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March 3, 2014 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

It's Been Too Long

I’ve been so busy, I’ve forgotten to blog in a while. It hasn’t been all work however as I just got back from a month in sunny Florida. The weather was great! The day after we got back to Seattle it snowed. I miss Florida already.

It wasn’t all fun and games in Florida, though it was mostly fun and games. While I was there I released another new song. This one is called A Want or a Need. I wrote the lyrics and my producer and good friend Erich Benedict wrote the music. I got the idea for the song based on the interaction with my kids; which is probably the same interaction everyone has with their kids. That is they say daddy I need this… I need it. Of course they don’t really need it they just want it. So I would start to say something like “I know you want it but you don’t really need it, there not really the same. Then I thought that might make for a good song.

Since it was going to be a song I thought I’d change it up and make it about a couple, not about parents and kids. The main line was easy. Is it a want or a need… there not really the same, one has to do with the heart the other the brain; and it just flowed from there. I then took the words to Erich and we talked about the sound we wanted and he came up with a great tune. We released it on Amazon and it hit number one on the hot new releases chart for easy listening within a couple of days. That was very cool.

Here is the link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Want-or-a-Need/dp/B00I4BB21S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1393886577&sr=8-2&keywords=george+a+santino

The cover was done by Anessa Benedict who always does such a great job. She’s also designing the cover for my next CD which will be out soon.

Speaking of the next CD this one will have six originals as well as six cover songs. We’re almost done with it. We have another new original to record. This was is called Let’s Try Again… Again. And once again I wrote the lyrics and Erich Benedict wrote the music. In a couple of weeks I’ll record that one and three more cover songs and then Erich will do his production magic and CD 3 will be released. I’ll let you know on my website when and where you can get it.

I also have continued to work on my book Get Back Up with the help of published author Mary Jane Beaufrand. Who, by the way, is in the process of getting her forth book published. You can read more about her here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/733242.Mary_Jane_Beaufrand

As if that weren’t enough Erich and I continue to perform live. In fact we have a show at Pizzeria Guido and Wine Bar on March 13th at 7. http://pizzeriaguido.com/  It should be a lot of fun.

Well that’s it for now. I’ll try to do future blogs in a more timely manner. But for now I have to go practice for the show.

All the best.
August 16, 2013 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

Another busy couple of months

Well it’s been a fun and busy couple of months. During that time I released my new song When You Walked Through The Door.

Buy "When You Walked Through The Door" on Amazon.com

It got to number 2 on the Amazon Easy Listening chart. The music for that song was written by my vocal coach Larry Bridges of www.anyonecansing.com

At the same time my friend and producer Erich Benedict of http://www.withanh.net/ and I started working on a few things. First we put together an act and we’ve put on a few shows at Marianna Ristorante and Pizzeria Guido  That has been a lot of fun. We also started writing a few new songs. In fact As The One That Got Away was just released.

Buy "As The One That Got Away" on Amazon.com

The artwork for that song was done by Anessa Benedict of benedict photo*art. And as if that wasn't enough we started working on a third cd.  So far we’ve recorded 4 songs and we’re working on writing and recording two more.

Of course this is just the music part of my new career. I’m still working with my good friend Mary Jane Beaufrand,  on my own book Get Back Up. She is the writer of Dark River and Primavera and a soon to be released third book. We’re about a third of the way done and we hope to be completely done by the end of the year.

The rest of August will be filled with doing live shows and recording new music. My wife keeps asking what happened to my retirement but that will just have to wait. I’m having too much fun right now.

June 24, 2013 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

The New Song Is Out

Well the new song, When You Walked Through The Door, has been released.

I mentioned in previous blogs and on my Facebook page that I was writing a song about the first time I saw my wife. Well with the help of my good friend and vocal coach Larry Bridges I think we put together a very good song. And when we added the talent of Ben St John on drums and Erich Benedict who not only produced, mixed, and mastered the song but also played all the other instruments including a great sax solo, I think we ended up with a great song; if I do say so myself.

You can find the song on Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. In fact the song has been selling well enough on Amazon that it hit number 6 on the hot new sellers list for easy listening.  Here are the links:

Amazon

iTunes

CDBaby

Of course this isn’t the only think I’ve been working on. I still have that book I want to write called Get Back Up. I’m working with Mary Jane Beaufrand, who by the way just signed a deal to have her third book published. Her previously published books Dark River and Primavera are very good. If you haven’t read them yet you should. We just finished chapter five of my book. I think that means we have about 11 more to go. It’s a fun project but a lot of work.

At the same time Erich Benedict and I have been practicing for our new two man show. We’ve picked about 30 songs to work on. They include all the songs from my first CD as well as some additional Sinatra tunes. We also are adding some Elton John and Barry Manilow stuff. That should make for an entertaining show. Check my Facebook page for the dates of my upcoming shows. I hope to see you there.

As always thanks for all your support.

May 6, 2013 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

Busy, Busy, Busy.


It’s been a couple of months since I’ve written and it’s been a busy couple of months. During this time I’ve written couple of songs. One is called When You Walked Through the Door and the music for it was written by my vocal coach Larry Bridges of Bridges Voice Instruction at http://www.anyonecansing.com/

The other song is called As The One That Got Away and the music for that was written by my producer Erich Benedict of with an H media at http://www.withanh.net/

At the same time Erich and I have decided to put together a show and hit the local wineries this summer. I’ll let you know when and where we’re playing and I hope to see you there.

Here we are at a recent practice session:

I’ve also been fortunate to meet a great DJ who really likes my music. At least I think so since he keeps playing it on the two radio stations he is on. You should try to catch him. He is Legion Is On The Air. This is his facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/legionisontheair

You can hear Legion on http://berkeleyliberationradio.net/ and http://kalx.berkeley.edu/

As if that wasn’t enough I’ve also spent some time working on my book Get Back Up. As I hope you recall this is a collection of stories about my life and the number of times I got knocked on my butt and yes, got back up. I plan to use these stories in my motivational speaking career.  In fact I’m giving a talk at the University of Washington this month. It should be a lot of fun.

Well that’s it for now. I have to get back to singing and writing. Talk to you soon.

February 14, 2013 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

The year is off to a nice start

I actually thought things would slow down after the holidays. My Christmas CD sold well and my music video for The Magic of Christmas got over 123,000 views!  But I was done with making CDs and videos and I was going to get back to writing my book. I didn't want to leave You Tube completely behind since they removed my video of Come Fly With Me, because I didn't have a sync license, so I asked Erich Benedict to make a compilation video of my Seattle Center performance.

This is the link: http://youtu.be/DEX_QTufsgU

I certainly didn't expect to get as many views as the Christmas video but I must admit that 65 views is a bit of a disappointment. Of course I didn't have time to let that get me down as the press called again and I had a couple of really nice interviews with Fine Success Magazine: http://finesuccessmag.com/from-microsoft-to-music-the-story-of-george-santino and WTSP 10 News in Tampa: http://southtampa.wtsp.com/news/people/161926-tampa-native-george-santino-living-his-dream

I’m also expecting to hear from AARP magazine about an interview. Doing these interviews and having people write about the fun I’m having is very cool.

I have been working with the publishers of Come Fly With Me to get a sync license so I can get that video back up. This has been much harder than I think it should be, but that got me thinking. I can do whatever I want with the Christmas video since I wrote the song, along with my vocal coach Larry Bridges, but with cover songs you have no control.  So, if I’m going to do any more videos, I should do them with songs I write and that is exactly what this year will be about.

The plan is to work with Larry Bridges and write some songs. Once a song is done I’ll get with Erich Benedict and get it recorded. I have the words written for the first song and Larry is working on the music. By this time next month I hope I’ll be able to share it with you.

January 9, 2013 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I retired form Microsoft but when you think about everything I’ve done it actually seems longer. Since leaving Microsoft I recorded my first CD, Come Fly With Me, which was a selection of my favorite crooner tunes. I released That’s Life as a single first and it was number one on the Amazon hot new releases list for two weeks. I then released the entire CD and the title song Come Fly With me went to number 1. I was amazed as you were.

We then shot the music video for Come Fly With Me and put it on You Tube. It had almost 19,000 views before You Tube pulled it for copyright infringement. It seems that though I had a license to record and sell the song you have to have a different license to make a video. But that’s another story. I’m working on getting it back up.

I then got to sing at a few places with the highlight being the Seattle Center 50th birthday bash. That was a lot of fun and the MC told me I had the biggest crowd of the day. I’m working on a video composite of that performance and when it is done I’ll put that up on You Tube.

During this time I got the sad news that I had damaged my vocal chords and needed to stop singing or have surgery. I did neither other than taking a little time off and during that time I wrote my first original song with my vocal coach Larry Bridges. I recorded that song with the help of Erich Benedict and we released it as a single. It got as high as number 8 for a little while.

We then went on and recorded an entire Christmas CD with a number of great local artists. Even my daughter Maddie got to sing backup vocals on some of the songs. We released the CD after Thanksgiving and it did very well and since we had so much fun making the first music video we decided to do another one.

So we made a video for the original song The Magic of Christmas and we put that on You Tube. Much to my surprise, and probably everyone else’s, it has over 123,000 views in 97 countries and 48 of the states here in America. I still have no idea why nobody in Nebraska or Wyoming have looked at it.

As if that wasn’t enough I also stated taking piano and Italian lessons, in addition to the singing lessons I was already taking. And I started excising a lot and lost 40 pounds. The family and I also had time to take a few vacations. We went to Comic Con in San Diego and to Seaside Oregon a couple of times, where we bought a vacation rental management business. Stop by and Like the Facebook page when you get a chance. http://www.facebook.com/OregonSeasideVacationRentals. All in all it was a very full year.

So the question is what do I do for an encore? I really don’t know. My producer thinks we should do another CD. That could be fun. We could also make another video. Those are always fun. I do need to get back to writing my book “Get Back Up” and I really haven’t done any motivational speaking and I guess I should since I put it on my business card. Actually whatever I do my first priority is to make sure it is fun. After all that’s what retirement is all about isn’t it?

I do what to take this time to thank all of you who have supported my new career. I couldn’t have done it without your friendship and support. I wish you all a happy new year that is filled with fun.

November 15, 2012 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

The Magic of Christmas

Well my Christmas CD is finally done and available for sale on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. All of which you can access on my buy page at www.georgeasantino.com/buy This CD was a tremendous amount of fun to make and while I’d like to take some of the credit I must admit that I had a lot of talented help. Starting with Erich Benedict of with an H media who directed, produced, mixed and mastered as well as played the piano, guitar, bass, sax, and clarinet. He is truly an amazing talent.

Besides my singing you’ll also hear my daughter Maddie doing backup vocals as well as Anessa Rene and Laura West. Laura also sings the lead on Baby It’s Cold Outside. As well we have Geoffrey Castle, Brandon Bowman, Dan Haeck, Sara Reyna, and Ben St John. Their sounds really make the CD. I truly hope you enjoy what you hear.

But, of course, I’m not done yet. Those who know me know I’m always looking for what’s next. In this case it’s another music video. On this CD I have a new original Christmas song written by my vocal coach Larry Bridges and me. It is also called The Magic of Christmas and on it I sing about what Christmas was like when I was a child compared to now. It goes on to say that Christmas can be like old memories if you only believe. This video will be a lot of fun to make and I hope to have it out right after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving I hope you have a great one. Of course for a lot of us Christmas shopping starts right after that so why not start with a copy of The Magic of Christmas.

October 11, 2012 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

Can't let a little blister stop me

What a great September it was.  I got to perform at the Seattle Center 50th Birthday Bash and though I must admit my voice wasn’t perfect the people really seemed to appreciate it. In fact the MC told me that I had the biggest crowd of the day on that stage. I know you’re never supposed to apologize during a performance but I knew I would have sung better if it weren’t for this blister on my vocal chords but when the MC said “if you sound that good with a blister on your vocal chords, I’d find a way to keep it” I felt a lot better.

During this month I also finished all the vocals on my Christmas Cd. I do get to listen to them one more time to make sure there isn’t anything I’d like to do over. If there is I’ll do it this week and then it’s on to mixing and mastering.  After that it’s off to disc duplication.  If all goes well it should be done by the end of the month.

Of course my vocals aren’t the only thing on the cd.  We also had some great backup vocalist like Laura West, Anessa Rene, and my daughter Maddie and some great instrumentalist like Geoffrey Castle http://www.geoffreycastle.com/ Brandon Bowman http://bowmanjazz.com/ Sara Reyna http://www.bestillmyharp.com/  and Dan Haeck. You should check out their websites when you get a chance. They’re all doing some cool stuff. And of course the whole thing is being produced by with an H media http://www.withanh.net/ with Erich Benedict playing his same role as producer as well as playing many instruments.  I’m really looking forward to hearing the final version.  I hope you are too.

I must admit I spent so much time on the cd that I forgot I’m also supposed to be an author and motivational speaker. So while Erich is finishing up the CD and I finally get a chance to let my vocal chords heal I’m going to get back to writing my book Get Back Up.

August 31, 2012 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

Christmas in August

It seems if you want to release a Christmas CD in time for Christmas you have to start to work on it in August. So that is what I am doing. I’m in the studio singing Christmas songs surrounded by Christmas decorations and trying to get into the spirit singing Baby It’s Cold Outside when it’s finally warm outside here in the Pacific Northwest. I even had to pick the cover for the CD, before I sang the first song, so it could be ready for the holiday gift guides. I had a couple of choices so I put it to a vote on my Facebook page. That post got over 2000 views. I thought that was very cool. But that’s not all that’s going on. As I mentioned in my last post I have a few problems with my vocal cords from “overdoing it” but I can’t slow down. I’ve never been one to do things part way. So I record on Monday and Tuesday… see the voice pathologist on Wednesday… record again on Thursday morning…. see my voice coach on Thursday afternoon and record on Friday. Then I repeat it all again the next week. Of course I also have to find time to work on the book. Good thing I’m “retired”. This really has been a busy month. Besides the things I mentioned above I released part two of my documentary series To Chase a Dream, which you can catch on my You Tube channel, and I’m rehearsing with a new band for my upcoming Seattle Center gigon September 8th. I’m really looking forward to that. In September I hope to start doing a lot more live shows. I’ll add a schedule to my website to let you know when and where I’m performing. In the meantime you can check out my fan page on Facebook to keep up to date on what I’m doing. When you’re there don’t forget to hit the Like button. That way you can get updates on your newsfeed or leave me comments if you want.
August 1, 2012 Posted by George A. Santino in Blog

My voice might need a rest but that doesn’t mean I get to

So it turned out that I don’t have tonsillitis at all but I do have a problem with my vocal cords. It seems you can't not sing for twenty years and then rush right out and record an album. You can get blisters on your vocal cords just like you can on your feet. The doctor told me not to talk for four days. That was interesting. I used a pad and pencil to communicate. The funny part was when I would write something down and then hand it to a person and instead of just saying their reply they would write it on the pad and hand it back to me. I’m not supposed to laugh right now either but that made it hard. Next week I start going to a speech pathologist and the path to recovery will begin.

 

This is just another challenge in a life filled with them. Not to worry I’ve never let these little setbacks get in my way. This has just given me some time to work on writing some of my motivational talks and the book. At the same time, Erich Benedict of with an H media has started laying down the music for the Christmas album and we’ve completed part two of our To Chase a Dream video series. If you haven’t see part one the link is below and I’ll post part two next week.

 

In the mean time I’m getting to spend some time at the lake with the family and my wife has told me I’ve never been easier to talk to. She's a funny lady.

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