Confucius said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
And really, who doesn’t like music? It triggers memories, calms your nerves, changes your mood, and scientists suggest that music can make you smarter. What’s more, upward of 28 million people in the United States play an instrument, according to statista.com — and odds are good that many of them have dreams of performing in front of a crowd.
So, fess up. If you’ve ever wanted to be a rock star, raise your hand.
Eli Lieb raised both arms when we asked our August 2016 cover boy about his journey to music stardom.
“Defying all the odds of being an independent musician has been tough,” he admits. “You’re basically told that you will never make it. To believe in yourself and not listen to anyone else’s opinion can be very challenging. You really have to be resourceful and figure out how to compete on a shoestring budget with people who have millions backing them. But this challenge can also be greatly satisfying if you actually do start to achieve significant success.”
Eli Lieb is an American pop singer and songwriter. Hailing from Fairfield, Iowa, he began his musical journey in New York City, where he started working on his songwriting and performing.
Lieb released a debut solo album in 2011 and was soon featured in US Weekly, Out, and other national publications.
When his father died in 2012, Lieb took a sabbatical and returned to Iowa. During this time of reflection and regrouping, Lieb began recording covers of songs that were popular and meaningful to him and releasing them on YouTube, where the videos soon picked up a natural, organic following.
With a growing fan base, Lieb once again turned to his own songwriting. In 2013, he went to Los Angeles to work with other writers for few weeks and further his career. The weeks-long trip turned into a relocation.
Since then, he has collaborated with artists, writers, and producers, including Adam Lambert, Cheyenne Jackson, Hey Violet, Laura Marano, Forever In Your Mind, John Feldmann, Simon Wilcox, Crystal Bowersox, and Stacy Jones. He was even featured in the 2014 Grammy Awards during the presentation of nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album.
In July 2013, Lieb released his original song “Young Love.” Music blog Idolator called it “an instantly catchy, uplifting pop/rock anthem that sounds like a cross between Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen.”
The song’s theme was a bit of an autobiographical story of a young man coming out as gay. The song and the video struck a chord with many people, thanks to its instantly catchy pop hook and the message of being proud of who you are. Within a year, Lieb’s “Young Love” garnered more than 2 million YouTube views.
Later that same year, Lieb was inspired to record a cover of Wrecking Ball after hearing it only once. He recorded an acoustic version with just his voice and a lap dulcimer. Within two hours of posting it online, it went viral and was promoted in social media by singers Lambert and Lucy Hale, and celebrities Rosie O’Donnell and Bob Harper. Lieb once again received immediate press support, appearing on CBS’ “The Insider” (formerly “omg! Insider”) twice, YouTube’s “What’s Trending,” and other shows. Lieb’s cover of “Wrecking Ball” reached a million views in under a week, and in less than a year, the video had been viewed more than 3 million times.
When Lieb was approached by the Leo Burnett advertising agency to write an original song for Allstate Insurance’s #OutHoldingHands campaign, he wrote a song called “Safe in My Hands” that accompanies an animated short film of the same name. Released in June 2014, the song and a dance remix are both available on allstate.com/lgbt. The feeling and message of the song got the attention of the producers of ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” where it was featured as the closing song for the second season finale.
With more than 30 million YouTube views, and verified status on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, his personal interaction and presence as an independent artist keep him moving forward.
Making more people aware of the silent, deadly disease of ovarian cancer is the mission for Rachel and Bob Gendelman — the daughter and husband of Sherri Gendelman, who died on November 22, 2014 after a 17-month battle with the cancer that annually kills about 14,000 women.
And on July 30, 2016 more than 500 people tuned out to support 2nd Sherri’s Walk by the Water, an event designed to raise funds that will help put an end to a disease that the American Cancer Association calls a silent killer.
“Our goal was to raise funds for the Sherri S. Gendelman Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research at Abington Hospital — Jefferson Health,” explains Rachel Gendelman, Sherri’s daughter who with her father Robert created the Fund and organized the Walk that was hosted by the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition this year.
Starting at 8am at Margate, NJ’s famous Lucy the Elephant museum, a sea of sweaty but determined supporters took a 2-mile walk down the beach to the pier that Sherri and her family strolled to for decades. By 10am, they raised $79,149.
Be Inkandescent: Rachel, let’s start with you. First of all, let’s tell the audience that you and I were childhood friends and I am so impressed with the work you have done creating your own remarkably successful video firm based in Philadelphia, BTK Communications Group. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Sherri. Take us back to the beginning of this organization. How did it come to fruition?
Barbara Tarlow Radler: Bob and Rachel told me they had an idea to start a fund to raise money for clinical trials at Abington hospital – and help provide access to patients who couldn’t afford care.
Be Inkandescent: You must have been devastated by her loss. It’s so awful when our parents and grandparents pass, but to have a friend die must have been a blow beyond belief. Share some of that with our viewers, who may have struggled with similar grief.
Barbara Tarlow Radler: It’s definitely a process. And a year and a half later, I still can’t believe this happened. Sherri was my healthy friend who went to the gym every day. She was the best listener, never judged and always made me feel like family. I remember going out for lunch with Bob several months after Sherri passed and here I was thinking I should be cheering him up – and he said – man – you’re depressing. He actually gave me his grief counseling papers and made me read up on them… and made me take the thousand pictures I had of her in my office and downsize to my 2 favorites… one day at a time. Now when I get my signals from her, I smile and think of the memories we shared. Yes, I still have my rough moments – and this is one of them… but I get a warm feeling in my heart, instead of that sick empty feeling every time I think of her.
Be Inkandescent: What I think is truly a testimony to Sherri is how you all banned together, gathered your personal strengths, and curated this event. Was the first one tough to create?
Barbara Tarlow Radler: Actually, the first event we were on a mission… we had no idea what we were doing – and we just jumped in. I knew I could produce a video to tell our story, but it was really Rachel, Bob and Sue with the vision of the event – and actually fundraising – I just tried to help where I could.
Be Inkandescent: So how did the second event, on June 30, 2016, come to fruition?
Barbara Tarlow Radler: The second event was trickier. We all knew how hard the first event was… and we were all starting to heal a little bit, and the thought of doing it again felt very overwhelming… but I called Rachel and I said – look, I understand if it’s too much – it feel overwhelming to me and your dad, and Sue and our friend Lori… we all were worried it would be too much… but whatever you decide, I am here to support you. And Rachel said – I know it will be hard, but I want to do this…. And here we are.
Be Inkandescent: That brings us to you, Rachel. You are clearly a powerhouse when it comes to making things happen. Tell our viewers a little about yourself — what you do for a living — and what you learned from your Mom.
Be Inkandescent: All the mothers watching know that your Mom is insanely proud of you. Does this event keep you closer to her? I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to move on from this loss. How are you doing?
Be Inkandescent: So tell us more about the 2nd annual walk. What are your hopes and goals from this year’s event?
Be Inkandescent: Do you hope to host a 3rd event next year? If so, what are your goals and expectations for that one?
Be Inkandescent: Now let’s loop in your dad, Bob Gendelman. Bob, you are a successful businessman so tell us about the return on investment with these events. From your entrepreneurial perspective, what have you learned? And what would you have done differently knowing what you now know about creating a cancer fund, and hosting events like this one?
Be Inkandescent: And I have to say to you, of course, how sorry I am for your loss. How are you coping? Does this walk help?
Bob Gendelman: It’s two years later and I sometimes wake up in the morning and I can’t believe this has happened. I try to keep myself busy and be there for Rachel the best I can. I try to be both the best dad and mom I can be for her, but knowing how close Sherri and Rachel were, that’s tough. So this Walk event for me is mixed; it definitely stirs up emotions that I’m trying to deal with, but I’ll tell you, the high point was on what would have been Sherri’s 60th birthday, which was a really hard day — and, it was the day the fundraising for the Walk passed the $60,000 mark. I know everyone involved in the planning of this had the chills when that happened. What truly touches us is the outpouring of support. Sherri was worried people would forget, so when hundreds of people signed up and supported our cause in Sherri’s name, it does lift you up.
Be Inkandescent: Now let’s turn the discussion to Sue Epstein, who was a good friend of Sherri’s and took the lead on getting sponsors, as she had the most actual fundraising experience in the group – and also had the most friends in common with Sherri between their high school class, Zumba and the shore. What kinds of things are important when fundraising, in general?
Sue Epstein: I always feel when people give to fundraising that people give to people, I think sometimes even more than cause – although it helps knowing that it’s good cause… and knowing the person who this is in memory or honor of, makes it easier… The people I reached out to knew this was personal to me, and they knew Sherri and that helped. When they turn you down just keep a smile on your face and don’t accept no for an answer – and eventually they will support your cause.
Be Inkandescent: What happened when you started reaching out to people to be sponsors for the 1st Walk? What was your strategy and what did you learn?
Sue Epstein: I knew I would do anything for Rachel, so of course I volunteered to be on the core planning team with Bob and Barbara. And I thought I would just do what I do and reach out to everyone I know. I also know that can be challenging because everyone has their own causes, and it can be awkward to ask people for money… but with all of my years working on fundraisers, I never had such an easy time raising money and finding sponsors. I think it was because to know Sherri was to love Sherri and people just wanted to be a part of it and support our cause in her name.
Be Inkandescent: What was the 2nd year like for you? Was it harder? What advice would you have for other people trying to start a fund or hold an event?
Sue Epstein: Yes, it was harder the 2nd year. In my opinion the first year is the easiest because you strike when the iron is hot – especially when it’s in memory of someone who passes, everyone is mourning and remembering and they jump to give. The second year, people may not be as apt to give as much as they did initially because they have gotten busy with their lives. So you have to be persistent, and eventually they will get back on board. But it’s definitely harder as time goes on.
It’s also important that they believe in the cause – and knowing that Ovarian Cancer can touch so many women and their families means so much to so many. And in this case, I think it helped that a nice portion of the money stayed local… our local people loved that.
Be Inkandescent: Vanda Soldati, let’s turn to you. You are a representative from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition who is working on the 2016 walk with Sherri’s team. Tell us about the statistics.
Vanda Soldati: The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, more than 21,000 women in the U.S. received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and at least 14,000 U.S. women died from it. In fact, ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 75. Her lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 100.
Be Inkandescent: From your perspective, why is ovarian cancer still such a problem for so many women?
Be Inkandescent: So, in addition to events like this, what is being done to cure this disease? Do you see a cure on the horizon?
Be Inkandescent: What do you want all of our readers, listeners, and viewers to know about the work you are doing? And what can everyone do to help?
Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”
Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”
Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”
Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop
The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”
Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”
Ripeness is all.”
Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”
He who knows he has enough is rich.”
Tao Te Ching
But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”
Booker T. Washington
Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”
The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice
The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”
Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies
Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”
Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”
Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone
Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”
Author, Activist Lee Woodruff
Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”
The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”
Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”
There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer
If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”
The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”
Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame
Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott
I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”
Kathleen Jo Ryan
Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”
Madam C.J. Walker
You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”
A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.
Carl von Clausewitz, On War
By your stumbling the world is perfected.”
Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.”
There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”
Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”
The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”
Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"
We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”
Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”
To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”
Edward Bulwer Lytton
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”
You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”
To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.”
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”
Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”
Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
“There’s no such thing as having too much fun,” insists author, singer, and entrepreneur Kathi Kamen Goldmark — the woman who in 1991 founded the infamous writer rock band, the Rock Bottom Remainders. “Fun is good for you. So get out there and start playing.”
Tiffany Miranda’s Girls Make Beats empowers girls 7 and up to make it in the music industry by exposing them to DJs, producers, and audio engineers at seminars, summer camp, and networking events. Go Tiffany!
David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation is proud to release the official music video for its new project, Grateful American™ Kids: “Grateful American™ Kids Rock!,” which stars 30 students from The Steward School in Richmond, VA.