My Musical Family
I come from a musical family. My uncles Frank (Zeb) and Louie (Cecil) played in a hillbilly band in order to make a
living. My cousin Jody (see below) has always been involved in the music business.
Verna, my sister, was the lead singer in the group Punch and Judy. Who can forget those memorable tunes of the
early 70's Catch a Rainbow and Time for a Change. In addition, Verna has her own album entitled
Children at the
Crossroads
with accompaniment by Richard Shulman
As for me, well I did have a recording contract with a small record company (Biograph Records) in the 70's but never  was
willing to put the time or energy into all that makes one get  "known". I used the pseudonym Jesse Albert (a combination of
my mother and father's first names which at the time I thought was more appropriate than my surname. The president and
founder of Biograph, Arnie Caplin was a great guy who took a sincere interest in my music. He was willing to invest time and
money but I needed to have a full time job at the time. Here's a sample of one of my songs called, appropriately enough.......

A Mystery
In the 70's I won the New York state section of Tetley Tea's "Tea Talent Search". Never won the National part of the
contest but used that money to buy my 12 string Guild guitar. I also have a couple of song writing awards, and have a
vast catalogue of songs that may some day be "discovered" when my ashes are scattered to the winds.
Country Roots
That's uncle Zeb in the middle and cousin Jody on the left as they appeared while bringing some country to the cat skills
in the 60's. Jody was one of the premier steel guitar players of his day and more than likely could have been a greater

legend
than he already is. He decided  to go to work for a new kid on the block named Leo Fender who was trying to sell
his brand of guitar. Jody and I worked together at the famous Fender Service Center in New York when I was in my
early 20's. He is still known as the man who brought tears to the eyes of Arthur Godfrey when he won his Talent Scout
show.
The picture below is Jody with his famous 4
neck steel guitar. Not many people know
how to play that thing.
And from an early Fender Catalogue with
some of the other noteworthy musicians of
the day who played Fender Instruments.
Jody's album with Johnny Cucci  named Hot Club of America in
Hi FY is a classic and may still be available on CD. Click the
picture below for more information on Jody, Johnny and the
album.
Frosty the Snowman?
Jody sent me a copy of an old letter to my uncle Zeb from a songwriter named JacK Rollins. If you are interested in seeing
the letter
click here. It's old and hard to read, but interesting and kind of personal. What's even more interesting is what
Jack said about some songs that Zeb co-authored.
Jack (Rollins)was working at Penn Station as a baggage clerk. He used to write songs and Uncle Zeb used to play his
songs over the WOR mutual radio show every night direct from the Village Barn. Jack and Zeb wrote many songs
together. I have about 5 different songs they collaborated on but there were songs that Jack wrote and asked Zeb if he
would take his name off. These songs became hits!!! He explained that some other well known people, a guy by the
name of (I believe) Steve Nelson, for one, wanted his name on the songs before he would promote them. There were
about 5 songs that this happened with, but the 2 that hit were
Frosty The Snowman and Peter Cottontail. My mother
always said to my father.;Why the hell did you do that? You are always the nice guy"; She was right, but ole Zeb was a
trusting guy and figured as he said, "Jack has a lot of talent, he deserves a break"  Zeb also said "what the hell, Im
working at the Village Barn and making a living". Little did he know what would happen years later. When I asked Zeb
about 15 years ago if he ever regretted doing that he said,  "not really, but I guess mom could have used the money".  
Poor Jack Rollins died shortly after his songs became popular and Zeb said "God Bless Jack, but I still have a lot to be
thankful for"
Here is the Village Barn taken at the time that Zeb and the boys played here. That's their instruments and amps set up on the
stage.
This is a mural that is on a wall in Hollywood. Fender put it there in
honor of Leo Fender and some of the pictures that have been taken of
artists who play Fender guitars. There's Jody in the center and Bob
Dylan to his right.
Jesse Albert
This original record  recently sold on ebay for close to
$200....hey wait a minute..I have one of those!!!
In September of 2004 Jody was inducted into the Steel guitar Hall of
Fame. A most deserving tribute to one of the steel guitar pioneers
Sadly, for Jody and the rest of our family, his beloved wife Marilyn
(pictured below at the ceremony with Jody)  passed away shortly
after he was inducted.
Jody
Click here to go to Jody's web site
Tim (Mr Martell)
From stockbroker to full time DJ/ Producer. Tim decided to give up the wacky
world of big  business to pursue his musical heritage. And so the tradition
continues......from hillbilly....to country....to folk.....to folk rock....and now to
Hip Hop and beyond!!!! The generations continue to gap.

Tim has toured the USA with the basketball team "And One" and has DJ'd at the
X Games for a number of years. You can find him in NYC DJing at a host of
venues as well as cruise ships with Royal Caribbean Tours. You may also find
Finland or Sweden among his "tour dates" as he is in demand the world over.

Click the photo  below to go to Tim's web site


The album photo below is from a collection that was recorded in (where else) my basement (hey, it's not a professional
recording studio)  I wrote it for Sister Anne Behre who founded the
Saint Francis de Sales School for the Deaf in 1960.  The
CD is not for sale but may one
day become a collectors item. If you are one of the lucky ones that have a copy, hold on to
it......one day you may be able to cash it in for big bucks on ebay........lol!!!!  It is titled "Passing By the Accident".
Verna
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