Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Greatest Love Of All

The Greatest Love of All has always been one of my favourite songs. It was written by song-writer Linda Epstein and originally recorded by George Benson for the movie biography of Muhammad Ali. At the time that she wrote the song, Ms. Epstein was suffering from breast cancer.  She wanted to express her feelings about dealing with challenges in life and being strong, and passing the strength on to children. Linda Epstein died of breast cancer at the age of 36, just as Whitney Houston made the song an international hit.

When my daughter and I were in New York, Whitney Houston was very popular and her music was playing everywhere. I remember being in a taxi on the corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue, near the Plaza Hotel, and this song came on the radio. Occasionally there is a song that almost transcends reality for a moment, and that is what this song did for me. I looked around at New York and the wonderful buildings, with Whitney’s beautiful voice filling the air, and for me it was almost a surrealistic moment. Whenever I hear this song, I am back on the corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Whitney Houston had one of the most beautiful, pure, clear voices of any singer. She never had to resort to warbling, but could belt out the song with strength and power. It’s beyond tragic that that beautiful voice has been silenced at the age of 48. I hate substance abuse. With a passion. It robs and it kills.

Rest in peace, Whitney. We will still have your music.

12 comments:

leilani said...

Yes JO! beautiful post!

Sextant said...

Another senseless death and as you say it robs humanity of its artistry. Human being are indeed only human beings. When they are treated as gods, it often results in tragedy.

Leslie: said...

I have a feeling that her body just gave out after all the abuse it took. Apparently, she was happy and looking forward to the party for Clive and going to the Grammys tonight. I'll be watching as it is going to become a tribute evening. I remember my 2 daughters dancing at the cabin in the sand to "The Greatest Love of All."

Jo said...

Amen, Jo. ♥

Alicia said...

Such a shame. But her beautiful music will live on.

Single and Sane said...

I love the song, too, but if I had ever heard the story behind it, I had forgotten it. Whitney's amazing voice has left an imprint in our minds that will not be so easily forgotten.

Momcat said...

What a great loss! Thank you for this tribute.

Rob-bear said...

Whitney, dead at 48, the end of a spectacular talent in decline.

Thanks for sharing the music.

Russell said...

Whitney's death reminds me of the movie The Days of Wine and Roses.

A woman marries a man who introduces her to the life of drinking and she is destroyed by it.

We can't blame other people for our own decisions but I do believe other people in our life can certainly affect our decisions.

Good post and I could see you and your daughter walking through downtown Manhatten - nice image of what must have been a very pleasant trip.

lgsquirrel said...

So sad. Such a talent but such a waste. And she is just the latest in a long line of celebrities of late that have had their life cut short by substance abuse. Will the remainder wake up to the danger or follow the same path?

nomore said...

Still the greatest of your Blog, posts ...beautiful post! and the Greatest of love of all...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Amen. A really beautiful post, Jo. Thank you.