Sunday, February 12, 2012

Memories and Songs of Whitney Houston

If I
Should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go
But I know
I'll think of you every step of
the way

I Will Always Love You

The opening to this song was always so dramatic. Though I've never been a huge fan of the ballad, this was one that you couldn't escape. The signature theme song to "The Bodyguard," penned by Dolly Parton, was on the radio everywhere in 1992, hitting the #1 spot for 14 weeks, which was a record at the time. It is one of Whitney Houston's most memorable songs and has surely been played on the radio a lot in the past several hours or so since we all learned of her untimely death.

A moment I won't soon forget

Whitney Houston's death is one of those things that I'll always remember where I was when I heard the news, just like Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse and so many others. I was on the phone with my friend Rich around 7:30 and my sister sent me a text to tell me the sad news.

"Oh my God, Whitney Houston is dead," I shouted into the phone.

"Nah, it's probably just one of those hoaxes," Rich shot back. For a second there, I thought maybe he was right. After all, just a couple of weeks ago, some idiot put a rumor out there that Jon Bon Jovi had passed. That wasn't true, of course.

I ran upstairs to the pc and it only took a second to see already there were several Facebook posts about the singer's death. Wow, so it was true. The next couple of hours were spent staring into space in disbelief, listening to Whitney. Of course, it shouldn't have been that much of a shock. Things have not been going well for poor Whitney the past several years. Still, what a tragic ending she met!

I Wanna Dance With Somebody

This is the song I've seen the most posted on Facebook and Twitter walls since the announcement last night. This was the title cut to Whitney's 2nd album from 1987, and it, too, was a #1 smash. Such a happy and fun song!

Million Dollar Bill

This one was Whitney's last single in 2009. The song was from her 'comeback' album, "I Look to You," and neither the song nor the set fared very well. During promotional appearances for the record, reports abounded that Houston's voice was no longer the beautiful instrument it once was, ravaged by years of toxic substances being ingested into her body, including smoke.

Even though the song peaked at #100, and only for one week, it did hit the #1 spot on the dance charts. To me, it's another one of those feel-good songs of hers that I like so much. Check out "Million Dollar Bill":

Greatest Love of All

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside...

Ah, this was one of Whitney's most beautiful songs, and it was her third straight #1 off of her debut album, "Whitney Houston." I remember listening to that album over and over again when it came out in 1985. I remember thinking that she was so beautiful, and her voice just as wonderful. I went to see her perform at Jones Beach during her first ever tour, and I remember her sounding as good on stage as she did on record, though her dancing prowess was notoriously weak. That was okay, though, her voice was really all she ever needed.

How Will I Know

There's a boy
I know
He's the one I'm dreaming of...

Of course if there weren't any up tempo tunes on that first record, I probably wouldn't have loved her as much as I did. This was Whitney's first 'dance' record and it was also her second #1 hit. Enjoy this one...I just did all over again!

I'm Every Woman

This is one of my favorite Whitney Houston songs. It's a remake of a Chaka Khan classic and it was recorded for "The Bodyguard" soundtrack. During the years I was a deejay, this was always a 'go-to' song for me, filling up the dance floor every single time I played it, and of course there I'd be behind my booth dancing right along! Now just click play and know you want to!

Rest in Peace Whitney

As I write this, more information has come out about Whitney's tragic passing. Horrifyingly, it looks as if she may have drowned in a bathtub in her hotel room in Beverly Hills. She was found submerged under the water with her feet sticking out of the tub. As is an all too familiar ring these days, several prescription medication bottles were found in her room, including Xanax. When will somebody start doing something about this?!?!

I could go on and on with even more Whitney songs and videos, but I think I've given you a nice sampling of much of what she has done. The outpouring of shock and grief at her death shows just how much she meant to many of us who grew up listening to her. Like all music, many of Whitney's songs go hand in hand with special memories for many of us, and for that I thank her. She holds a special place in many hearts and she will be missed greatly. Rest in peace Whitney!

NOTE: The photo above was taken at the Jones Beach concert I mentioned in this post. It was taken by my good friend Blanche, who back then was a talented photographer who worked for a local publication and was given an up close view of the singer during the show. Unfortunately my scanner is not working and so the photo is a photo of the photo, lol. Thanks Blanchie!

If you don't already own any Whitney Houston music, check out her greatest hits collection at iTunes or Amazon below:

Whitney - The Greatest Hits - Whitney Houston




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