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Gift of music comes full circle for Mimi and Eddie

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-12-18

"Music flows through the veins" is a phrase often said about the children of famous musicians. The saying holds true in the case of Mimi and Eddie, who have become one of Okinawa's best performing duos over the past few years.

The married couple originally started out playing in a rock band called "Bullet". Their musical talents lasted there for eleven years, where Mimi sang vocals and Eddie played guitar until the group decided to disband. After having failed at trying to put together another rock band, the couple decided to form a duo seven years ago. Their music has also undergone change, from heavy rock to easy listening. Their new sound is a blend of elegance mixed with romance.

Mimi and Eddie showcased their musical abilities this past October at the "Urasoe Music Festival 98". The contest featured some of the best bands in Okinawa, and drew approximately 123 different musical talents. Performing against a tough field of competition, Mimi and Eddie managed to take home the Grand Prix prize for their original song titled "Daddy's Little Girl." The tune was written by Mimi as a dedication to her father Frankie, who has been a musician here on Okinawa since 1955.

The tribute to Mimi's father was deserving for a man who has given so many listeners the pleasure of music. Frankie started out with big band music here at the military clubs during the 50's and eventually moved onto jazz. He now plays contemporary music at Jack's Place in Kadena, and is well known throughout the music community here on Okinawa. He was also the driving force behind Mimi's musical career. "My father gave me my first piano lesson at age five," remembered Mimi. "When I was nineteen he called me back to Okinawa from the Philippines to sing in his band. It was my first real experience as a singer." At the time, Eddie was already a member of Frankie's band, which is how the two first met.

With much respect and appreciation for Mimi's father, it was Eddie who suggested to his wife that they put out a CD in his honor about three years ago. After realizing that 1998 seemed to be the year to finally record, Mimi sat down at the keyboards and wrote "Daddy's Little Girl". "The song came pretty easy to me. I have some original songs at home that I have done before, but when I finished this one, I knew that this was it. I felt that this was a good song," said Mimi. The artist's intuition was correct, and the song has gained Mimi and Eddie many new fans.

Although "Daddy's Little Girl" was written earlier this year, Eddie and Mimi were planning on having Frankie listen to the song at a much later date. Eddie explained, "We originally wanted it to be a surprise for Mimi's father for Christmas, but then we decided to enter it in the contest at Urasoe."

When the song took the two into the finals, they decided to tell Frankie. "He still did not know. We invited him to the contest, but he had to work and was unable to attend," said Mimi. "He was at Jack's Place on his break, and went back into the kitchen when he heard the song on the radio." It was purely by chance that Mimi and Eddie were on stage live during her father's break. Across the air waves came Mimi's beautiful song of admiration and thanks - Frankie broke down into tears. "Even if we didn't win the Grand Prix prize, my father's reaction would still have been worth it, " said Mimi.

The contest gave them a recording contract to produce the single for the song, as part of their first prize winnings. Mimi's father will also be playing flute on the track, which is scheduled to be released in January. A full CD is also in the works, which will feature "Daddy's Little Girl" and several other cover versions of songs from different artists.

With Mimi's beautiful voice and Eddie's talented guitar playing, the duo is sure to be successful. If you would like to hear the soft sounds of Mimi and Eddie, you can catch them at Mary Lou in Chatan every Wednesday, or on Friday nights at the restaurant's other branch in Naha. They also play at Pescedaria Chatan on Saturday and Mondays, and at Pescederia Naha every Sunday and Thursday. Tuesday has the band playing in Matsuyama at club "Break". Also look for Mimi and Eddie this month at "Kodomo no Kuni's Laser Show" on Dec. 22 and at Moon Beach's New Year's eve Party on Dec. 31. For more information, call Kodomo no Kuni at 933-9144, and Moon Beach at 964-3512.

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