MUSIC: Rediscovering Neil Sedaka

What I am happy about this rediscovery of Sedaka while everybody is in isolation is getting the chance for a closer look or I should say, closer listen to his works. And what a fantastic songwriter he is. He started out with nonsensical ditties like Stupid Cupid and Run, Samson, Run, aimed at the teenage crowd, but he matured into a composer of remarkable depth and versatility… Neil Sedaka Facebook page

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.This time of the coronavirus is a difficult one. There is nowhere to go to escape the scourge. That is, except home. And that is where we should stay if we want to put an end to this pandemic soon.

Thankfully, being cooped up is not without its surprises and one of the best I got was the older but still appealing former teen idol Neil Sedaka.

 

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I am sure that you are all familiar with Sedaka, one of the biggest-selling singer-composers of the rock ‘n roll era. He first gained success during the late ‘50s and has continued to make hits and perform in concerts to this day. Last week, I received this Facebook post of Sedaka in his New York home, singing his hit songs and it was such a wonderful surprise that brightened up the day.

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The 81-year-old Sedaka, who celebrated his birthday last March 13, is seated before his piano and talking. “I know during these very trying times that music can be very therapeutic. I’ve heard over the years from many fans from all over the world that my music has raised their spirits emotionally and physically. So, I’m gonna do a little medley of my old hits.”

Then he went into O Carole, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Little Devil, Stairway to Heaven, Next Door to an Angel, Breaking Up is Hard to Do and Calendar Girl. Watching him felt like getting a jolt of some feel-good serum. His tones were so cheery. Think about being transported into a land of sparkling Technicolor. He ended with “I hope that brightens up your day. Stay safe.”

 

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Well, he did brighten up my day and I soon found out, as well as those of many others all over the world, that is one of the great things about the web. You get instant feedback. The feedback to Sedaka’s FB show was positive to the highest degree. Everybody loved Sedaka’s mini-concert. It was bright days all around. So they asked, could they have more of the same, please?

Happy over the enthusiastic response, Sedaka turned what was meant to be a one-time thing into a daily show. And so it has become. My mornings now include going to Sedaka’s FB page for his day’s performance. He seems like a really nice man and has yet to let me down. Why he even accepts requests. And after checking out his works, he has written 500-plus songs! I am sure he can keep this up for a long time. Coronavirus time or not.

What I am happy about this rediscovery of Sedaka while everybody is in isolation is getting the chance for a closer look or I should say, closer listen to his works. And what a fantastic songwriter he is. He started out with nonsensical ditties like Stupid Cupid and Run, Samson, Run, aimed at the teenage crowd, but he matured into a composer of remarkable depth and versatility.

 

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Sedaka had always had the pop formula down pat. O Carol, One Way Ticket to the Blues, I Go Ape, Diary. But as he got older, he went into more complicated structures like The Hungry Years, Amarillo, Solitaire, Bad Blood, Trying to Say Goodbye, Rosemary Blue, Laughter in the Rain, Alone At Last, Should’ve Never Let You Go and others.

A classically trained pianist, his arrangements had surprising progressions and harmonies. See how he toyed with his biggest hit Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. Co-written with Howard Greenfield, it was a big seller as a doo bi doo bi doo, doo bi doo, dum dum tune and many years later again topped the charts as a slow, languorous ballad. Both times, sang, arranged and produced by Sedaka.

 

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Locked down or not, I now look forward every day to the Neil Sedaka Show online. Forgive the cliché but it is one of the best tickets in town. Sedaka is at his natural best. His vocals are always in fine form. He obviously takes very good care of his voice. And his songs, so timeless and beautiful, are such delights to listen to.

 

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All photographs, news, editorials, opinions, information, data, others have been taken from the Internet ..aseanews.net | [email protected] | For comments, Email to : Zhubiz Chezmiz | [email protected] | – Contributor

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