Union City has an official song.
The song, “Union City,” composed by Mike Boldt and Phil Gallo, was adopted by resolution as the city’s official song at the Board of Commissioners meeting last Wednesday. A recording of the tune was performed by the group Dez Manku, which features both Boldt and Gallo. An accompanying music video was produced and edited by Mauro De Trizio for Action Productions.
The guitar-driven rock song’s lyrics reference familiar landmarks and places in the municipality and the You Tube video makes use of old and new images of the town.
The commissioners said the song, with its positive and nostalgic message, along with the music video, represents the city, its people and its history in a way that instills local pride.
The group Dez Manku is the creation of Boldt and Gallo. Their first musical endeavor goes back to 1998 when they both worked on the music score for the film, “West New York” directed by Phil Gallo. That feature starred Frank Vincent and Vincent Pastore, veteran actors from Martin Scorcese’s “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos.” Boldt and Gallo connected musically again in 2005 for the score of “Mattie Fresno and the Holoflux Universe.”
Throughout both projects they kept discussing writing and performing together in a non-film genre. Shortly after “Mattie…” they decided to finally begin composing, then recording a collection of songs.
The recording, tentatively titled “The Mike Phil Project”, began to take shape. After about seven months of work, the album was completed. They decided to name the group Dez Manku and the collection became “Fear and Love.”
They have released three more albums since then, “Welcome to the Big Time,” “A Real World of Make Believe” and “Lords of the Zone.”
From film scores to CDs
Gallo, formerly a resident of Weehawken, has recorded numerous soundtracks, including the feature film, “Mother’s Day” with Clem Vicari. This collaboration operated under the name “Sleight of Hand” which eventually led to other soundtrack projects including a few parody commercials for “Saturday Night Live.”
Boldt, who was born and raised in Union City, has written songs that have appeared on Columbia and Capitol Records and has recorded three solo albums, “James Bond and Beyond,” “Tribute to John Wayne’s The Alamo” and “Victory or Death.” He won a Telly Award for Best Music Score for the DVD “At the Alamo.”
In naming “Union City” the city’s official song, the city continues its commitment to revitalizing the arts. In recent years, the city has named an Art Curator, Poet Laureate, City Historian, and formed both a Union City Artist Collective and a Historical Committee.
In addition, the City has opened an Art Museum and a Historical Museum; a Historical Marker program; and various plazas celebrating the arts and Union City’s rich history.
“Union City” can be seen on You Tube and is available on iTunes.
By M. Boldt and P. Gallo
I was raised in UNION CITY, biggest little city in the USA
Deep in the streets you can hear the heart beat
And it stays with you every day
It stays with you every day
From Christina’s Pizzeria, over to Cottage Place
Down Central Ave, up to Monastery Place
There was the Roosevelt Theater, There was the Hudson Burlesque
Too many memories that always stand the test
If you went to Emerson High School or walked through Union Hill’s halls
Bergenline Avenue that just says it all
You had to have lunch at the 4 Star. Dairy Queen always was the best
Memories fade in our hearts we know the rest
We can’t name every place that we have been
Memories reside within us all
But raise our voices high as we begin
To sing our song