He built on music that never got old PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:49



Regina, Sask., Ca. — If you don’t see him anymore playing his guitar and singing in entertainment pubs, that’s because he’s been stricken ill with the Big C. But the music he has revived that has lingered through the young and old, alike, will never die.

It’s always wonderful to listen to rehashed music, sometimes refined, that resonates going back to the 60s — from The Beatles, Dave Clark 5, The Animals, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, Gerry and the Peacemakers, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Herman’s Hermits to the Motown beat of the Temptations, Spiral Staircase, Commodores, Jackson 5 and Stylistics.

That’s what POPOY Endozo brought back after retiring as a bank officer at PNB. The setting goes back in 1967 in one of the jam-sessions (before my time, weekend parties were called barn dance) hosted by a girls org from Pilar College. Popoy and the Diamonds were playing for P100 (can you believe that?) from eight till midnight. Popoy was doing “Hey, Joe” that had his Fender guitar singing for 12 minutes. Then came his Bob Dylan favorite, “Like a rolling stone” followed by everybody’s love theme song, “If I fell”, by The Beatles.

Sometimes, in Popoy’s mild moments, he’d bog down in excessive melodrama, but quite accepted by the romanticists among Ateneans. When he opened Popoy’s Music Bar and Restaurant about nine years ago in Guiwan beside the former bus terminal, he put together the “oldies” that fused soul, blues, jazz and old rock music with other Beatles’ classics like “Hey Jude” and the BeeGees’ trademark song, “To love somebody”.

I talked to Popoy long ago on television and he said he didn’t think of music having any boundaries. Music is for all, he exclaimed, “that’s why we try to please the young and the teenagers of the sixties.”

“Popoy’s” is a fusion band. They can go Celine Dion, Beyoncé or Adele, depending on who are in front of them, or they can blurt “Queen”, “Toto”, “Earth, Wind and Fire” and “Santana”. They can go back to ancient music like “Volare”, “To sir with love”, “Crazy” and “Twilight time”. If Popoy were a Native American, he would belong to the First Nation tribe of magical musicians. If there’s a Hall of Fame that recognizes local musicians and entertainers, he’d surely be among the awardees, just like my late uncle, Salvador Camins.

Popoy’s varied musical experience reflects in his song selections. Who still sings, for example, “Winchester cathedral” or “Summer in the city”? Or remembers the lyrics of “I’ll be there” by Gerry and Peacemakers?

In playing old-young music, Popoy gets to meet a lot of people, different people. The message in his songs is: love. And his audience has always been so great and thankful for his songs — the renaissance he generates and the memories of love that he brings.

Popoy is a household name. So is Enteng dela Pena. His band also did “Swing” music for the ballroom dancers. Patrons have always been entertained by Popoy’s music, so much so that he has influenced the THs to take the stage and belt their favorite songs. Nevertheless, the frustrated singers remain a memorable part of the songs revived by Popoy. They are the ones that never get old.