You're My Lord
Whether it is for one's life, one's love, or one's faith, the listeners of music written by Duke will find his songs positive, inspirational, and encouraging. The lyrics are pure and universal. The songs are timeless. Duke's compositions include Patriotic, Contemporary Christian, Christmas, Country, Love, Wedding songs. He received 10 Directors' Awards for some of the songs he submitted to Paramount Group, Nashville, Tennessee, for "Nashville International Song & Lyric Writing Competition" since late Summer 2006. Duke's love and passion for music began before he was a teenager. Using earnings for his first job as a photographer and darkroom technician, he started taking basic music theory and voice lessons at the age of 15 which ended shortly before he turned 18 when he joined the South Vietnamese Marines. Despite of his love for music, the initial English language barrier prevented him from further pursuing his musical dream when Duke left Vietnam and came to the United States the day the Vietnam war ended on April 29, 1975. Upon his arrival in the United Stated, learning English was Duke's top priority. Having a love and passion for music, Duke found a creative way to learn English. He started out with several music albums that had the lyrics printed on the cover of the records. Those were Barry Manilow's "I Write The Songs", John Denver's 'Back Home Again', Seals & Crofts' 'Diamond Girls', Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", Jim Croce's "Photographs & Memories".... Needless to say, after a couple of weeks, Duke had the Vietnamese translations written all over the printed lyrics of those record covers. Shortly thereafter, not only did he know the songs on the albums, but also understood the meaning of the songs. "Consciously or unconsciously, we are influenced by what we hear and what we see," Duke said. "That being true, my music must have been influenced by the combination of the following artists: Barry Manilow, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel, Jim Croce, Ann Murray, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Amy Grant, Church Choir, and naturally some of the Vietnamese music that I learned and listened to as a teenager." In a Christmas letter Duke received in 2006, one of his friends wrote: I remember when you first came to the United States you asked me to teach to how to sing the song "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow. Little did I know that you'd start writing songs more than 30 years later. After more than 30 years of pursuing other dreams in the United States and together with his wife, Kerrin, since 1983, building and raising a family with three precious daughters, Amy, Laura, and Michelle, it seems natural for Duke to try to fulfill his first dream in life - singing and writing songs. 'It is a great honor and a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity to be able to do what you once wanted to do. This is true not only of writing music and singing songs, but it can be anything, any dream in one's life." Duke lives and works in Houston. He received a JD degree from Washburn University, School of Law, Topeka, Kansas in 1985, and BA from Hope College, in Holland, Michigan in 1980. He is fluent in oral as well as written Vietnamese. Duke and his family are members of Holy Covenant United Methodist Church, in Katy, Texas.