, July 20, 2024

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Edgar Mortiz: Former Teen Idol Takes on Ol’ Blue Eyes

  •   2 min reads
Edgar Mortiz: Former Teen Idol Takes on Ol’ Blue Eyes
Backspacer Records
By Joey Salgado

In the 60s, Edgar Mortiz was a teen idol who can sing, quite rare in those days, and you might say until now. He was one half of a love team with Vilma Santos pitted against the tandem of Nora Aunor, a gifted actor and singer, and Tirso Cruz III. Through most of the decade, Mortiz released several albums of teeny bopper hits, but he is most associated with the weepy hit “My Pledge of Love.”

Mortiz retreated from the big screen sometime in the 80s. He turned to comedy as a member of the raucous ensemble Bad Bananas, where he fronted a fictional band called Edgie and the Jackolites. They even released an album in the 90s. He became a well-known director of gag shows, and did telenovela acting gigs, always cast as the doting, street wise, and wisecracking father of the teenage idol of the moment.

But Mortiz never lost his love for music and singing. He had promised to make an album before he turns 70. This is that album. 

On Goin’ Standard, Mortiz takes on the Frank Sinatra songbook, not what you would expect from a former heartthrob. Some of the songs are also among Sinatra’s best and vocally challenging (I can see Sinatra fans rolling their eyes and saying that Sinatra songs are vocally challenging to lesser singers). 

Mortiz’s reading of these classics are distinct and inspired. There is reverence for the song and the singer, and Mortiz wisely veers away from the copycat singing style common in tribute albums.

There are rough edges in Mortiz’s voice, but therein lies the album’s beauty and magic. There is confidence and honesty in his renditions, and these can only come from an artist who embraces his imperfections. It is a statement of years lived, time weathered, and promises kept. (Available on Backspacer Records)

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