Sunday, October 23, 2011

WE'LL BE REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS......

Frank Rendo - Remembering Christmas

Hello everyone!

Unbelievably, it's been almost a full year since I've posted anything here at Ramblings Regarding RENDO.  My, how time does get away from us, yes?  It's hard for me to believe that it was over one year ago that Frank, along with Orlando Pena and many others, put on the show of the year at the Patchogue Theatre in Patchogue, NY...the show, based on music solely composed by our mutual, late, dear friend, Palma Pascale.  The show was titled "DID YOU TALK TO HIM TODAY?"

Orlando Pena
Though I was unable to attend the show live, I now have the DVD and can hear that it was warmly and enthusiastically received, and the show was an unqualified success.  I'm positive Palma was quite pleased with the result of the show from her heavenly dwelling place.  I have not written a blog specifically about this musical extravaganza, per se, but have intimated in other blogs how wonderfully it was done.  If you'd like to read what I have penned so far about Frank, Orlando and DID YOU TALK TO HIM TODAY?, the show Palma composed the music for, check it out here:  www.martinis-musings.blogspot.com. 

Fred Guarino tuning up for Frank's single,
"Don't Laugh At Me."
There have been many things going on in Frank's life this year.  Among them has been his recording efforts with several well-known musicians from the area at Tiki Recording Studios, under the masterful engineering of another mutual, good friend, Fred Guarino.  www.TikiRecording.com  Though the recording has been for others, Frank does enjoy time in the studio.

He is also readying for another trip to Israel.  He has been there a few times prior, and this trip will commence during January of 2012.  As I understand it, it will be a 10-day journey to the Holy Land.  I'm sure we'll hear lots of good stories & maybe see some great photographs as a result of  this amazing trip.

New Marquee at
Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven
There have been numerous engagements and shows throughout Long Island as well as other cities in the great state of New York, along with Frank's regular first Saturday night at Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven.  www.Samanthaslilbitofheaven.org.  Frank has been performing on the first Saturday night at Samantha's for over 15 years.  It's a perfect, intimate spot to share laughter, tears, prayers and goodwill along with Frank's repertoire of inspiring music.  If you haven't had the opportunity yet to get to "Heaven," I would highly recommend you check it out on a first Saturday, soon.  Owned and operated by yet another mutual, sweet friend, Samantha Tetro, whose ministry it is to have this wonderful coffee house and use it as a spiritual tool to facilitate not only gatherings for music like only Frank can provide; in addition, there are classes, and speakers, ministers and mighty laughter from many, most especially my 'fabu' friend, and a very good friend of Franks, the "Clean Comedy Queen," Funny Pat Shea.  www.LaughingPat.blogspot.com.
Frank with Funny Pat Shea & Samantha Tetro

I've written about Frank's outstanding Christmas offering, REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS over several years' time, now, yet it bears repeating time and again.  The cd itself is a masterpiece, really.  I can say that more with each passing year from a musician's standpoint, as well as from a proud friend's point of view.  The cd was released in November of 2007.

This cd, as sung by Frank, arranged and conducted by Palma Pascale, and recorded with expert engineering by Fred Guarino is far and away my favorite Christmas cd.  But beyond that - I have, personally, begun recording some of these very songs because they are such poignant, lovely songs and I can tell you from personal experience, though all three of these talented individuals make the listening of this cd most enjoyable, in what is seemingly an effortless flow of song, one to another....there is nothing "easy" about any of it!!!

Frank ~ Remembering Christmas
To Frank, the "song," no matter the genre, seemingly, is interpreted with conviction and soul. He can make one visualize the scene instantly, and he brings the emotion out in every single word.  When you've finished listening to something Frank sings, you might ask yourself "how did he do all that, just with his voice."   Frank is an actor, as well - so you get two versions of artistry rolled-up into one with him.  Easy, though?  Easier for Frank, yes, because of his natural talent, but he worked hard to get to this point.  There is nothing "easy" about the amount of effort one expends to get to the point of being able to "get out of your own way" and make the song come alive.  Because of Frank's tremendous training and his commitment to bringing his songs to life by singing them from his very heart and soul, it looks effortless, indeed, from our seats.  And these Christmas songs each do tell such rich stories.

Lovely Palma Pascale
Duplicating these wonderful songs has been anything but easy, I can assure you.  One cannot just "sing" them - the stories must be "told," if you get my meaning.  Being able to "get out of your own way" and sing with conviction and heart I am learning each day is not something that just "happens."  Nor is being able to compose, orchestrate, arrange, and play these songs "easy."  Yet again, our Palma makes each one of these incredible songs burst with life, and it seems so effortless - all of the strings, flutes, oboes and clarinets - all of the drums and tuned percussion - the pianos, harp, brass and other wind instruments...they're all there, and each one flows in the music as if an entire symphony orchestra were present.  Let me repeat again....there is nothing "easy" about this process, either.  Yet for Palma, it seems as simple as tying her shoe.  Palma lived the music - and her compositions, ~two of which appear in this compilation, Remembering Christmas and Much Less Than Christmas, ~ will live on so that generations' more musicians will be able to try their hand at recording and singing them.  They are timeless, and of such quality that many others, I hope, will have opportunity to enjoy and perform them.

Listening to this exquisitely produced cd , I hear so many different instruments - played so wonderfully by Palma, and with such "taste," always!    What a talent she possessed.  What an amazing talent she truly was.

Frank Rendo
Please read on as the blog just prior to this one is also about REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS.  And there is another - the very first blog in RamblingsRegardingRendo is about meeting Frank, being asked to sing on the cd myself, and hearing this compilation for the first time.  It seems like only yesterday in many ways.

If for some reason you don't have your own copy of Frank Rendo's REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS, you can get one in various ways.  You can e-mail either Frank (FrankRendo@Yahoo.com), or me (bmjfan@mchsi.com); you can purchase yours from CDBaby, www.cdbaby.com, download it digitally from CDBaby, purchase it from Amazon, www.Amazon.com, or you can digitally download your own copy at iTunes.  www.iTunes.com.

And so, as you begin your preparations for this upcoming holiday season, take some time to be still.....and listen.  Listen to your own heart - remember the words of God - listen to the Christmas story as re-told, in song, brilliantly interpreted and performed by my talented friend, Frank Rendo.

"...We'll be REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS when the family was with us - the greatest of gifts we could own.  Oh they'll never leave us...they're waiting to greet us...the gift of the memories at home...."

Merry Christmas, everyone!
~Martini




Photos courtesy of Frank Rendo, the Palma Pascale collection, Dominick Avento III, Orlando Pena.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frank Rendo's REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS

REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS
The Holiday Messages of Frank Rendo
arranged & orchestrated by Palma Pascale


Lovingly dedicated to Frank and Agnes Rendo, two very special, generous people who make a positive impact in the lives of others, and who consistently offer their support to Frank and his music ministry... I know they are so incredibly proud of his many accomplishments!


Frank and Agnes Rendo


And


~In loving memory of the incomparable Palma Pascale ~




Palma Pascale



"...I don't know if you can hear me, or if you're even there...
I don't know if you will listen to this humble prayer?
They tell me I am just an outcast - I shouldn't speak to you...
But I see your face and often wonder, 
were you once an outcast, too?..."

Hello to you, fans and friends of my truly talented friend, Frank Rendo.   Man, does this lyric hit home in many ways this year as I listen to Frank's version of "God Help The Outcasts," which can be found on his amazing Christmas CD, REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS.

Palma at home in the studio
Tiki's Fred Guarino
Recorded in 2007 at Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove, NY, (www.tikirecording.com), by Tiki owner and master engineer Fred Guarino, and arranged and conducted by the creative mind and heart of the late Palma Pascale, this 14-track album is a beautiful reminder to us all of just what and who Christmas is really all about!  


With selections such as "Joseph's Song" and "Someday", we hear Joseph and Mary both as they speak to their newborn child, the son of God.  And the story of that "Bethlehem Morning" is dynamically proclaimed, reminding each of us that the birth of Christ "... is more than just a memory, for the child that was born there, has come to set us free...!"  In the lovely "What Her Heart Remembered" the story of Mary, the mother of God, is told reminding us that Mary was just a human who, like all mothers do, had questions about what she should do and how she should do it to properly care for her newborn child.
Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!















Though I am apt to listen to REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS from first note to last at any time during the year, as I have done since the release of the disc, I thought yesterday (Saturday, November 20, 2010) would be the perfect time to listen to the CD in its entirety via my iPod as I worked outside in the yard on such a beautiful warm autumn day....and this way, I could be refreshing my memory about my favorite parts of the album in order to write about them, and so that I could simply enjoy it once again, as I always do.  Yet, something very interesting happened that I wasn't expecting, at all.........

The first song that played, ironically, was "God Help The Outcasts."  That was odd, as this is actually the 13th track on the CD.  I don't recall having saved the compilation to my iPod in this way, but I must have absentmindedly done so.  Hearing this, I felt like the sign was very clear that the focus of my writing today should definitely be on this story, which confirmed my original plan.

Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!
The second surprise came as I suddenly found myself  having completely stopped what I was doing & standing very still, listening most intently to this story that I have heard hundreds of times - yet the dynamics of it - the raw honesty of it - the gut-wrenching emotion of it seemed as if to be brand new!!  It is such a moving song and Frank's conviction of the story comes across very beautifully and warmly.  I heard not only a freshness to Frank's unmatchable voice, but in Palma's orchestration, as well.  I get completely overwhelmed at how Palm could put her feelings into her orchestrations.  I could hear her weep as the beautiful sound of the English Horn played, and I could hear her conviction as the strings took command, leading the way here and there.

Palma and Frank in concert together
Palma had this special ability, and clearly, Frank has it, too.  We have spoken about it many times.  Yes, certainly both are talented, of that there can be no question.  However, to produce something like REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS where every single note is in and of itself profoundly moving, requires something altogether different than mere talent.  To reach the depths and the heights that this album reaches requires that special ingredient - heart!  One must have the ability to "get out of their own way" in order to allow their genuine feeling to shine through.  This distinctive ingredient is very much evident throughout this entire compilation.

Adding to this piece is the genius of talented recording engineer, Fred Guarino.  Fred lets the record take on a life of its own.  He knows all the right places to sharpen the edges, but as we have spoken about, he wants the music to be REAL.  The ultimate compliment, methinks....Fred has told me before how enjoyable it is, working with Frank in the studio, because he makes the music real.  I know I certainly enjoyed working with him last year there at Tiki.

Frank Rendo
It's no wonder, then, when listening to this important message just why it is so all engulfing and had me stopped in my tracks listening, tears falling, and without being aware of it until the song ended.  Then, when I realized how captivated I'd been - how lost I was in the story....I found I was smiling.  I shared with Frank last night that his interpretation of it is often emotional for me because there is such honesty to his read of this song; it's so pure and I can tell it comes right from his heart.


I recall having a conversation with Frank a couple of years ago about why he put "God Help The Outcasts" on a Christmas CD.  He told me that he had a 9 year-old student bring the sheet music for it to their voice lesson, as she hoped Frank would help her learn it.  It struck a cord with Frank immediately.  At that time, he'd listened to Bette Midler's version from the Disney soundtrack of the HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as well as what he termed "a fantastic version" by Cynthia Clawson.  For several years, he sang the song in concert to a piano track (before Palma did her rendo-ition of it, that is).  

Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!
When Frank and Palma discussed the tracks Frank wanted to put on REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS, "God Help The Outcasts" was definitely on his wish list.  Palma knew Frank truly loved this song and enjoyed very much performing it live - so, as a gift to him, she created and recorded the magnificent track of "God Help The Outcasts,"  heard on REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS.  What a gift!!  It's the kind that literally keeps on giving.  Frank is requested to perform this song often, and he told me "the song never ceases to strike a cord with anyone who hears it...all year 'round.  But it's especially poignant at the holiday time of the year, when loneliness is at an all time high."  He continues, "The fact that during the holidays there is so much need and hurt and "outcasting," the song really helps open our hearts and eyes to see others in a way that can be of help instead of exclusion."  Yes, Frank...I would have to agree with you, completely.

Frank's CD, DELIVER ME
Bullying is such a prevalent topic today - all of the daytime talk shows, especially "ELLEN" have put a focus on it, as it should be!  One Texas Councilman took his time at a council meeting to discuss his heartfelt mission to help those being bullied.  Young men and women are taking their own lives because they feel themselves to be "outcasts."  Frank's "God Help The Outcasts," as well as his cover of the moving "Don't Laugh At Me" from his CD DELIVER ME, both have a focus that can help those who have been bullied and feel as though they have been "outcast-ed."  Thank you, Frank, for having the fortitude and the heart to know just how important this message is...and how effective it has been in your personal ministry.

The other tracks comprising REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS include seasonal favorites like "We Need A Little Christmas," "White Christmas," "Count Your Blessings" and the widely recognized anthem "O, Holy Night."  But that's where the "typical" Christmas messages end. Frank has been applauded for his selections on this CD, as they are not "typically" included by most artists.  I've said it before and repeat it again - Frank Rendo has a mission - and a personal ministry.  Though he loves laughter and fun, and all good comedy - here, he wanted to get to the real reason for the season, and he has succeeded admirably!

Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!
"Joseph's Song" is a story from the heart of Joseph, the earthly father of the Christ Child.  It's as if Joseph's deepest and most intimate thoughts are being shared with us.  Joseph honestly cannot comprehend how he, a simple carpenter could possibly be the one chosen to be the father to the Son of God during Jesus' time here on earth.  Such a poignant story, impeccably imparted by Frank, and Palma hits this one out of the park as well with her "less is more" philosophy clearly being followed here, to a heartwarming effect.

And from Mary's perspective comes the tender "What Her Heart Remembered."  Such a sweet story - one that explains that the Baby, born in a cattle trough, was sent to her in order to free the world from sin and fear.  It's all too big for Mary to comprehend, this whole idea of being the mother of the baby Jesus.  She listens to to His soft breathing, the soft sounds of His swallowing and His beautiful soft, sweet sighs - all of these she knew would be memories to hold in her heart forever.  I find it to be such a sweet story, and sung to us with such genuine feeling.
Frank Rendo by the fire, REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS

Frank and Palma duet on "Remembering Christmas," the title track, written by Palma for one of her Broadway musicals.  This one tells the story of recalling Christmases past when the family was all gathered.  Different moments are remembered, and shared with us.  It's quite nice.  A typical "Palma" story!  

Other tracks include "In The Bleak Midwinter" along with the sad Christmas love story, also written by Palma, entitled "Much Less Than Christmas."  Palma so knew how to tell a story both with her clever lyric, and her supporting orchestral arrangements.  Frank's melancholy as he sings this 1973 composition is evident and the listener gets treated to a beautiful, though sad story of the holidays.
Fr. Charles Mangano & Frank Rendo


Included is a duet with Frank and Fr. Charles Mangano called "We Wish You the Merriest."  Additional vocals for this one were contributed by Laurie Mangano, and Palma Pascale.  

"Bethlehem Morning" is also a feature, and it is one powerhouse of a song.  Originally recorded by Sandi Patty, who made the song instantly recognizable - yet, it's Frank's version that is preferred by this writer.  Frank has a soothing, full, rich, handsome voice and for as sweetly as he can sing, he can be every bit as powerful when that dynamic is called for.  He hits every note spot on with that clear, full voice - each note perfectly placed and one as beautiful as the next.  This one will tug at your heart, I can assure you.

Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!
Another story, as told by Mary to Jesus, is included and is one of my favorites!  (Who am I trying to kid??....each of them is a favorite in one way or another).  "Someday" is the story of a mother telling her child how, one day, He will walk among all the peoples of the world - that they will call Him Master and Savior, and just how important she knew His teachings and life on earth was to be - with the caveat "...But tonight I'll rock you - stay a while with me, my son....let me rock you.  Stay a while with me..."  Wow!!  Frank's delivery of this special, special story is outstanding.  It's worth the price of the CD to hear this one, alone!

Frank Rendo
From the REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot!
Finally, though this song really was written for Sinatra years ago, intended to be a "feel-good" song for the holidays, and it is one of the lighter selections on the album; still, it has a point that Frank is famous for making.  A point that peeks out of many of the tunes he selects for his concerts throughout the year.  This one talks about the importance of not making the gift at Christmas the end all and be all...that is, it's not about this once a year gift being given, but more about being the sort of individual who is giving of themselves all year through.  That message is significant and it's well done in this theatrical sounding arrangement.  Bravo for this fun song with such a serious message!!

If you don't own your own copy of REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS, you owe it to yourself to pick yours up this Christmas season.  Remember the "outcast" - pray for the bullying to end, and see that outcasted individual for  who they truly are - especially here at this holiday time of the year.

REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS can be purchased at www.cdBaby.com, www.iTunes.com, or you can contact Frank at FrankRendo@Yahoo.com, or me at bmjfan@mchsi.com, and we will see to it you receive a copy post haste.

Frank Rendo
In The Bleak Midwinter
Such a well-done and meaningful Christmas CD.  I'm telling you, you'll want to listen to it again and again - and all through the year, not just at Christmas.  

"...The winds of misfortune have tossed them about, 
You made the outcasts, don't cast them out...
The poor and unlucky - the weak, and the odd...
I thought we all were the children of God..."

Here are some opportunities to see Frank in concert, and hear him sing many of these beautiful selections, LIVE!  


Frank will appear for his annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 4, 2010, at the wonderful venue, Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven, 287 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY.  Call for reservations (they're a must)  631-262-1212.  The doors will open at 8:00 p.m., and Frank begins at 8:30 p.m.  http://www.samanthaslilbitofheaven.org


Frank performs on Sunday, December 5, 2010, at the quaint Binnewater Union Free Chapel in Kingston, NY.  Frank will be in concert for the 10:00 a.m. service there.


Also on Sunday, December 5, 2010, Frank performs at Emmanuel United Church in Mechanicville, NY at 7:00 p.m.


On Sunday, December 12, 2010, at 11:00 a.m., Frank will be in concert at Love and Mercy Fellowship in Bayshore, NY.


On Friday, December 17th, Frank performs at Bethpage Assembly of God at 8:00 p.m. for "A Light of Hope" - an SLM Christmas Special.  Bethpage Assembly of God  362 Stewart Avenue (at Emma Street) Bethpage, New York, 11714  Phone:  516.931.2378


Merry Christmas from RamblingsRegardingRENDO, and from me, personally!  Enjoy Frank Rendo's REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS this holiday season.  You'll be so glad you took my advice as you will find you have been blessed by this man, this magnificent voice,  and his messages!  
~Tim











Most photographs from Frank Rendo's personal collection.  REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS photo shoot credits to Dominick Avento III.
Photo of Frank and Agnes Rendo and Fr. Charles Mangano & Frank Rendo courtesy of Sue Rosen. 
Photo of Palma Pascale courtesy "Estate of Palma Pascale" re-touched by Dominick Avento III.
Photo of Fred Guarino courtesy of Tim San Paolo.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A new look at Frank Rendo's DON'T LAUGH AT ME







Hello fans and friends of Long Island's own awesome recording artist, Frank Rendo:

Many of you are aware by now that Frank's latest CD, a wonderfully crafted collection of songs by some gifted composers, DELIVER ME, also includes the single DON'T LAUGH AT ME.  

"Don't Laugh At Me" is a very important song in our society, and especially just now, as there have been so many recent reports of terrible injuries, deaths, and even suicides that have resulted from bullying!  I have known way too many "victims" of bullying during my lifetime, and I want to do my part to stop this  intolerable behavior.  We all have a responsibility to educate those around us about the horrible effects of bullying, and to garner enough support to stomp it out altogether.  We must unite on this effort.

Frank's interpretation of this beautiful song is heart-wrenching, as you will hear by clicking on the video, below.  He sings it with such sincerity;  such warmth and feeling - it is evident that the message is a most important one to him.

Frank's version of DON'T LAUGH AT ME has received airplay on various radio stations throughout the US, and it meets with nothing but positive, heartfelt comments from his listeners.  This record needs to be played on every radio station in every town, and brought to every single school across America.  Listening to Frank sing this story will bring a tear to your eye, and an awareness to your heart that this problem is such a real one in our society that must be dealt with, now!

Please enjoy this new video of Frank Rendo's  "DON'T LAUGH AT ME."  Let's do our part to help Frank in his quest to stomp out bullying of any sort - children or adults, and get the message across that "...you don't have to be my friend, but is it too much to ask...Don't Laugh at Me?..."


video



Frank remains busy with singing engagements throughout the New York metropolitan area, and continues to appear at "Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven" on the first Saturday night of every month. www.SamanthasLilBitofHeaven.org

"DON'T LAUGH AT ME" is available on Frank's CD, DELIVER ME, which can be purchased at www.cdbaby.com; digital downloads are also available at cdbaby, as well as at www.iTunes.com.


Get your copy of Frank Rendo's incredibly touching interpretation of the moving composition "Don't Laugh At Me," today!

Wishing each of you my musical best,
~Tim

Links to FRANK RENDO:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/frank-rendo/id271037974
http://www.CDBaby.com/Artist/FrankRendo
http://www.MySpace.com/FrankRendoMusic
http://www.ShoutLife.com/FrankRendo

Photo credit:  Dominick Avento III

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

AN EARLY INTERVIEW AND OTHER NEWS


Hello friends and fans of Frank Rendo:

On Easter Sunday of last year (April 12, 2009), I posted the first in a series of blogs regarding Frank's inaugural and quite successful CD, HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN?  That blog only took us through a few of the selections on this stunning collection, and I have intended to get back to writing more and more about it.  Frank's too fast for me though, (and I say that with a grin from ear to ear).  That's a good thing, in other words.

You see, since I began sharing information and opinion with you regarding this truly wonderful and personal work of Frank's, he has been very busy doing shows and concerts - performing on other's CD's, and he's made yet another high-quality, indescribably beautiful CD, with yet more very personal songs included.  That CD is titled DELIVER ME.


DELIVER ME  is filled with questions and feelings.  The work is a masterpiece of music designed to showcase inner conflict, and what to do about it.  So...just as I would begin once again working on more writings regarding HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN? I would need to happily put it aside in order to concentrate on another accomplishment by Frank that deserved to be archived here at RamblingsRegardingRENDO.

Though this writer has really only known Frank for a two-year period, he has, indeed, learned a great deal about Frank and has felt that each accomplishment deserved KUDOS independent of anything or anyone else.  For example - Frank did a variety of shows and concerts in many areas of Long Island during that Spring and Summer of 2009.  He caught the attention of Ms. Pag Hogeboom, an author and columnist for Great South Bay Magazine, a local Long Island publication.

Shortly after writing about and sharing this article with you, Frank decided the time had come to record a song he had been wanting to record for some years - "Don't Laugh At Me."    "Don' Laugh At Me" is a really poignant story, and Frank delivered it with so much emotion.  Yet, this song needed to be surrounded by even more beautiful music.


Therefore, along with working closely together with Long Island's brilliant singer/songwriter, the late Palma Pascale, on HER newest CD venture, THIS MUST BE HEAVEN, Frank and Palma began working on developing a new CD for him that would include Frank's single, "Don't Laugh At Me."  Frank pulled some songs "from the archives" as he described it to me, for inclusion in this recording, and he added some fresh, new compositions by Palma.  (www.palmapascale.com)

Plus, Frank engaged the unparalleled talents of another singer/songwriter in the greater New York area, Peter Eldridge, (www.petereldridge.com)  to accompany him singing one of Peter's stellar compositions that Frank had, for years, hoped to one day record.  The selection became the title song of the CD - DELIVER ME.  Besides enjoying a solo career, Peter is also a member of the famed New York Voices.  (www.newyorkvoices.com/)














I wrote the DELIVER ME blog in late July as Frank had asked me to author both the Forward and the liner notes for the CD.  I can't imagine he will ever really understand what a pleasure, and a true privilege it was for me to pen them; nor how important and humbling it was to me.  It was good fun to wade through the details of each song with Frank, and to attempt to share with you, my readers, what a compelling listen this album really is.  It was nice to see Frank in July face-to-face there at Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove, NY, (www.tikirecording.com), and go over a few of the details of a song or two, plus listen to Tiki owner and chief engineer, Fred Guarino, do some mastering of Frank's album.  There was enough energy spent from all those who contributed in any way to the success of this amazing work to light up Long Island for a long time to come.  (pictured left:  Frank with Peter Eldridge - Pictured right: Frank with Tim San Paolo, and Fred Guarino)

 Since the release of  DELIVER ME,  Frank has continued to perform all over the greater NY area; tragically, he lost a close friend after her significant, brave battle with cancer.  That was  Frank's collaborator on his last 3 albums - singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/arranger/producer/director, Palma Pascale.   It was just prior to the DELIVER ME CD release concert that Frank learned that Palma's imminent death was only a matter of days; sadly, she was so ill, there was no way for her to attend the opening and receive the accolades due her for such a fine production, such unbelievably beautiful orchestration,  and of course, for the many beautiful compositions she'd written that Frank chose to include on the CD.  Frank literally left her hospital bedside to go and do the release concert, then immediately went back to Palma's bedside and stayed with her until she left this world, only a couple of short days later.

 Frank and I both felt this loss in a significantly painful way.  Palma's long-time associate and her very close, trusted  friend, Fred Guarino who, along with Palma, co-produced Frank's last three CD's, decided he wanted to finish and needed to share with the world the CD Palma (with help from Frank and others) had been working on for the prior 18 month period, between all of the other work for others she had been doing.  So, Fred engaged both Frank and me to help him get the project completed.

THIS MUST BE HEAVEN was readied for release between September 15th, and October 31st, 2009.  It made its debut on November 21st, when Frank and others put on a wonderful tribute concert to Palma..."In Her Own Words."  Each of the artists sang one of Palma's original compositions.  They sang to a packed house, and there has since been talk of another show sometime, soon.  Another CD of her beautiful work was slated to be released on the same night as THIS MUST BE HEAVEN, though there were some production issues with the artwork  that held it up and prevented that from occurring.   The CD, I WORSHIP YOU was actually released during the last week of December.  Both of these CD's of Palma's are available at www.cdbaby.com.
(pictured:  Palma Pascale)

I made a quick trip to Long Island to work with Frank and Fred on a few of Palm's unfinished songs, and provided arrangements for  several selections.  I was also quite gratified to be able to sing alongside Frank, and work with Fred.   And, of course, to be a musical contributor to one of our most talented songwriters/musicians of our day was beyond measure for me.  It was a thrilling and unbelievably bittersweet experience for me to record Palma's songs on her CD - without her.


The highly successful release party for Frank's DELIVER ME CD was held at Samantha's Li'l Bit of Heaven www.SamanthasLilBitofHeaven.org -  on September 5th.  Since that time, Frank has been receiving radio air time for not only "Don't Laugh At Me" but other of his recordings, as well.  Concert appearances, personal appearances (TV and the like) and his directing and producing skills have also been called upon in a big way.  He's been really busy, friends.  And there is much more to be done.

Palma passed a torch on to Frank - a very important torch - one that touched her heart in a huge way.  She had been composing songs for a "playlet" (a play which will have very little actual spoken dialogue - its story will be told through the songs).  The playlet now has a title,   "Did You Talk To Him Today?"  This title is taken from a Palma Pascale original song by the same name.  The song can be found on her highly acclaimed Christian CD, THE BROKEN CUP.   This event is for Jesus Alive, a ministry and organization that is committed to raising money for pantries and grassroots ministries from the East End of Long Island to New York City.  (http://jesusaliveministries.org/).  


Though  Palma had, in fact, composed the majority of the music prior to her unexpected death on September 8th, 2009, there was much left to do towards readying this musical extravaganza she had been working on for the Jesus Alive ministry, and as one of her last, important requests, she left this as a job for Frank to carry out on her behalf.  Frank, of course, assured Palma he would take the lead and would do everything necessary to ensure the program, which is slated to be performed on October 10, 2010 (10-10-10) is a solid success.  Frank is now the Director of the program.

As the Director, Frank has devoted a great deal of time and energy to this important project, in between trying to live the rest of his life.  He hasn't been completely alone - he has received help from many people, to include his close friends, Jackie Carey,  Fred Guarino, and me, Tim San Paolo -  as well as Orlando Pena of Ovations Dance Academy -(http://www.ovationsdance.com/52.html).  Frank tells me that Orlando's involvement has been invaluable to him.

Besides all of that (yes friends, there's MORE) - as I mentioned briefly, Frank's music has been getting the attention of radio stations literally across the USA.  He could be heard on KTTS FM Radio in Springfield, MO, http://www.ktts.com/  as well as on WHLI Radio there on Long Island.  http://www.whli.com/  His music has recently been added to heavy rotation on the playlists of Arise Radio,
http://www.live365.com/stations/brucbuzz, as well as Carmen's Cafe, an internet radio station Frank was the featured artist for on March 1st.  http://stickam.com/wram

Not only has Frank been heard on the radio, listeners of two stations have nominated him in their top countdowns.  WHLI announced that Frank was #29 on their "TOP 50 RELEASES OF 2009."  Frank did a lengthy interview with the General Manager of WHLI, Paul Richards, in early October of last year, as well.  (Pictured:  Paul Richards with Frank)

New to Arise Radio, Frank's debut week placed him within the TOP 20, landing at #3 during that week.  On week two, Frank landed in the #2 spot on the TOP 20 lLIST.  Personally, I was not a bit surprised at this news.

All of these things I mentioned take time to write about, and get all of the details for you - then to incorporate them into the blog, too.  But, as you can see when you check - you'll find information about all of these important pieces that continue to move Frank's career just that much farther along.

The radio information provides me with a perfect segue, then, for the actual topic today - I'm bringing you a fun radio interview that I transcribed today; one that Frank did with John Barilla of New York Christian Music Showcase.  This is a VINTAGE interview, as it occurred in 1992, just shortly after Frank released HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN?

You can easily detect that John was quite impressed with Frank, and the CD, itself.  He mentions the magnificent voice of Frank and his tonal quality and control, throughout, as well as the music itself, and the sound quality of the recording.

So, without further adieu, I offer you the following 1992 interview with Frank Rendo and John Barilla.

  JB = John Barilla
  FAR = Frank Rendo

THE NEW YORK CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOWCASE IS SPONSORED BY JOHN BARILLA PRODUCTIONS OF WHEATLY HEIGHTS, NY.

JB  Good evening to ya - this is John Barilla, your host for the New York Christian Music Showcase.

Well, tonight we have a quality musical project that we'd like to bring to your attention.  It's a new album by Frank Rendo called "HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN?" and I'm really into this album because the quality of the sound is so great and the recording process that Frank went through to get it is something that is a very interesting process.

We have Frank here with us in the studio, and we'd like to welcome him to the New York Christian Music Showcase.

FAR  How ya doing?  Thanks for having me, here.

JB  Yeah, Frank - it's good to have ya.  Tell us a little bit about your record and we're gonna be playing some music from it very shortly; but just tell us a little bit about the recording process that you did.

FAR  Well, for the most part it was recorded here on Long Island.

JB  Home grown, huh?

FAR  Home grown, yes.  I did most of the recording at the New Covenant Church in East Meadow, thanks to the generous folks over there.  And, I had a fantastic engineer - his name is Rick Bieder - he recorded it and we mixed it and then it was mastered at Cove City in Glen Cove.  I even had planned a trip to Israel and had some strings recorded over there for the album.

JB  Wow!  Are we going to be hearing some of the strings in this cut we're going to be playing?

FAR  Yes - on two of the cuts, I believe, yeah - the strings are there.

JB  Great!  Great!  Well, let's jump right into the music and then we'll talk a little bit more to Frank Rendo about the production process and his ministry.  Now, "HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN?"

                                                                  -plays selection-

JB  "How Can You Say No To This Man?"  Well Frank, I wanna tell you that I really like that song - very much.  It's a very sincere song and your voice really shines on it.  You didn't use a lot of effects or gimmicks....ah....and I think that's probably because you really don't need effects and gimmicks - you have good control of your voice - you have to have some training - some background in singing.  Is that true?

FAR  Well, I've been singing my whole life.  That's all I really ever wanted to do, so I guess, I've done it all my life and one of the ways that I like to approach a song is communicating a story or an impression - like doing a painting.  These are my paintings - making pictures.

JB  Um  hm....making concepts come to life, sort of?

FAR  Yeah, yeah - I love to do "story" songs, as well.  I like to use all of myself to communicate, not just my voice.  But like I've said, I've sung my whole life - I've had fantastic mentors and it's just the thing that I love to do.  I just love to sing.

JB  Well, that's great!  And what else about your ministry can you tell us that would be, ah, an epitome of it?

FAR  I can tell you what God has been speaking to my heart.

JB  Um  hmmm - we'd like to hear that.

FAR  (speaking to my heart) these past few years, actually, and that is "Be In Me."  Not big directions, not big revelations - just Be In Me, which is a very simple and at the same time a very hard thing to do because all it requires is surrender on our part.  It really doesn't require us to do a lot of things to earn God's approval.  And, I might be going against the grain by saying this, but - we're taught
a lot of that - a lot of the "earning" - a lot of the "ten steps to do this...."

JB  Formula-type things...

FAR  And, you know I've been a Christian now 10 years and I've tested a lot of that stuff, and a lot of it just doesn't work - at least, it doesn't work for me.  God wants me to be real and He deals with me in a very real way, and the thing that He's been telling me is to just Be In Me.  And, I have seen God work miracles.  Things that I couldn't have accomplished on my own - it just happens - things just fall in my lap, like this interview, for instance.  It's something that was such a blessing to me, to get the phone call from you ... and, here we are!

JB  Well, it's a blessing for us, too!  Ah, I'm sure it's some source of inspiration to a lot of the songwriters and vocalists and music ministers here on Long Island to know that people, right here at a local level, are doing professional quality projects such as yours.

Now, I know you had a lot of help with it, and you went to the right people - and you did the right things - and you spent, what was it, 13 months doing this project?

FAR  Yep!  Thirteen months....and for the most part, it was a joy to do.  There were sometimes, though, where it would seem long....like, is this ever going to be finished?  Sometimes, you get some of the personnel together and nothing would happen, you know?  Something would happen with the equipment - or something would happen with the arrangement, or you know....something....and you, well, I'm a perfectionist by nature and when I get frustrated, I internalize it and I get depressed and I get very quiet and, ah....God was able to bring me through all that, you know?  So, I'm really glad the way the thing......well, I just pray that He gets glory from the album because I like what He did!

JB  You like what He did...through you?

FAR  Through me.

JB  Well, that's the title of your next song by the way - "Have Your Way In Me," and we both know the songwriter that's involved here.

FAR  Yes, David Ridgeway.

JB  Say a few words about Dave.

FAR  David Ridgeway - he's a brilliant songwriter, and I think we're gonna hear a lot of his music in the years to come.  I hope so.

JB  He's an amazing guy - he's got about a thousand songs in his book, and I look forward to hearing a lot more from him.

This is Frank Rendo doing David Ridgeway's song "Have Your Way In Me."

                                                    ~plays "Have Your Way In Me"~

JB  Frank Rendo - "Have Your Way In Me."  Frank, I want to tell you that I really enjoy your vocal technique that you used in that song.

FAR  Thanks!

JB  The bridge part of it - where you did all of those, ah....very imagistic vocals there - reminded me a little bit of some of the early Simon and Garfunkel bridges - like from "Bridge Over Troubled Waters."

FAR  Yeah?

JB  Yes, and others like that - so, that's really nice technique.  Now, you did all the vocals on that yourself?

FAR  Yes - I love this song and I think partly - maybe mostly, it's the message that it has...because it talks about a person who is broken - which......I've been there.  In the journey with Christ, He brings us to those places where we do come to the surrendering - again and again and again.  And when David first brought the song to my attention, I thought...well, vocally, it's very challenging because it does do a lot of things - it takes a lot of control, and it's hard to perform.  But the message is what's most important...and that the words are understood.

JB  Sure....the message is surrender, and of course we're hearing sometimes a different message frequently from the radio and on the pulpit that we shouldn't really say that we're hurting when we are hurting.  Now, there's a little conflict there, and what does the Bible say?

FAR  All I know is that repentance is a lifestyle.  It's not just something you do once in your life and I believe that the Lord calls us to be real - and He said we will experience tribulations, so if I'm to go around saying I'm doing great all the time, "Praise the Lord" then I'm really.....I'm not being honest....I'm not being honest.  I

JB  That's true - that's true!  I think we all need a little more honesty in the church, today.

FAR  (chuckles)  I think we need A LOT more honesty in the church today.

JB  Ummm Hmmmm.....Well, we're gonna be back talking to Frank Rendo in just one second - I just wanna do a quick ID for the New York Music Showcase.

                                                   ~ runs ID commercial for showcase~

JB  Okay, so why don't we just plunge into another song?  Frank....what are we listening to, here?

FAR  This song is called "I'll Keep My Eyes On You" and it's my favorite one on the album because it really speaks from expereince what I've been through in my life, and how it's only God that matters.

                                                 ~plays "I'll Keep My Eyes On You~

JB  "I'll Keep My Eyes On You" by Frank Rendo.  Frank, the tape that you played and shared with us today is a real work of art.

FAR  Awww...thanks!  Thanks!

JB  I'm sure that a lot of our listeners will want to purchase it, so tell us where it will be available.

FAR  Well, on Long Island I know it's available at the New Horizon's Bookstore* in Coram, and it will be available at the Sunshine Faith Bookstore* in Ronkonkoma.  They expressed an interest in selling it, so I'll be dropping off a lot of tapes there.

*[The writer's 2010 aside]:  the New Horizon's Bookstore is no longer carrying any of Frank's CD's, and the Sunshine Faith Bookstore is no longer in business.

JB  Okay - if this is inconvenient for some people, I know the signal does occasionally make it into Connecticut or New Jersey - ah, would they be able to call you directly and get a copy of the tape?

FAR  Yes, (Frank gives phone number)

JB  Okay, now tell us about your concert engagements.  I know you've spent a good part of your life traveling around the world, sharing the gospel with people...in music.

FAR  I know I have one concert coming up here in the area on Long Island on June 27th, [1992].  I will be at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church - it's a Sunday night at 6 p.m.  It's in Commack, and it's on Jericho Turnpike.  That's June 27th [1992] at 6 p.m.

JB  Great....Great!  Anything else I can tell our listeners before we go?

FAR  Oh, there's a whole lot!

JB  You've got a couple of minutes.......

FAR  Oh, you've put me on othe spot here.  (ponders)...What do I want to say?  There are so many things, I don't know where to start.

JB  Any words of encouragement for artists coming up?

FAR  Well, I know for myself, I came up against a lot of things that would try to stop me or quench me from singing or making this album, and at times I got discouraged.  But, I had the vision in my head and in my heart and I just followed it until it came to pass.  I give all the credit - all the glory to the Lord for that, because in myself, I would have been too weak.  I would have just given up and lay on my back.  But God is the one - He's given the gift and He'll make a way for that gift and I give Him all the glory for it.

JB  Well, one of the beautiful things about being a Christian is knowing when to say "help me" ....  and, to have the humility to do that.  A lot of artists try to do everything themselves.

FAR That was ME a few years ago - and I burned-out, trying to....you know....making the phone calls - doing the booking calls and having the pastor's not call back, or have them say they're not interested, or the secretaries say "well, if he's interested, he'll call you" and I just took it as a personal rejection.  The artist has a very hard time separating himself from his work, and what he does.

JB  Yeah....

FAR  So, for my own peace of mind, I can't do that anymore.  So I just pray that God will open the doors for me to do what I do.

JB  Well, I think in the wake of this album, I don't think you're gonna have a whole lot of problem with having to call people up - I think people are gonna be callin' you!  So, I would like to give you the number one more time, if you wanna call Frank Rendo and have him come over to your church to minister in music and in song.  And....I can tell from talking to him that what he does IS, in fact, ministry - it's not "entertainment" per se - although it is very entertaining and his voice is very professional, and the recording of the highest quality - I would just say that Frank is a minister of music...and the comfort that the Lord has given him, he will give to the people that listen to him.  So give him a call at (John gives phone number).

We're here at the New York Christian Music Showcase to showcase the best of Long Island's Christian talent and artists, and to help them along the way.

Thanks very much for being with us today, Frank.

FAR  Oh, thank YOU!

JB  We wish you the best, and you've got so much more good material on the show, I think maybe we'll have you back in a few weeks and you can play a few new tunes for people.

FAR  Thanks!  I wish the best for your show, too - we really needed this on Long Island.

JB  Ummm hmmm....yeah, we certainly do!  So, God Bless you all out there in the listening audience, and tune in next week at the same time for the New York Christian Music Showcase.

~end~


There you have it - a very nice conversation and interview by John Barilla of Frank Rendo, speaking about his ministry in music, his journey with God, and his first album, HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN?  The album was in tape form at that time, but for the 15 year anniversary of its continued excellent sales, Frank had the songs remastered by Fred Guarino at Tiki Recording - some of them remixed - some of them embellished (sweetened) by pal and brilliant artist Palma Pascale, and it was re-released in CD form.

You can find HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS MAN? at  cdbaby http://www.cdbaby.com, as well as at Amazon.com - http://www.Amazon.com.

Hopefully, I will be finishing my writing about this wonderful collection of important songs, soon.  Keep checking here at RamblingsRegardingRENDO for continued updates, and news about the very talented Frank Rendo.

Until next time then,
I remain yours, musically,
Tim

http://www.CDBaby.com/Artist/FrankRendo
http://www.ReverbNation.com/FrankRendo
http://www.MySpace.com/FrankRendoMusic
http://www.ShoutLife.com/FrankRendo 



Photographs, courtesy, Frank Rendo Collection, Tim San Paolo and Sue Rosen.  All photos are of Frank Rendo, except where noted.