Friday, August 11, 2006
a lovely message

Hi Naomi, just wanted to send a little note--my daughter Teela saw the photo you posted of yourself and Nat and Daddy at the recording session and sent it along to me today; what a delightful surprise! I remember being at one of those sessions; decked out in my "frock" and bonnet and gloves. How quickly those days passed by; I see you're still friends with Ken Welch; I was too young to remember him, but I DO remember his name.Hope all is well with you: I hope you get this post (I've never used a "blog" before!) And HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!! Maria

The Internet is the most amazing place. I recieved this comment on one of my posts about my Birthday Rememberences just the other day...Maria is the little girl in the photo at the recording session she refers to in her message to me. Dear dear Maria. My wonderful voice teacher, Richard Camillucci's----then eight year old daughter---sitting on her step-mother's lap, though I think she always felt that the very sweet loving Barbara was more her real mother because her birth mother died of cancer when she was very very young.
Here it is----over fifty years later----Good Lord, how did that happen? And it is such a gift to hear from her, I cannot tell you.
Cami, as he was called, was such a very important part of my life, as was Barbara, too...and Cami's son---Maria's older brother, Dick. The record we were recording that day is this.... It was a kind of an R&B-R&R version of that old old song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" by Irving Berlin....It was, I think, a good record....but, it didn't do much of anything unfortunately....that's how it goes sometimes in the music wonders how many really terrific recordings only see or saw a little bit of the light-of-day because of all sorts of reasons....most of them having very little to do with how good a recording actually is or was.

The people in that first photograph are, from left to right, Nat Jones, (A wonderful accompinist and good friend who died much to young of a brain tumor and the 'Nat' Maria is referring to...), then me, then a young woman who I didn't know...she was with another terrific accompanist--Eddie Swanston--known as Swan, (not in this picture), and next to her is Barbara's mother who was visiting from England where she lived and where Barbara was born, then the aforementioned Barbara and Maria on her lap, and I believe the last two people were Eddie Camillucci, Cami's brother, and his wife. This was a family affair in almost every way. Cami's son was a part of this recording because Cami and Dick and I believe Eddie, too, had started this record company. Here, below is another photo taken that day... This was New York City so there were some fantastic musicians on this recording...I wish I could remember all of their names...but, time has dimmed the memory on that...those that stand out clearly are Swan, at the piano--an amazing pianist...and that very tall good looking young man in the center was Gino Telli....he was recording his songs that day, too...he sure was a knock-out looking guy, but was, I'm afraid a bit of a jerk. He found out by going to these Record Hop thingy's that the girls just tore his clothes off weather he sang or not and so he realized he didn't really even have to sing; all he had to do was just show up! So, consequently he didn't really work very hard on his singing. And behind that standing wall was Nat Jones, and though you cannot see me, I believe he was talking to me cause that's where the singer had to stand.

Above, is a picture of Maria's daddy, Cami....with, from left to right, the conductor, who's name I do not remember, Cami next to him, then the wonderful Nat Jones, and next to him, Cami's son Dick, and then me. Nat was explaining something important no doubt about the tempo of the song.

Here below is another shot taken that same afternoon, probably within a few minutes of the above shot, and there is the wonderful Cami next to me and then Nat Jones, next to him. The thing that was so amazing about what Cami did as a voice teacher was not so much his emphasis on the voice, but his emphasis on 'opening you up' emotionally...filling that voice with some real feelings...that was, I think, his great gift as a voice teacher. He was a very very special man. And I was lucky that he came into my life when he did. He was, for me, a wonderful father figure as well as my teacher and friend.

And here I am, once again, singing my little heart out. As Maria quickly those days passed by---indeed. how very quickly! It was another life...fifty years ago.
Gee, I hope that Maria or her daughter see this post and leave some kind of address so I can get in touch with them. It would be such a wonderful thing to talk to her, once again. The last time I saw her was in 1991, in Sarasota, Fla. when I had a show of my paintings at a gallery there and Barbara, who lives there, graciously gave a party for me on the Opening Night. It was a truly wonderful night and here is this one picture from that evening... This was taken at that party...there is Betty, who had come to Sarasota for the opening, me, my father's widow Olga, and the lovely lady that Betty was staying with in Sarasota, gone now, I'm sorry to say. I would so love to hear from any of the Camillucci family....

More To Come.....

Update: I am much better than I was and hopefully I will begin visiting as many people as I can tomorrow....I thank all of you soooo very much for your lovely and kind words of encouragement. Your concern truly warms my heart....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Another great set of memories and I'm so glad that you're feeling better, Naomi. :-)

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 3:18:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was thinking of you earlier today and wondering how you were doing! What an awesome story. I only wish we could actually hear that record! :)

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 3:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post and memories, Naomi. I enjoyed it so much. And yes, the Internet is indeed a very small world. What a great surprise for you to hear from Maria after all these years!
And I SO agree with you about records/voices. Unfortunately, it many times has little to do with the talent and some of the BEST talent never makes it to be exposed to the public.
I'm so glad you're feeling better! Stay well.

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 4:07:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful post. great memories... and that you have so many pictures and remember them with such detail, remarkable! I have to be careful when i start reading your posts though. After a couple of sentences, I'm hooked for the entire read.


Friday, August 11, 2006 at 4:26:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I saw your friend Betty on a rerun episode of Grey's Anatomy last night. It was actually one of the better episodes.

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 4:33:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Randy LV
had this to say:


Really enjoyed all the pictures and stories of your recording days. How fun to see and learn more about your life, hope you are feeling better -- am always enjoying "Here In The Hill" each time I log on.
Love you --

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 4:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi there Naomi, glad to hear you are feeling better :)

I love the black and white photos, they are fantastic.. the artist at work :)

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 5:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It is amazing how people catch up after years , blogging can be a good thing :)
So glad to hear you are feeling better, I was getting worried.

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh I am so happy you are better!
I've missed you!

Did you sing any of the songs in "Life Upon The Wicked Stage?".
They have MP3 on the net of it, the whole album, I listened to most of the songs. They are awesome!

I had no idea how famous you are!
You have such a wonderful life. Oh the stories you can tell us! I love listening to tales of back in the day. I'd wear my grandma out asking her to tell me. Now my mom.

She is such a beautiful little girl! I have pic's of me in almost the same outfit. One reason I joined the red hats was so I'd have an excuse to wear hat's and gloves again. There not all gaudy. I have some quite beautiful ones. It's so fun to dress up again!

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 5:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi.. really glad you are better, it's the pitts to be sick.

I love, love, love the 50 yr old pics!! I know the feeling of "where did the time go?"..unreal how fast it's there and then gone!

really like the shot of you singing!!

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 6:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Always great memories, and what great photos! I love the one in the studio. Those musicians in the background, and Nat talking to "someone" behind the screen. What a pleasure!

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 7:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So glad to hear you're feeling better. Seems like it takes longer to bounce back these days doesn't it? I know it's that way for me.
My computer has been sick too. It's been working about 15% of the time---and most of the other 85% of the time Blogger is down!

Your post today was wonderful. I always feel so transported by your stories and photos.
PS I'd still LOVE to hear you sing!
Take care of your sweet self and give my best to George and the other children.

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better!

How incredible that Maria came across your blog like that.

I saw Betty on Grey's Anatomy last night and thought of you!

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 10:08:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am glad you are better, Naomi. Isn't it wonderful how people can find us on the web? I do hope she will contact you again. I love all the photos here, plus the one at the bottom is so colorful!! You all look like peacocks in that one - beautiful!

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 10:41:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How nice to get such a wonderful message!! I hope they will get in touch with you again and possibly she/they will!! How exciting! Great memories. I would love to hear that record too. I'll bet you were great!

So glad you are feeling more perky. You have us spoiled with your great posts, as you can see how many people comment on how much they have missed you!! You are a blogging "Star" all the way!!! :) Gee....I wonder if blogger gives Emmie's.....if so I know you would get one! I'd vote for you.

Friday, August 11, 2006 at 11:36:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I so enjoy reading your posts. It takes me away from my troubles for a bit. How exciting to hear from Maria! Hopefully she'll get in contact with you once again. Please, tell us more stories!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 1:13:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great story. The Internet is wonderful isn't it?

SO glad you're feeling better!

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 2:14:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous MaryLou/TX
had this to say:

You are an example of a true star.
I doubt that those in the business today will ever be able to post the quality of memories that you hold in your heart and share with your blogging audience. In a world that doesn't seem to appreciate true class and art, you are a treasure to those of us who still value those things. It is a "breath of fresh air" to read your blog. And,it is one of the highlights of my morning. Bouquets of roses to you dear LADY.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 7:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

1st, I'm glad you're feeling a lot better. 2nd, You have great pictures and great memories to share too. 3rd, I'm sure you have a lovely voice. Is there anyway we can hear your voice?
Just stopping by to see how you are.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 7:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm so glad that you're feeling better!

Thanks for another interesting post :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 8:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Another lovely message was hearing from you yesterday! I just got my post about it up. Keep on feeling better!

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 9:38:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Glad you're feeling better and back to blog reading.

I love reading about your memories and experiences and the photos are the icing on the cake!

I wish there was some way to make a digital copy of some of your recordings.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 9:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, you have to figure out a way to include audio clips on your blog—maybe I can help even though I don't know how yet! I'm dying to hear your version of that song, I hope I can hear it next time we're over. I'm still haunted by that one record of yours you played for us and I want to get it into my iPod so I can listen to it over and over again. Your readers need to hear your beautiful voice!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 11:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm with Danny - I wish we could hear your beautiful voice, honey :-)

Glad you're feeling better too - we worry about you, you know [hug]


Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 2:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Superb post - a delight to read.

I've been browsing backwards today also, to catch up on your last few posts.

Best regards,

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 4:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Great photos and stories!

Here from Michele's.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 10:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:


Very sorry to hear you weren't up to snuff. Glad to hear you're on the upswing. Another enjoyable post. Those photos are fantastic. WOW - what fun that must've been. Another world indeed.



Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 11:04:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

One thing I admire about you is that you always look on the bright side. Your memories of people are positive ones, at least the memories you speak of.
Thanks for taking us on that trip back in time, with you. I'll probably call this week if you're feeling okay.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 11:06:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Ivy
had this to say:

Its so neat that after all this time she found you! What a great story!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 12:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

wow! imagine finding someone the way she did you! lovely post, naomi! ;)

Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 7:35:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous the fat lady
had this to say:

Mae West had it right--"goodness has nothing to do with it"! Especially true in our industry, where so many outside factors impact the promotion and distribution of mterial and artists.

Happily, the "weather" you were "under" was a sprinkle rather than a downpour!

Viva the internet! It is the greatest instrument of intellectual exchange to date--let's make sure the greedy and the mean-spirited don't change all that!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006 at 8:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

It's not fun to be feeling badly. I'm glad you're feeling better. What a wonderful, wonderful message you received. It makes it worth it to have stuck it out when there were jerks messing with you, doesn't it? :)

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 12:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Eesh, that was me, by the way, not my husband. Sorry.

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 12:10:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

HI Naomi:
I'm Maria's daughter, Teela, and was so thrilled to see the pictures of grandpa Richard, mom, and Uncle Dick. I am a bit of a family history buff and the Italian side of my family's history can be difficult to trace since there arent any elders to talk to. Thank you for the comments about Richards teaching style! Thats' the stuff I cant extract from a picture and the information that gets lost in time. I remember being at your show in Sarasota, and my mom had your print hanging on the wall by her piano when I was young :).

My mother's email is

She is close to Dick, and am sure she will be printing out your blog post to show to him.

Thanks again, was great to see the record, and those shots of my grandfather at work.

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 7:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love how you make history so personal, Naomi. These are real people with real lives, and that comes through inyour words and images.

I've been away for a bit. Clearly, I have so much to catch up on. I'd better get reading...

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love that photo... not just because you all look you're having a good time, but because your clothes are a riot of color and style, and to me, that just says, 4 people who know how to have fun. :)


Monday, August 14, 2006 at 7:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I came across these wonderful pictures and commentary while looking for an old friend. My name is Teri Heiman and I am searching for Nat Jones Jr. I believe I spied him in one of these photos and would love to get in touch with him. I attending Lincoln Square Academy with him and am in the process of planning a reunion. PLEASE if I've come upon something here, email me at Thank you so much for anything you can do to help me find my old and dear friend.

Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 11:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:


My name is Sherry Kaye, now also a voice teacher in West Bloomfield, Michigan Cami was my teacher in the sixties and I also loved him dearly.

Write if you receive this.

Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 6:28:00 AM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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