I was already singing her songs before I got to know the tall, flawless singer. The songs came out through my elongated radio, a black cassette tape player I had bought with the money I had received from an aunt who married a retired American soldier.
That player was fixed in the third row of my bookshelf, sometimes dusty and mostly immovable. In the same way it was fixed on a spot, the player－sleek, curvy and almost inconspicuous－was almost always fixed on one radio station, 96.3 WRock.
I can only count the times I changed the dial to an AM station to listen to “golden music,” as the disc jockeys called it, of Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Dan Hill, Jim Croce, Abba, Bee Gees, Cascades, Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, and Air Supply. They were our Sunday best friends over a feast of guso, lato and a kilo of lechon (roasted pig).
But I always go back to 96.3 WRock’s light tunes and a variety of songs for easy listening. Until now, the songs I listened to stuck. Each time my husband belts out a song with his guitar, I can sing some of the lyrics. I surprise him when I do since he knows I’m tone-deaf. When I can’t get the lyrics out, the melody is an annoying buzzing bee in my head. When I try to at least give a hum, I go about it wrongly. Still, I can remember some of the words. When I read them, I can sing them for my own pleasure.
Of all the songs I’ve listened to through my player, it was Celine Dion’s heart-reaching, heart-turning and heart-squeezing voice who made music more memorable for me.