Tuesday, February 16, 2021

An Album/Song A Week: "Kiss And Say Goodbye" - Manhattans

The one thing that COVID-19  has taught me is the fragility of life.  The swiftness that the pandemic has taken lives should have scared everyone to take precautions.  But it didn't.  Although a vaccine is now being distributed, he slow rollout means many will be at risk for some time.  

I've been thinking about my own mortality lately.  As of this writing, I'm 56 years old.  I've got no pre-existing conditions, consider myself a healthy man and have followed all the COVID protocols so I don't catch the virus.  But there are many stories of healthy men in my age group who haven't been so lucky.

Before the pandemic, I often joked with my wife about what songs to play at my funeral.  Mind you, there won't be a funeral.  I'll be cremated without fanfare.  Which if fine.  When my parents died, I wrote their newspaper obituaries.  It wasn't hard to write about their lives, but in thinking about what to say I found things about them that were not known to me while they were alive.

My own obituary won't be hard to write.  "He was a die-hard New York Jets fan, biggest Elvis Presley fan who loved all kinds of music". Oh, and he spent 35 years working for the USPS.  

But just in case my family wants to remember me, I've told them what music to play in the background.  No surprise really.  Lots of Elvis Presley.  But which songs?  I've told them it doesn't matter.  Play the worst of Elvis ("Yoga Is As Yoga Does", "Do The Clam").  Have a laugh on me.  Or play the best of him ("Suspicious Minds", "Don't Be Cruel").  Knock yourself out.  

But the other song she'll play will get a lot of people talking.  The Manhattans' #1 hit from 1976, "Kiss and Say Goodbye". A great slice of Philly Soul.  The Manhattans don't get much mention when talking about the top tier R&B vocal groups.  But from 1965-85 they charted 33 Top 40 R&B hits.  But they only had 3 Top 40 Pop hits. But their catalog is strong.  Another name for the underrated/overlooked file.  Looking at the title of the song you might think you'd know the reason I picked it.  But that's not it. For years, every Winter, I would always catch a bad cold.  Typical symptoms but eventually always a sore throat which caused my voice to go about as deep as Barry White.  The beginning of that Manhattans songs has a spoken intro by their bass singer, Winfred Lovett (who also wrote it), that is a perfect Barry White impression.  With my voice deepened by a sore throat, I would often talk the opening intro to my wife, "This has got to be the saddest day of my life".  It has been a running joke for years.  Still is, whenever I catch a bad cold.  

So, I've told her that I want "Kiss and Say Goodbye" and any Elvis Presley song you want to be played in the background of any sort of reminicining you do about my life.  

In this pandemic era, everyone has to be feeling mortal.  Music continues to play a big part in my life, and it will long after I die. 
Add to Technorati Favorites