My Corner, Your Corner: Where would we be without music?

My Corner - Your Corner - Tony Callaio | April 21st, 2017 1:11 pm

Last Sunday evening I came across the special Grammy Salute to the Bee Gees on CBS.

It was a two-hour special featuring Bee Gees music they recorded as well as songs they wrote for other artists sung by singers other than Barry Gibb, the surviving member of the band.

The oldest of the brothers Gibb at 70 years of age, Barry once said he’d never perform again after his brother Maurice died in 2003 at the age of 53. You saw very little of Barry and brother Robin who made up the three-man group.

Robin passed away in 2012 from cancer and, since then, Barry Gibb has performed more and more, including a solo world concert tour in 2013.

As I watched the show, it hit me that the Bee Gees music has been woven into the fabric of my life fairly deeply. Their string of hits began in the 1960s when I was a young guy peaking with the disco era in the late 1970s.

Their music has essentially been the soundtrack of my childhood.

There are plenty of musical acts that I loved in my teens and 20s like the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and just about anything Motown, but the Bee Gees have been steady and strong for many of those years.

The movie “Saturday Night Fever” catapulted the Bee Gees’ career from musical stars to superstars in the music business in 1977. The soundtrack to the movie was one of the most successful selling albums of all time. Songs like “How Deep is Your Love,” Night Fever,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “More Than a Woman,” “You Should Be Dancing,” Jive Talkin’” and many more.

Some of their earlier hits were “To Love Somebody” (1967), “Massacheusetts” (1967), “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” (1968) and “I Started a Joke” (1968) to name a few from the 1960s.

Songs the Bee Gees have written for other artists include “Chain Reaction” (Diana Ross), “Come on Over” (Olivia Newton John), “Grease” (Frankie Valli), “Guilty” and “Woman in Love” (Barbara Streisand), “Islands in the Stream” (Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton) and “Emotion” ((Samantha Sang and Destiny’s Child).

Music is something we all take for granted. We just hop in our car, turn on the radio, throw in a CD or hook up our iPhone to listen to our favorite songs.

Music is a medium that makes us happy and upbeat but could also make us sad and bring us to tears. We look to music to help us with exercising, walking, running, painting and passing the time when working, cutting the grass or doing a construction project.

We all have favorite songs and artists and, when a song pops up on the radio, it makes us feel great and often times takes us back to a place in time when we first heard the song.

Some songs remind us of a loved one or our first girlfriend or boyfriend.

Music takes us back to an era of our life that might have been one of the greatest times that could never be duplicated.

Music can be so beautiful like a great orchestral piece or an incredible instrumental.

I think we evolve with our musical tastes as time rolls on. When I discovered Luciano Pavarotti, I was probably in my 20s and, when I saw him on a PBS special singing his signature song, “Nessum Dorma,” it brought me to tears.

Then years or so later, the super threesome of The Three Tenors of Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras got together, first performing in 1990 in Rome.

I’ve come to appreciate both operatic music and country music.

What seems like an eternity ago, Ed and Becky Grasavage, of Pittston, promoted country concerts, starting off small scale in just our area. Soon, they had connections with many agents in Nashville and the Grasavages were encouraged to widen their territory. Before long, they were promoting concerts in five states, including tons of venues.

I was fortunate enough to be hired as their publicist working on advertisements, creating promotional material as well as posters and newspaper ads. It was a great run and part of my perk was attending concerts.

I got to meet some of the artists and bands as they toured at concerts we promoted. On occasion, I’d have dinner with the band, hang out in the artists’ dressing rooms and, in most cases, watch the show from the side of the stage near a soundboard person. I never knew a lick of lyrics but I came to appreciate the artists for their talent.

Music is something we cannot live without, especially when our favorite song pops up while we’re driving and rocking out.

Quote of the week

“Tenors are noble, pure and heroic and get the soprano, if she has not tragically expired before the final curtain. But baritones are born villains in opera. Always the heavy and never the hero – that’s me.” – Leonard Warren, American operatic baritone.

Thought of the week

“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

Bumper sticker

“Constant repetition carries conviction.” – Robert Collier, American motivational speaker.

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My Corner

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Tony Callaio


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