Wednesday 9pm: Feature Artist – Valerie Ghent

Tonight on Feature Artist we place the music of Valerie Ghent.  Two albums are featured – first from 2016 – Velours and from 2012 – Day To Day Dream.  

Valerie Ghent (born May 2, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and recording engineer from New York City. She began by playing the piano at age three and started taking cello lessons at the age of five before beginning to write songs when she was eight years old. Valerie later began her performing career when she joined Dizzy and the Romilars at the age of 15.

Valerie is a longtime keyboardist, vocalist and engineer with Ashford & Simpson. As a solo artist Valerie has released five albums under her own name: Unstoppable (1996), Day to Day Dream (2012), Muse (2014), Velours (2016), and The French Sessions (2017), and a remake of the Ben E. King hit Supernatural Thing (2013). Her first solo album, Unstoppable, was self-recorded with Jimmy Biondolillo employed as co-producer. In 2012 the single “Love Enough For a Lifetime” from Day to Day Dream hit #1 on iHeart Radio. Velours, which features 11 original songs written by Ghent, was recorded in the South of France and in New York. SoulTracks named Velours one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016.

Valerie has toured, performed and recorded with world-renowned artists including Ashford & Simpson, Debbie Harry, Defunkt, Valerie Simpson, Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, TM Stevens, and has worked as a recording engineer with Ashford & Simpson, Sir Cliff Richard, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, and Luther Vandross.

Valerie started performing and touring in France in 2014 with French musicians affiliated with Association BLUES’UP, and recorded two more albums, Velours (2016) in New York and the South of France, and The French Sessions (2017), the latter recorded entirely in France and released on the Blanc Musiques label. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Pat DiNizio (1955 – 2017)

Pat DiNizio (October 12, 1955 – December 12, 2017) was the lead singer, songwriter, and member of the band The Smithereens, which he formed in 1980 with Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, from Carteret, New Jersey.

A native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, he released a number of solo albums, Sounds and Songs (1997), This is Pat DiNizio, a collection of cover songs arranged for piano and vocals (2006), Revolutions (2 CDs plus 1 DVD, limited edition of 300 copies, 2006), Pat DiNizio (2007), and Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly (2008). An expanded 2-CD version of This is Pat DiNizio was issued in 2011.

In 2000, DiNizio made an unsuccessful run for the New Jersey seat of the United States Senate, running on the Reform Party ticket. He finished 4th with 19,312 votes (0.64%). The campaign was chronicled in the 2001 documentary film Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington.

The same year, he launched the “Living Room Tour,” a five-month jaunt where he performed solo, by request only, in the homes of fans. The tour was a success, and he occasionally did similar concerts for a nominal fee.

In 2001, DiNizio was one of the first musicians to throw his support behind XM Satellite Radio, becoming host and program director for the XM Radio Unsigned station. He was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards’ judging panel to support independent artists.

In 2006, he was the focus of 7th Inning Stretch, an ESPN2 reality special. The special focused on DiNizio’s recovery from a “life-threatening and debilitating nervous disorder” by training and attempting to try out for a Minor League Baseball team (The Somerset Patriots), along with tales of baseball folklore from other musicians such as Joan Jett, Gene Simmons, and Bruce Springsteen.

DiNizio also released an audio book, Confessions Of A Rock Star, and continued to perform both solo acoustic shows and with The Smithereens. From November 2011 to June 2012, DiNizio presented a condensed, live adaptation of the book (with storytelling and full band accompaniment) in nightly performances at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

DiNizio died on December 12, 2017. According to bandmates, his health declined following a series of health issues that began in 2015 after a pair of falls that resulted in nerve damage which limited the use of his right hand and arm.  Wikipedia