Neil is nothing if not versatile. His original ambition was not to be a rock and roll singer, or any kind of singer; as a youth, he studied at the prestigious Juilliard School with an eye towards becoming a classical pianist. Neil can play and sing nearly every type of song, and often adds a classical piece in his live performances.
Another song I've heard Neil sing live on several occasions is one that can instantly bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. There were two songs that never failed to reduce my mother to tears: "Oh My Papa" ("O Mein Papa") and the song which Neil is shown performing in the video below, "My Yiddishe Momme." (Neil himself is often overcome by emotion while singing the latter.) In the video, Neil switches effortlessly between English and Yiddish and back to English again. Grab a tissue and have a listen:
And speaking of versatility, check out Neil's 1965 appearance on "I've Got a Secret" in which he is shown performing in two entirely different styles!
Is it any wonder that I love this man ... that so many love this man?
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