PAUL VAL’S BIOGRAPHY
Developing a Love for Making Music:
I grew up in Brooklyn New York during the 50’s & 60’s. I was influenced by the music of that era and the previous one. The Great American songbook was my parent’s time and I heard plenty of that music in the house also. I loved the music from those three decades and it definitely influenced my musical tastes and styles (listen to “Hey Now-I think I’m in Love” in the Hey Now Album).I loved making music from an early age and experimented with many instruments until I discovered the guitar. It became my instrument of choice and I practiced for hours on end. I wrote a few songs back then and formed my own group in the late 50’s into the early 60’s called “Paul and the Reveres.” (See Photo Gallery). We had several successes + the offer of a recording contract and a touring agenda. It never happened because marriage, the military draft and college caused us to break up and go our different ways.
Discovering the Art and Joy of Songwriting:
I never lost my interest in music and kept playing guitar as a hobby while I married, raised a family and helped to develop a successful business. It wasn’t until the year 2000, in an emotional reaction to one of the worst school shootings in our country’s history, (Columbine High School in 1999) that I wrote my first song -“There was a Time in America” (Listen to it in the Patriotic Album). I, and many people who listened to it, thought this song should be heard so I began searching for a music publisher.
Finding A Music Publisher:
After sending letters and demos out to a number of publishers across the country, I came across a Mr. Tito Batista, President of Black Rose Productions, in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. He loved the song in its’ roughest demo stages and got involved in guiding me through the process of getting it professionally recorded. He introduced me to John Pandolfo of Niteflight Productions in Massapequa, New York. John, a musician and recording engineer, arranged and recorded the song in his own studio.That first recording received a lot of attention and led to an interview and a 2 page spread in Long Island’s Newsday + radio and TV interviews around the NY/LI area. So, we recorded this song in several different arrangements and with several different singers until we got it to the final version which you can hear in the Patriotic album section of my website today. The final version of “Time in America” is performed by Brent Carter, a powerful soul singer, who performed for many years with the famous “Tower of Power” group. We also produced a beautiful video of the song (See the video).
Why I Decided To Become A Song Writer:
This whole experience excited me to the possibilities of songwriting. I have lived long enough to have experienced a lot of things in my life and I discovered that songwriting is a way that I can express myself while doing something I really enjoy. It is a creative challenge to be able to get your thoughts out in a coherent way that also makes sense lyrically and musically and get it all done in a 3 or 4 minute song. In my songwriting I strive to create songs that are pleasing melodically and harmonically and with lyrics that make sense and are understandable.
The Making of the “Hey Now” Album (See the Video)
I then proceeded to write several family and patriotic songs which were well-received (at least within my family). Then I decided to try my hand at a 50’s style song just to see if I could do it. I just wanted to see what kind of song I would have written using basic 50’s chords and the simplest, most joyful lyrics (from a more innocent time). So I wrote a song called “Hey Now, I think I’m in Love.” I never intended to record it. So several years and several recordings later, it became my most popular song. It has been playing on Long Island's WHLI radio station for years and it is the lead song and title song of our first album. (Hear the Album or watch the Video)
Recording With The Conan O'Brien "Cable Band" Horn Section:
I continued to write songs. As time went by there were 7 or 8 songs which were pretty good. I began thinking about putting them into an album. My publisher Tito Batista agreed and stated his willingness to invest half the money that it would take to put this album together. He played several of the songs for a friend, (Brian Drago), who owns a large recording studio (Broccoli Rabe) in Fairfield New Jersey. It so happens that the horn section of the Conan O’Brien Cable Band holds practice and recording sessions there. Brian played some of the songs for them and the leader, Jerry Vivino loved them. So they agreed to perform on several of the songs. In addition, Mr. Vivino also agreed to try to get a celebrity singer to perform the songs. We started planning to put an album together.
Finding Our Vocalist For The Album:
As they say, a strange thing happened on the way to recording this album. Tito Batista, President of Black Rose Productions, who started out simply as my music publisher had already become my music partner in producing this album but he also unexpectedly became the lead singer on all the songs. As the album progressed I became part of his new Black Rose Band as the rhythm guitarist on the recordings. Happy with the results we were getting in the recording studio we also started to perform these songs and others in venues such as the Harvard Club in Manhattan, Honu’s and Grasso’s in Huntington, Long Island and various other venues around Long Island. (See Photo Section)We are scheduled to appear at the Suffolk Theatre in Riverhead and The Dix Hills Performing Arts Center at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York in the near future.
(TO BE CONTINUED)