Written by Meghan Von Elm, email@example.com Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Music has always been a part of Hicksville resident Ronnie D’Addario’s life. Born and raised in the Theater District of Manhattan, D’Addario grew up surrounded by music, as his father played the saxophone and horns for The Four Seasons and Frank Sinatra and his mother was a talented piano player and singer.
“But on Feb. 9, 1964, everything changed,” said D’Addario. “I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and that was it. Music became my passion then.”
That summer, his mother bought him his first guitar – and he became obsessed. He started writing and recording songs immediately. He wrote his first song “Please Don’t Make Me Blue” at just 11. This marked the beginning of his long and successful musical career, one in which he crossed paths with many notable names in the entertainment industry.
“The first famous person that I knew pretty well was the director and actor Otto Preminger,” D’Addario reminisced. “My mom worked for him for 25 years and there were always celebrities in and out of the office.”
He met many musicians while playing with Clancy Brothers member Tommy Makem at Makem’s New York City club, Makem’s Irish Pavilion. Among these musicians were Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Bono and Eric Clapton. D’Addario also played with Tommy Makem on PBS Television specials and made an appearance with him on the Rosie O’Donnell Show.
About 10 years ago, D’Addario moved to Hicksville, where he now lives with his wife, Susan Hall, and their two children, Brian, 15, and Michael, 13. D’Addario’s success as a musician and Susan’s history as an actress sparked their son’s involvement in music and acting. Brian has been successful on Broadway, playing roles such as Gavroche in “Les Misérables” and Flounder in “The Little Mermaid.” Michael starred in the feature films “People Like Us” and “Sinister.”
In addition to acting, D’Addario’s sons are heavily passionate for music, showing talent both instrumentally and vocally.
“Their resumes are pretty impressive,” said D’Addario. “My wife and I are very supportive.”
D’Addario now works at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, where he has applied his skills as a musician and recording artist for the past decade. The high school releases two musical albums each academic year, and it is D’Addario’s job to guide students musically and lyrically. He then produces recordings of the songs and puts them on the albums.
“[The students] are thrilled with the results,” said D’Addario. “They gain experience and confidence, and they enjoy their first time in a recording studio.”
Although he’s busy raising his family and working at Kellenberg, D’Addario continues to share his music with others. He is a member of a successful local Irish band called The Irish Mist, with which he plays many gigs at various local restaurants and pubs. D’Addario also has three albums that are for sale online and he is currently halfway through writing his fourth album.
And though the times may be a-changing, D’Addario doesn’t seem too fazed.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing – raising my children, writing songs and playing gigs,” he said.