The recording took place on August 6th 2011 at
GreenPointMusic.com Studio's in Brooklyn New York. The session included Rose's two
daughters, sons-in-law, two grand children, and cousins John (Beau), Bobby, and Marie.
One of the interesting facts about the session is that Rose
Garland represents the eldest of the "Carlo" cousins, while Producer, Engineer
Joe Curcio is the youngest of the cousins.
In addition, and with another ironic twist, Rose's brother
"Big Mike" Carlo managed the band (The Rhythm Express)
that cousins John, Bobby, and Joe were in, and was responsible for booking their first
real recording sessions in the mid 70's.
The middle section of the White Christmas recording includes
greetings from many who attended the sessions, and even a few family members who are no
longer with us (*). Here is the order of the greetings:
1. Rose wishes all a healthy, happy Merry Christmas
2. Bobby makes a joke about "...more lines than anyone else"
3. Aunt Nella talks about "...the dirty old man sitting next to her"
4. *Uncle Jerry says "...I don't know what to say ...hello and how are ya"
5. * Aunt Clara says "...how are ya darling"
6. Patricia and Joe with a Merry Christmas
7. * Aunt Paulina says "...how are you anyway"
8. Linda and Bill with a holiday Merry Christmas
9. Joe and Marie and a Merry Christmas
10. Bobby and John, Merry Christmas
11. Rose with a "gag reel" moment.
By the way, the song Smiles' final mix and mastering was done
and completed on September 11, 2011 - the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.
February 17, 2014: I'm so sorry to say that my cousin Rose Garland
(Rosie Carlo) has died. She had been battling with a variety of cancer for years and was
one of the most courageous and spiritual people I'd ever known.
From my Mom's family of brothers & sisters once numbering 19,
Rosie was the eldest of the Carlo cousins -- but she was never "old". It wasnt
until just a few years ago that she made me aware that I was the youngest of the cousins,
which somehow I never realized - but after all these years this revelation finally helped
me find a legitimate place in the family history book after usually being told how I was
"too young to remember" most of the family's "good time" tales.
Rosie and Tommy Garland lived next door to us when I was a kid. Tom,
a mild and friendly, smiling Irishman took on more than his fair share of family ribbing
having the "honor" of being the family's first "midi-gahn" (aka Irish)
- a role that, many years later, was passed onto my half-Irish wife by Rosie's brother,
and my Godfather, "Big Mike".
Rosie's daughter, Patricia (cousin Patri), although being a second
cousin, was around my age, and was my very first friend. A few years later when her sister
Linda was born we ocassionally allowed her to play with us, but it was our turn to remind
her that she was "much too young to remember...." ... lol...
Then one day The Garlands left and moved away to Jersey. For the
first time in my life, life had suddenly changed -- and although Rosie's Mom and Dad - my
Aunt Fanny and Uncle Johnny - remained behind awhile along with her brother Mike,
geography, as it sadly but usually does, made us lose touch.
Sure there was all of the ocassional "wakes and weddings"
in-touch's and in-between's. The welcoming of Joe and Bill as they joined hands with
Patricia and Linda. The blessed arrival of Rosie's Granddaughters, "the twins"
Amber and Ashley. The passing of the uncles, and aunts, and brothers and sisters and
Thankfully, regardless of geographical or mystical separation,
family keeps warm inside the heart, and if you're lucky, even later in, or beyond life you
get to rekindle that warmth more often.
My chance at more often came when Cousin Rosie called me one day and
told me that it was one of her life long dreams to record a song. I mean I recalled
hearing the sound of her voice through our kitchen window singing "Cape Cod"
when I was a kid, and we did have lots of deep rooted musical talent in our family, but I
never thought that she "really" sang.
I quickly put together some musical arangements and recorded the
instrumental tracks to the 1936 Charlie Chaplin song "Smile". I then enlisted
the vocal talents of my brother John and cousin Bobby. Then on August 6, 2011, the
families came together over my home and studio (of course first to eat) and the making the
magic of putting her dream together began.
A few days later as I worked on mixing and doing the post
production, I suddenly had a eureka moment! I asked my brother to come over right away. I
then used a different kind of magic to turn the song into a duet between Rosie and my
When cousin Rosie finally received the CD's, not only was she happy
to have a life long dream fulfilled, but she was amazed and thrilled, and happily
surprised to tears.
Now, a little over a year after the passing of my own brother John,
sadly for us, Cousin Rose Garland gets the opportunity in the beyond life, to rekindle
that family warmth with my brother and her husband Tommy, and her Mom and Dad, and her
many other family and friends. But we'll never forget her legacy of spirit and courage and
how she truly believed that "although a tear may be ever so near and though there are
clouds in the sky, you'll get by if you .... just ..... smile"
As for myself, and after a long career with music, till this day the
"Smile sessions" are the most fulfilling moments of my entire musical life.
God bless cousin, and we'll "keep the faith and we'll keep on
trying ... and when we remember you, we'll just smile"