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Music

When I was around 10 years old, my brother and I formed a band to make a few bucks to keep the Pedroski house afloat.  We played local record hops and radio shows in Pittsburgh. A few years later around 13 years of age, we met Rod Knepper and we formed our band called Lefty and the Leadsmen.  I wrote some songs for the band and we are in The Rock a Billy Hall of Fame for some of those tunes. A song called “Wildwood Fun” is in compilations around the world.  I believe they still sell the tune for $500 dollars a 45rpm.  I wrote that when I was 13 or 14 years old.  My brother David has passed away — he was a great drummer and Physicist.  My cousin Freddie Valencic joined the band playing drums for a short span.  Rod Knepper was our friend and guitar player doing all the cool licks. Rod is still my best half century friend and I wrote “Houston” back in '71 for what was going on in his life.  The tune was called “Send Her Home to Pittsburgh” and then Brooklyn.  It was cut about 5 times.  It is on Cilla Black’s compilation around the world.  I have re-cut “Houston” for my friend John Florez because he signed me to write songs for him back in '74 after he heard the song.

 

Click HERE to view Lefty's lyrics.

I continued writing songs at 15 and 16 years old pitching my songs from London (EMI Parlophone to Ron Richards) to New York (1650 Broadway) to Los Angeles (Bobby Darin, Brian Wilson’s dad Murray Wilson).

I headed out to Los Angeles in May of 1970 to be a songwriter. It was the day after I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with my degree in Economics and  my almost minor in English (a few courses short). I loved Indiana, Pa and I made some lifelong friends there but Los Angeles was calling.  When I got to L.A. I soon started writing and signed songs with every major music publisher in L.A.  They were Capitol-Beachwood, United Artists, Screen Gems music, Four Star Music, ABC Dunhill Music, Almo Music, RCA Dunbar ,and Aaron Schroeder’s January Music.   Everyone said I was overdue for a hit.

Then I met the young John Florez in 1974.  John was a young record producer cutting hits like “Rock The Boat” by the Hues Corp, "Grazin’ in The Grass" and "Goin’ in Circles" by The Friends of Distinction.  When I worked with John, I co-wrote hits like “Baby Hang up The Phone" by Carl Graves, “ No Love in The Room” by The Fifth Dimension, and “When You’re Not a Lady” by Jim Glaser, which was a ASCAP award winning tune and top 20 country.

I am still writing great country songs and acting in 2009.  I have a new CD of country songs that I want to get out there to the world.  I wrote a song for my dad called the “Old Coalminer”.  Every line of that song is my dad’s story of his life.

I also wrote the song "Smart" with my old buddy Tony Valentino from the legendary garage band The Standells of "Dirty Water' fame.  Tony toured with The Stones and he still plays gigs around L.A. and in Boston for the playoff baseball games with the Red Sox.  He thought we were writing an Italian rock tune and we ended up with "Smart".    I wrote 3 sets of lyrics for the tune before I fought for the "Smart lyrics.

I was the appointed to the ASCAP West Coast Writers Advisory Board in the late '70's with some of the greatest songwriters in the world.  I believe that Marilyn Bergman and Hal David were the presidents of ASCAP at that time.