to survive in the game, so we had to do our job well,” she said.
The band, which booked regular stints in Singapore and Malaysia in its prime, was formed in 1979 and became popular for its almost-theatrical numbers that featured 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s hits. “We performed songs like ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,’ ‘Sweet Inspiration,’ ‘Can You Read My Mind,’ ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and a lot of disco ditties,” said Vicky.
The members eventually went their separate ways, but they still get together occasionally for reunion shows. And though this doesn’t happen as often as they’d like it to, their bond, they say, hasn’t diminished one bit.
“We lived in one apartment during our Singapore stint, and that helped us know each other and take our relationship to a deeper level. We weren’t just cosingers; we were brothers and sisters,” Vicky said.
Jet cherishes the fact that each performance was a chance to learn. “We weren’t just singing with each other—we educated each other, in rehearsals or onstage,” he said.
Fe, on the other hand, would like to believe that their relationship was founded on blood, sweat and tears. “We cared and looked after each other… like family,” she said.
Music and Magic, which held shows last October and in February this year, will once again reunite in a show titled “The Music of the Heart, The Magic of Love” on March 7, at Solaire Resort and Casino’s Grand Ballroom.
Other Music and Magic members taking part in this show are musicians Toto Gentica, Nonoy Mendoza, Hector Pedero, Butch Elizalde, Bobby Taylo and Jeannette Casuga-Trevias.
Also featured as special guest is classical singer Jack Salud. For tickets, call 5310688 or 0917-8139065.
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