Remembering the life and death of Rocco F. Gaeta, born on May 27, 1941 and left this earth on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Despite his various health complications, he continually maintained strength and courage throughout his life. If you graced his presence you would not know by his smile, conversations, and the way he lit up a room, he was in pain. In the end he died of heart failure peacefully in his home with his wife Camille Gaeta and family. Our family had 18 additional years with Rocco due to the selfless kidney transplant donated by his daughter Karla, his kidney remained strong, and truly was a blessing.
Rocco was born in Newark, NJ and lived "down neck" with his parents Rocco Sr & Christine
(nee Tamburro), and brother Robert Gaeta, and then moved to the suburb of Bloomfield NJ where he began to share his voice with the world. His father, Rocco Sr, died at a very young age. Christine his mom, then married Peter Confolone, who had 2 boys Peter & Alan Confolone.
Rocco AKA, Rick Randell's passion for song writing and his musical talent was recognized by many at an early age. His parents bought him a guitar when he was 9 years old. He hit the music scene with first band called "The Rockers." They played many Rock N Roll sock hops at Daley's Meadowbrook, Cedar Grove, NJ on Saturdays for 2000 screaming teens. The owners of ARC Records heard them, and signed them to their label. They recorded "That Day b/w "I'm hurt” in 1959. They were on the on Alan Freed radio show, which was the number one show at that time. This is when "The Rockers" became known as "Rick and the Rockers".
People from ABC Paramount were interested from his first recording with ARC, where they eventually became Rick & The Randell's and recorded "Let It Be You" b/w "Honey Doll" ...... he was on American Bandstand, and has stories of working with many great legends. In 1960 ABC dropped the group and kept Rick Randell, where he recorded for APT records, a subsidiary of ABC Paramount. Rick Randell later recorded for several other major labels, Decca, United Artist and Reprise. Throughout the 70s, he sang under "Just Us", "Silky & Sage", with Denise Feri, and back up for Tommy DeVito of the Four Seasons. In the 1980s he sang with "The Cameos" where they proudly performed at Carnegie Hall. His pitch perfect ear, beautiful voice, and many talents will be remembered by many, and missed mostly by his wife and family.
Rocco is survived by his wife Camille (nee Gonzalez) who loved him unconditionally for 25+ years, daughters Marcia Tarnoff and husband Len, Karla Post and her husband Roger, brother Robert Gaeta and family of Louisville KY, Peter and Alan Confalone, and his greatest legacy, his 3 Grandsons
Trevor Leonard, Jake Rocco, and Chase Christopher, where he is simply known as POP POP. He is also loved by many nieces and nephews who affectionately call him UNCLE RICK. He is rich in friends and family that would describe him as one who made everyone in the room feel special. xxooooo
In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to www.hackensackumc.org
Include Kidney Transplant Fund in the memo. "Rocco Gaeta" . Mailing Address is 160 Essex Street, suite 101 Lodi, NJ 07644