Friday, July 29, 2016

Richard Parker OR Mr. Khan...

One of my favorite Elvis songs of all time - which is part of my Rock 'n' Roll Medley - has a line that goes...

I don't want to be a _______ 
a  _______ plays too rough

Check it out yourself, Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear

The blank in the lyrics above is TIGER. And so are Richard Parker and Sher Khan in The Life of Pi and Jungle Book respectively. And the reasons for talking TIGER today is that today is GLOBAL TIGER DAY dedicated to saving the tiger.

The Tiger is the national animal of India, and I used to wonder why. Then one day, while at All India Radio Mumbai, I was introduced to Mr. Bittu Sahgal (@BittuSahgal)


 India's leading conservationist and founder-editor of Sanctuary magazine. He must be a happy man today because the numbers of tigers are reported to be on the rise...

While WWF and other associates work on #MoreTigers, one Classic Rock Anthem comes to mind.

And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he's watching us all with the eye.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Parents Day and Musical Parents

While it is still yesterday in some parts of the world, I thought I'd quickly squeeze in this post relating to parents. 

Besides being Parents Day yesterday, it was the 88th birthday of a #MusicalParent 

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson, possibly best known as the father of Michael Jackson, introduced his children to music and managed their talent promoting them as The Jackson Five comprising of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. They made history in 1970 as the first recording act to have their first four singles to reach No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just listen to the songs and you will know why...


I Want You Back

The Love You Save

I'll Be There

Since my earliest posts I've been commenting about the inspiration that my own dad has been in nurturing my musical talent and that of the rest of the family. Everyday I come across parents encouraging their children towards music - to sing or take up instruments. And it only reminds me that I would not even be on stage without the influence of Dad and encouragement of Mum. In my own turn, I'm lucky to be blessed with two talented sons who always step up to the opportunity to learn something new and explore new avenues of music. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Parents and Grandparents - A Special Day

Feast of 

St. Joachim and St. Anne - the parents of Mother Mary

26th July was a date marked on our calendar through the 90s. Our parish - OLPS Chembur - would celebrate the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne as Parents Day... and that included a variety entertainment program dedicated to all the parents of the parish. The Pinto family was a regular fixture on the entertainment plan... and over the years, we (my siblings and I) performed a eclectic mix of songs... sing-a-long favorites, Simon and Garfunkel duets, soft rock hits like More Than Words, and even Jazz Compositions - the best among them being 'A Medley on Trains' - a composition by a good friend Karen D'Lima Vaswani - who conducts the Victory Chorus Line choir and plays and croons with the Mumbai band Rockin' Marmalade. The audience was top notch and included top notch singers and musicians including Celia Baptista Lobo (the patron of Celia Lobo Academy of Voice), Leon D'Souza, Irwin Extross. On many occasions, we shared the stage with professionals of the stature of Deidre Lobo-D'Cunha and Ella Castellino-Atai - so only the best would do...

Over the years - all of us siblings got married and then moved out of Chembur and out of India for work and family... and back home, the day has taken on a new meaning... With all the parents of our day - now being grandparents - they realised that St Joachim and St. Anne being grandparents of The Lord Jesus - should be rather revered as Grandparents. In recent times, the Senior Citizens of the parish have been offering a Thanksgiving Mass followed by an upgraded version of their monthly Housie gathering with music and entertainment. And this year, they invited me to help. (I trust my greying hair had nothing to do with it). 

While the Pantings (Arnold and Harry) provided the entertainment with their troupe and students, I played the role of Caller at the Housie and led the group through a little marching dance round the OLPS Quadrangle and ice-breaking engagement. The Chembur audience were at the lively best...

Where's the MUSIC?
I haven't forgotten the music on this post. Earlier this morning I invited Facebook friends to list their favorite songs with 'Grandparent' references. And this is what I got. 

A friendly grandmother (a retired teacher) who lives in my building suggested this song - Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao. 

My pick of the day is this song I heard as a kid - Johnny Cash's 'My Grandfather's Clock'.

I'd like to have your feedback on what you think about this blog... Also do share suggestions on topics that you'd like me to write about on this blog... or music that you'd like to hear out here.

Once again, "A Happy Parents Day" and "A Happy Grandparents Day" to all the parents and grandparents out there."

Friday, July 22, 2016

From Barney to Revival

She's just 24, and just a few days ago was rated as the greatest social media influencer celebrity. She's Selena Gomez and she's doing what she does best - acting and singing...

Among her first appearances on screen was with the purple dinosaur on Barney and Friends.

Her burst into fame came from Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place as Alex Russo

She's currently in the Far East on a Revival tour. She's gonna 'Kill 'Em With Kindness'

She's tops the list of FamousBirthdays today. Let's hope she remains popular for the right reasons. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MoonSongs on Moon Day

Today America celebrates National Moon Day to mark man reaching there this day in 1969. My Geography books in school marked the date as 21st July to account for the time difference. 

Man has always dreamed of getting on the moon, and Frank Sinatra wanted to Fly Me To the Moon fifteen years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

In the 70s, Boney M and Eruption were booking tickets to the moon - One Way Ticket.

Thirty years after the initial voyage, Australian band Savage Garden, has been singing about going To The Moon and Back. 

As we inch towards 50 years from man getting on the moon, only time will tell where he will land next. 

The Scintillating Sound of SANTANA

Just two days ago, my post on #MandelaDay featured an incredible tribute to the great leader - the signature guitar sound of Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana has been the face of the SANTANA - a band whose music uniquely blends Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues, salsa and African rhythms. On his 69th birthday today, we celebrate his unique sound that transcends all languages. 

Music indeed goes beyond language... as is evident in this song, that I first saw on a Pepsi commercial in the '90s. Jingo (Jingo La-Ba) was originally composed by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji

Another great from the same era is Tito Puente's Latin classic 'Oye Como Va' which has been transformed by the sound of SANTANA

Both those songs were recorded before I was born. But my best experience of the Santana sound has been 'Supernatural' - the 1999 collaboration album with a revival guitar sound that won him 9 Grammy Awards including 'Album of the Year' and 'Best Rock Album'. 

You can actually hear the Carlos Santana fingerprints on all of his songs. Close your eyes, turn the sound up loud, and move to the vibe of 'Maria Maria'.

My favorite Santana track is his collaboration with Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty).

I've recorded a cover of 'Smooth' a while ago. Need to dig up my files and upload it to Soundcloud sometime soon. 

The Scintillating Sound of Santana is tattoed on my brain for sure... What about yours?

Monday, July 18, 2016


Ninety-eight years ago on this day, a legend was born. A man who made history. A charismatic leader who led the revolution for equality and freedom of every man in South Africa. The legend named Mandela, lovingly called Madiba. 

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to peace, the birth anniversary of this ant-apartheid leader and former President of South Africa celebrated as Mandela Day. And needless to say he loved music... and dance.

His silent battle of 27 years in prison garnered the support of the music community from across the world to support his cause. Some of the biggest musicians have revered him during his life with songs, albums and even poems. As we celebrate the life of this great legend, we recall some of the great music dedicated to him. 

Youssou N'Dour - Nelson Mandela

The Senegalese singer dedicated his debut album to the great man - including this title song. 

Carlos Santana - Mandela 

From Afro-beats to a singing 'guitar' of Carlos Santana - it still tells a story of a legend. 

Johnny Clegg - Asimbonanga 

Back to South Africa with a dedication in Zulu by Johnny Clegg - a singer who attracted controversy due to the different races of musicians who were part of his band even in the days of apartheid. He actually got a chance to perform his tribute with the man himself 'Nelson Mandela' joining him on stage in 1999. 

"Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream. It can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music." - Nelson Mandela

The legend who cherished the blessing of music also has been honored by films. 

Music For Mandela

"Music for Mandela" the theatrical documentary explores the role music played in his extraordinary life. 

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - an excellent biopic was released is 2013 - the year of his death.

The film's OST featured a heartfelt song by U2 - Ordinary Love

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.

Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

La Fête Nationale

C'est la fête nationale française.  

I'd be careful to write further in French, since my French teacher from school - Mme. Sylvia Coutinho - regularly reads this blog. And this was the first song I learnt to sing in French. 


In celebration of the French National Day, here are some of the other French interesting songs you may have heard. 

La Vie En Rose

I saw an English version of this song on the TV show 'How I Met Your Mother'. It's been a hit for Louis Armstrong as well as Donna Summer. But the original in French is by Edith Paif. 

Dur Dur Etre Bebe

Seated at work next to a couple of new parents and overhear quite a lot of sharing about the baby's antics. Came across this song in the early days of MTV India - Dur Dur d'etre Bebe - It's so hard to be a baby.

Chanson d'Amour

Paris is called the 'City of Love', and this French song is indeed the 'Song of Love' - Chanson d'Amour. Let's hear it live from Manhattan Transfer.

If you are in France - Bon Fête. And for the rest of you, Au Revoir...

Monday, July 11, 2016

World Population Day - 11th July

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues - including importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

With focus on people of the world here's my pick of a song for today.

People Over The World - Brotherhood of Man

Heard this song as a child and have sung it in groups for themes related to global unity and harmony. 

Yes let's reach out our hands and reach out to teenage girls. This year's theme for World Population Day is "Invest In Teenage Girls". Let's do our part and focus on providing her with the necessary education and health facilities that befit the 'mother' of tomorrow. 
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