â??The greatest love of allIs easy to achieveLearning to love yourselfIt is the greatest love of allâ?? - Composer, Linda Creed
My father has a song book â??Greatest Songs of the 70â??sâ?? that used to regularly sit on his piano in the living room. One of the treasures in that collection was â??The Greatest Love of Allâ??. Guitarist and singer George Benson had put it on the pop charts. It was a movie theme for a film documenting the life of Muhammad Ali.
I always treasure sitting on that piano bench with Dad and singing along while he plays. It creates a memorable connection to the music. Bensonâ??s performance and our own living room rendition made this song stand out when I first heard it on the radio and MTV coming from the remarkable talent of Whitney Houston.
Whitney did not write the song. She wasnâ??t the first to popularize it. But, she owned it. Her joy and considerable gift came pouring through the dramatic melody and uplifting lyrics. She was so good the song was played to the point of oversaturation. During the middle part of the 1980â??s you could not escape her music. The song you loved one week would become so hot, you wished you could escape it two months later.
Hit after hit after hit. It was a run comparable to the success of the biggest star of her time Michael Jackson. Ironically the clip we pulled from her 1986 Syracuse performance at the New York State Fair was a cover of Jacksonâ??s â??You wanna be startinâ?? somethingâ??. Sadly now both brilliant stars are gone at far too young an age.
The lyric of â??Greatest love...â?? may actually capture the essence of the missing element for these megastars. Makes you wonder if she listened to the lyrics of the very song she made soar.
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