{My Story} “I’m recording my first solo album…at 53.”

As a teen, FOF Sheri Nadelman wished she could become a rock star. Most people would say, “dream on.” She did, and, in her 50s, turned that dream into a rockin’ reality.

[Editor’s note: The essay below, by FOF Sheri Nadelman, is part of a series of personal blogs from our readers. Have your own story to tell? Email your idea to geri@faboverfifty.com.]

Before the days of American Idol and YouTube, there was little hope that I, a chubby-but-nice-Jewish-girl-from-Brooklyn, would make it as a singer. My dad wanted me to go to college, and my mom wanted me to marry a doctor. My dream was to become a rock star.

When I was 12, my dad got me a guitar, which I learned to play by ear. I sang for anyone who would listen. For the longest time I thought my middle name was “shut up.” No one ever took me seriously, but the truth is that I had a good voice.

At age 19, I mustered up the courage to sing for renowned vocal coach Marty Lawrence, a close family friend. “You’ve definitely got something,” he said–in true Simon Cowell fashion. I started lessons, which eventually lead to a recording contract. The financing fell through, and the album never came to fruition. I was devastated.

I was faced with the choice of pursuing my music career or marrying my boyfriend. I could not do both because his med school training would require us to move frequently–not an ideal situation for a musician trying to make it big.

We married and moved to Hawaii and started a family. When I was three months pregnant, my mom died of a stroke–she was only 46. My daughter was born six months later.

Years later, we settled in Florida and tragedy struck once again, I lost both my dad and my brother. My dad lost a bitter battle to emphysema. My brother died at the age of 40 after complications from gastric bypass surgery. Adding to my grief was the demise of my marriage. It was such an emotional roller coaster, I couldn’t bring myself to pick up the guitar for years.

At 45, I got divorced–I felt unhappy and unfulfilled. My daughter was getting ready to leave for college, and I worried I’d miss her terribly. A girlfriend and my daughter encouraged me to do an open mic night. I got involved in the local music scene and began performing solo at first and then with other musicians in an acoustic band. I never thought I’d marry again, but later that same year, I was swept away by a businessman with an extensive background in music.  He believed in me like no one had before.

At 53 years old, when most women my age are winding down, I am just beginning! I am in the midst of recording my long overdue solo album. I sing lead and play guitar in a popular Tampa Bay area cover band called soulRcoaster. Not only do I get to live my dream–singing everything from Etta James to Lady GaGa–I get to share it with my husband, who is now our soundman! “You can hear Sheri’s passion captured in every single note she sings,” Bud Snyder, a sound engineer for the Allman Brothers, once told me.  I guess I’m just a late bloomer.
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For the record (pun intended) I just wrapped up my album “Fate Steps In,” which will be be available on iTunes soon. You can visit her website for more information.

21 Responses to “{My Story} “I’m recording my first solo album…at 53.””

  1. Sheri Nadelman says:

    SO excited that the cd is now available!
    Information is on my website @ http://www.sheri.co

    You’re all invited to the CD Launch Party!

    SUnday, May 6th 5-9
    Aces Lounge
    Bradenton, FL

    details also on the website!
    Rock On!!!
    sheri

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    • Sheri Nadelman says:

      The response to the record has been so positive! I’m thrilled to tell you it is now available on iTunes!
      The title track ‘Fate Steps In’ is on of the tunes on every Delta Airlines in flight music selections throughout July/August!
      Thanks so much for everyone’s support!

      There IS ROCK & ROLL after 50!!!!!

      :O)
      sheri

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  2. Heidi Goldstein Goodhartz says:

    Sheri my old friend Sheri!
    What an amazing journey you have been on, many things beautiful and yet many sad.
    You never gave up on yourself and obviously very determined to succeed and find true happiness and inner peace. Wishing you all the luck in the world and enjoy everything that makes you happiest. Hoping one day to see you in Florida and enjoy some great times again!
    Love u,
    Heidi

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  3. Heidi n says:

    Sheri,
    It is wonderful to see dreams come true, but especially inspiring when it seemed too late by convental Socity standards.
    Thanks for breaking though the GREY CIELING! Or should I say, BOX!
    Best of luck in your proposful living life.

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  4. Terry Young says:

    I, too, always dreamed of singing professionally.I am 54, and thought my dream was in the dust, until I saw your article.I have only sung at church and in symphonies and operas, but I always have thought I missed my chance.I opted to stay home and raise children, and now I am raising grandchildren.I don’t regret this, EVER, but I do wonder what if….
    Thank you for your inspiration, and good luck.

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  5. Sheri Nadelman says:

    Truth be known, today is my birthday and I am now 54!
    It took me a long time to own that. Now the cat is out of the bag… you should see my Facebook Wall! Age, is truly only a number. I am grateful to be here- outliving my own mother who died at the age of 46, blessed to be doing what I felt I have always been meant to do, and humbled to be able to share my story. Thank you FOF once again!
    Perhaps this time next year I’ll have even more good news to share. Can anyone say Grammy?

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  6. casey04 says:

    Great story!! All the best to you!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

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    • Sheri Nadelman says:

      Thank you for your kind words!

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  7. Charlene Pepe-Woltin says:

    Sheri, you are truly a beautiful woman both inside and out. Your courage and perseverance has touched my heart. You are living proof that age truly is ‘only a number’ and it is what lies deep within our hearts that really counts. I am the same age as you, and always regretted not attending college ‘back in the day’. About five years ago, on impulse, I enrolled—attended, and four years later received my Bachelor’s. I am right there with you in believing that we all have dreams, and just how important it is to never give up on them. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story, and I wish you all the best! P.S. Anxious to check out your website 🙂

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    • Sheri Nadelman says:

      Thank you for your kind words! All I can say is that there are no rules any longer. Look at Madonna!
      YOU go girl!!!
      Best of luck to you!
      Rockin Regards,
      Sheri

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  8. Lisa D. says:

    Wow, this is great! Gives me more confidence to pursue my ideas & dreams at 51…I have many, now to put them into action. Thanks for sharing your story.

    REPLY
    • Sheri Nadelman says:

      Never say Never!!!
      Thank you!

      Rockin Regards!

      🙂
      sheri

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  9. Terry says:

    You are gorgeous!

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    • Sheri Nadelman says:

      Thank you kindly!

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  10. SLN says:

    Thank you kindly to the wonderful staff at FOF. I couldn’t wrap my head around being “over 50” but after being inspired by so many beautiful, amazing women, I decided to “own it” and share my own journey. I thank you all for giving me the platform to share my story. I hope I may inspire someone else to shed that cloak of nonsense we surround ourselves with called “age”. We are never too old!

    Rockin Regards!
    Sheri Nadelman

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  11. Sandy Finkelsyein says:

    An amazing article written by an even more amazing woman and friend, Sheri. I have been your greatest fan for 23 years and at last you’ve done what I KNEW was inside you all this time. I am so proud to have known you all through ups and downs and ins and outs. You are the Shana Madela I always knew would eventually get to the top. And most of all, I am proud to call you my friend. Love you lots, and yes, she is looking down and she knows. Love, Sandy

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    • SLN says:

      Thank you dear Sandy. It warms my heart to have you as my friend and your support means the world to me!

      XXOO,
      sher

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  12. Laura Corebello says:

    I was there back in the 80’s as you were dreaming of this moment. Hey, I took the photo of you and Ilana singing in my backyard! I always believed in you and was your biggest fan. You touched my life, my children’s lives and all the students who were so lucky to have you sing for them.

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    • SLN says:

      Dear Laura

      That photo is one of my favorites. You captured a moment that will always remain special for me on many levels.
      Everytime i sing “Crazy”, I think of you!!
      Thanks for your kind words!

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  13. LuAnne Trivelli says:

    I remember you back then. I was amazed that you could get up the courage to sing Stairway to Heaven at Mindy’s Sweet 16. Way to go. Good Luck, I am definitely following you.

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    • SLN says:

      LuAnne…. I’m blown away that you remember that!
      It’s a lifetime ago! Thanks for your good wishes!

      XXOO
      sher

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