Super Bowl LV: I’m in Love with Tampa…

I Remember Tampa…and she remembers me!

I recently completed a rewrite of “I Remember Tampa”, which I began working on earlier in the year. I wanted to create a keepsake for everyone who visits during Super Bowl LV. The original version of the song addresses a love for Tampa from the perspective of someone who has either grown up here, or has spent a substantial amount of time here, and laments the changes that have occurred, idealizing the past…longing for qa Tampa that no longer exists. The “new” version is more “for the moment”…written from the perspective of someone who visited Tampa, and fell in love with the city, the way she is right now. Gone from the refrain is “I’m a Tampa Native”, and in its place, “I’m in love with Tampa.” It addresses the visitor’s desire to keep coming back…frequently. The pics speak for themselves, describing why Tampa is so appealing…so lovable.  They were all downloaded from VisitTampaBay.com. I also used some video that a friend of mine shot a few years ago. As a matter of fact, it was the year that the Republican National Convention was held here, so you will see a short clip that references it. I uploaded several versions of the song, with varying lyrical ideas. They are all available on the I Remember Tampa YouTube channel I created. 

“This love affair was meant grow, this endless bound, now, don’t you know.” 

I’ve written many songs, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. It’s the greatest gift that I can give back to Tampa for all the special moments and memories she’s given me.

I Remember Tampa

Available online at…

Amazon Music: https://www.amazon.com/I-Remember-Tam…

YouTube: https://youtu.be/W9tmi7chtpw

ITunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/bal…

Pandora: https://pandora.app.link/7Rm1jY6DS7

Credits

Written and Recorded by Mike Baluja

Executive Producer: William Epps

Creative Director: Mario Nuñez

Recorded and Produced at Paris Recording Studio

Owner and Sound Engineer: Eric Maldonado

Arranger and Bass Guitar: Kevin Pagan

Drums/Percussion: Luis Alicea

Trumpets: Luis Chafalote

Piano: Yassel Pupo Alonso

Guitar: Levi Lopez

Lead Vocal: Mike Baluja

Back Up Vocals: Mario Nuñez

The 2018 Remix

20130525-065308.jpg

It’s been quite some time since I blogged anything, so in an effort to reaclimate myself with the process, I will write something short and sweet about my newest remix and pictorial video of I Remember Tampa, featuring alternate images memorable places and people from this city’s past. All pics were downloaded from the Tampa Natives Facebook page, but they probably originated from varied individual posts. Hopefully, you will enjoy this upbeat version of the song.

 

I Remember Tampa: Thanks for Listening, Thanks For Sharing

970 WFLA AM Tampa Bay 5/23/13 Reblog

I’d like to thank 970 WFLA’s AM Tampa Bay and their crew, Jack Harris, Tedd Webb, and Corey Dylan for reblogging I Remember Tampa yesterday. It was in May of last year that I originally posted the video on YouTube. In early June, it started skyrocketing in views after Jack mentioned it on his morning show and posted it on his blog. Since that time, it has been seen over 24,000 times, and that number has been steadily climbing every month. I’d also like to thank Dan Perez for posting it and identifying the sources of all the pictures on his wonderful Tampapix website, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this month. And, of course, I’d like to thank The Tampa Natives Show and its hosts, Mario Núñez, Sally Núñez, and Steve Cannella for inspiring the song through their efforts in preserving Tampa’s rich history, and for believing in my work enough to embrace I Remember Tampa as the show’s theme song. Last but not least, I’d like to thank all the fans and followers of these programs and sites for taking the time to view, comment on, and share the video. I know all this activity stems from our mutual love for this city. Something tells me that this video has only scratched the surface of potential views, and that as long as it remains archived throughout the web, future generations will gravitate towards it and keep coming back when they want to reminisce about the experiences here in Tampa.

20130525-065938.jpg

20130525-070110.jpg

20130525-070137.jpg

Tampa’s Daily Double

http://www.tampanativesshow.com
http://www.tampapix.com
http://www.iremembertampa.com

20130120-225849.jpg

20130120-225859.jpg

I Remember Gasparilla

http://www.iremembertampa.com/

I Remember The Florida State Fair

I Remember The Florida State Fair

http://www.iremembertampa.com/

The Test of Time

The Best of the Best

No greater group of servers ever graced this universe.

Pictured here is one of the greatest assembly of servers in the history of fine dining. I’ve often compared this picture to that of an elite professional baseball team from the past. It has all the essential characteristics (including a few members of legendary stature) that you might find in one of those classic team shots on an old baseball card or in a collectible program guide.  Tonight, one of those legends, Joe Roman, joins many of his former teammates, including my father, Miguel, at that big 5 Star Restaurant in the sky. Joe was a true Hall of Famer, not only in the service industry, but as a husband, a father, and a friend as well. He will be remembered by many as the singing waiter and Ambassador at Tampa’s historic Columbia Restaurant. But I will always remember him as a warm, loving godfather, who did his best to make me feel special whenever he’d see me.  Coincidentally, his passing comes right before the holidays. Back in my younger years,  the December 24th gatherings at his home in Ybor taught me my first lessons on what it meant to revere Christmas and Family. God bless you, Joe, and may your soul rest in everlasting peace.

Young Joe

Honorary Ambassador at the world famous Columbia Restaurant

Tampa Pix: A Virtual Landmark

20121109-202229.jpg

Tampa Pix: A Virtual Landmark

Dan Perez has assembled and documented a wealth of information about the city of Tampa, and has made that information accessible through his very colorful Tampapix.com website. There you will find an endless stream of photos depicting life as it is and was in nearly every community that makes up this great city. You’ll find yourself being thoroughly captivated, entertained, and amused by the stories and pictures he’s posted. Stop by today, and browse through this amazing labor of love. It’s a virtual landmark that you’re sure to visit time and time again.

20121109-203055.jpg20121109-203448.jpg

Downtown Tampa …

ImageDowntown Tampa through the eyes of Cherie Diez…Click on this beautiful photo to see images of Tampa’s past and to hear the Tampa Natives Show theme song, I Remember Tampa.

The Tampa Natives Show: A Cult Classic in the Making

TNS Photo

Mario, Sally, and Steve

For the past 3 years, Tampa has been the beneficiary of a unique television experience specifically designed to celebrate and preserve the city’s colorful past. Each week, The Tampa Natives Show comes into the homes of thousands of viewers, in the form of a live broadcast that features rare pictures and/or video footage pertaining to carefully selected topics that appeal to those who were either born in Tampa or who have lived here long enough to call this city Home. For the most part, these topics lead fans through an invigorating trip down memory lane–one that leaves them feeling spiritually renewed by the end of what is affectionately referred to as “the fastest 60 minutes in cable braodcast history.”  The show’s hosts are Mario Núñez, “Tampa” Steve Cannella, and  Sally Núñez, aka, The 15 Minute Girl. With the aid of their phone correspondent, “Hello Dory” Antinori, they invite viewers to call in and reflect on the topic of the hour.  You never know who will call: from Olympic Gold Medalist Brooke Bennett to legendary meteorologist Roy Leep…even Mayor Bob Buckhorn has chimed in to praise the show’s efforts. Some of the show’s more memorable moments have featured special guests, such as former pro baseball player and manager Lou Piniella, former wrestling champion Mike Graham, and  author John Cinchett. What’s more, if you happen to miss the show, or you just want to see an episode again, you can visit TNS’s website at www.tampanativesshow.com and browse through their archives. There you will find nearly every installment that’s aired since day one.  It’s a wonderfully addicting experience and one that seems to be gaining momentum with each passing season. The Tampa Natives Show can be seen live, every Thusday night, at 7:00 p.m., on Brighthouse 950, Verizon 30, Comcast 20, or on the web, at TBCN.org (click “Watch Us”).  To get an idea of what the show is all about, watch the video of their popular theme song,  I Remember Tampa.