I grew up in South Philly and formed a local band straight out of high school in 1965. We travelled up and down the east coast of the US, playing behind some of Philly’s top recording artists like The Intruders, The Delfonics and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes when they played live around the area.
My first big break came in the form of the position of session guitarist at the famous Cameo Parkway recording studios in Philly for hit songwriter/producer team, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
In the summer of 1968, I moved to Nevada to play with Las Vegas entertainer Freddie Bell at the Riviera Hotel. I got to open for comedians like Don Rickles, Pat Morita (Mister Miyagi from Karate Kid), and Norm Crosby.
While I was in Las Vegas, I formed the horn band Sound Foundation in late 1968. We became the house band at the famous afterhours nightclub, Pussycat Lounge. It was the go-to spot for the local musicians, entertainers and showgirls including some of the top headlining Las Vegas acts like, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr. and others.
Sound Foundation was discovered at the Pussycat Lounge in early 1969 by Tom Smothers who was performing in Las Vegas with his comedy team the Smothers Brothers. Tom offered the band a recording contract with his Beverly Hills record company, Smobro Records. The band was put on retainer and relocated to Hollywood to record an album. We found our footing in the Los Angeles nightclub circuit.
I was offered a road gig by Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of Frank Sinatra while playing on one of her sessions in the spring of 1969. Being a member of Sound Foundation, the offer was turned down. I was too loyal to my passion project and proud of what I had built.
In 1972, I formed the Los Angeles band Rockin’ Horse. We played local clubs, gained traction, and signed with RCA Records in 1975. We released an album that produced a Billboard top 10 Disco hit called “Love Do Me Right”.
In the fall of 1976, I got an amazing opportunity to play with Redbone, “Come and Get Your Love”. From there, my career caught fire. I played a few sessions with Stephen Stills of Crosby Stills and Nash in January 1977 and was offered a road gig to play guitar for his recording artist wife Veronique Sanson, but I didn’t take it. A month later, I would land the most meaningful gig of my career.
In February 1977, I was hired by Tina Turner at the start of her solo career after her 1976 split from former husband, Ike Turner. I acted as Tina’s guitarist and musical conductor from 1977 through 1981, touring internationally.
I produced the song “Hold On” co-written with Tina. It was released as a promotional single with “Are You Breaking My Heart” to support the 1980 Australia / New Zealand tour.
Tina recorded two of my songs, “Love Explosion” and “Music Keeps Me Dancin” on her 1979 “Love Explosion” Disco album.
It was during the time with Tina that my independent songwriting career started to take off, with 3 songs recorded by Rare Earth on two albums, songs recorded by Rita Coolidge, Booker T. Jones, Tina Turner and Taka Boom with her sister Chaka Kahn, performing the disco hit “Night Dancin”. That track was a Billboard R&B hit in 1979. Tina’s rhythm section played on “Night Dancin”.
1981-83, I signed a co-publishing/production deal with international music publisher Christian de Walden / de Walden Music International with offices at the Motown building in Hollywood. During the time with de Walden Music, I wrote and produced 100+ songs for US and international artists all over the world with Gold and Platinum albums in Latin American, Germany, Philippines and Australia.
In 1984, Macaluso Music Publishing was established and began working solely as an independent writer/publisher/producer enjoying Gold and Platinum albums with 2 Motown artists, writing “Slip of the Tongue” for The Commodores “Nightshift” album and writing “Out of Control” for Sam Harris who was the first Star Search television show winner in 1983.
I wrote and produced the song “Splash” in 1984 for the live Las Vegas main room show at the Rivera Hotel called Splash which was the top live show in Vegas and played for 22 years before closing in 2006.
“Animal Attraction” written for the 1985 movie, Heavenly Kid.
“Changes” and “Longshot” written/produced for 1985 film, Mugsy’s Girls starring Laura Branigan and Ruth Gordon.
Wrote and produced the love theme, “Let the Love Begin” for the 1986 skateboard movie, Thrashin’ starring Josh Brolin.
“If the Love Fits” written for the 1986 movie, The Malibu Bikini Shop.
“Longshot” performed by Irene Cara featured the 1986 comedy classic The Longshot.
John Farnham recorded “Thunder” for the 1986 movie Rad and the Rad Original Soundtrack Album.
“Thunder in Your Heart” was originally written in 1984 for Karate Kid and performed by Joe “Bean” Esposito. “Thunder” was on hold for the final fight scene but “You’re The Best” performed by Joe “Bean” Esposito made the final cut for the scene.
Farnham’s version of “Thunder” was to be the featured end title song for Rambo III but “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” covered by Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers made the final cut.
Produced a Stan Bush cover version of “Thunder” that was featured in the 2012 Australian commercial Carlton Draught “Beer Chase” winning the Golden Lions Award for Best Beer Commercial in the World at Cannes in 2012.
Stan’s cover version has been featured in numerous television/film/advertising/video games including, Family Guy, American Dad, The Goldbergs and FedEx and more.
“The Touch” was written in 1986 and recorded by Stan Bush on Scotti Brothers records and featured in Transformers: The Movie and Transformers Original Soundtrack album.
“The Touch” was released on Stan’s album and as a double-sided single with “Dare to be Stupid” by Weird Al Yancovic.
“The Touch” was featured in the 1997 film Boogie Nights and performed live in the film by the films star, Mark Wahlberg.
“The Touch” was featured in the 2018 Transformers reboot, Bumblebee.
“My Heart Has A Mind of its Own” recorded as a love duet by Kim Carnes and Jeffrey Osbourne was written for the 1987 Mel Brooks film, Spaceballs.
“You Can Count on Me” was co-written and performed by Greg Evigan as the theme song for the 1987-90 NBC sitcom, My Two Dads. Greg Evigan starred in the show along with Paul Reiser.
“Nightstick” was written for the 1987 movie, Rent-A-Cop starring Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli.
“Fire with Fire” performed by Joe “Bean Esposito was written for the 1987 movie, Steele Justice starring Martin Cove from Karate Kid.
“We Got Love” was written/produced as the theme song for the 1988 Disney movie, Splash Too which was the sequel to the Disney movie Splash, starring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah.
“Never Surrender” performed by Stan Bush was written for the 1989 film, Kickboxer starring Jean Claude Van Damme.
“Never Surrender” is featured in the 2019 film, Guns Akimbo, starring Daniel Radcliff.
“Finest Hour” was written for the 1991 movie, The Finest Hour starring Rob Lowe.