Dennis Marcellino

Dennis Marcellino
Dennis Marcellino
Background information
Birth name Dennis Joseph Marcellino
Born January 17, 1948(1948-01-17)
San Francisco, California, United States
Occupations Musician, Vocalist, Songwriter, Arranger, Author, Speaker, Engineer, Philosopher, Psychologist, Theologian
Instruments Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Bass

Dennis Marcellino (born January 17, 1948) is an American musician, speaker and author of psychology, philosophy, theology and political books. He has been a member of some famous music groups: The Tokens (famous for The Lion Sleeps Tonight), Sly & The Family Stone (named by MSNBC as one of the top 10 rock bands of all time),[1] The Elvin Bishop Group and Rubicon (who closed the largest paid-ticket single day event in history, Cal Jam II, 250,000 tickets sold, 350,000 attended).[2] He has also had a number of CD releases under his name, including an international bestselling jazz CD with Mark Stefani titled “An Evening To Remember” (currently released as “Tenderly”). He currently tours as a speaker, musician and does media appearances. He wrote and produced the documentary “Conclusive Proof Of God.”


Early life

Marcellino was born and raised in San Francisco and started out as a typical all-American boy, involved in the Boy Scouts and was the oldest of four children from a traditional Italian family. His grandfather bought him a clarinet, which he started playing at 8 years old. He fell so in love with it as an extension of his lifelong love of music that he began going door to door to play for people (and for tips) and played on the street corner in his neighborhood. Within 2 years he was touring all the elementary schools in San Francisco as a soloist. With the encouragement of his junior high teacher, John Arnaudo, he ended up being the first chair player of nearly every instrument in the school band, including clarinet, trombone, sousaphone, oboe, bassoon and cello in the school orchestra. He also continued as a featured clarinet soloist. Soon he was playing at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and in two Rose Bowl parades (1961 and 1962). Because of the changing tastes in popular music in America, in 1962 he switched to saxophone and became a vocalist/front man in his first rock band, The Spotliters, whom he worked with until 1965. That year he also got married the month after he graduated from Lowell High School (San Francisco).[3]


Assuming that music was not a stable, money-making career for a family man, he pursued a career in engineering. He was also being encouraged by teachers and counselors to go in that direction because he came in 2nd in a math contest that all students in San Francisco were required to enter, and he received the highest percentile scores on the SAT test in both English and Math. Subsequently Marcellino was offered a scholarship to study aerospace engineering at Auburn University in Huntsville, Alabama, where NASA and its first Director, Dr. Werner Von Braun were. As part of his internship in engineering, he worked as a junior engineer in the engineering department of the Bank of America world headquarters in San Francisco.[4]

But the next year birthed one of the biggest movements the United States has ever seen — the hippie movement. A social revolution was taking root in San Francisco and it drew him under its spell. Marcellino embraced the movement, allowing its tenets of “peace and love” to override his budding career in engineering.[5]

So Marcellino passed up the scholarship offer to pursue that which was drawing him into psychology, philosophy and spirituality, which included drawing him into a career in the music business because he recognized that music was a way to tap the inner depths of the human soul, which he was now totally fascinated with. He had been living a self-centered and materialistic lifestyle focusing on making money, having fun, following his impulses, and being successful by making it big in the world. But, this still left a certain emptiness inside. “The hippie movement made me feel there was something more important that I needed to know,” explains Marcellino. “I wanted to break with convention and make truth, wisdom, peace and love - as opposed to success, money, vanity and competition - the top priorities in my life.”[6]

This search held many highs and lows for Marcellino. He eventually became a member of some of the biggest bands of his time. Marcellino also fell into the drug use that was popular for those times, and especially in the music industry. But part of him still felt empty, which, after a break up, found him experiencing a lot of intense emotional pain (even at one point that made him decide to plan his suicide in 1980).[7]

Along the way he attempted to fill the void with 21 different approaches to lifestyle, truth, problem solving and personal growth, including most of the major and experimental forms of psychology, eastern religion, Utopianism, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, various new-age involvements, Scientology and secular-humanism. He finally found the deep fulfillment that he was looking for in Christianity in 1982.[8][9]

Between 1965 and 1989, Marcellino mixed his music career with time in college. He attended seven different colleges ... obtaining credits, certificates and degrees in a range of subjects, including engineering, psychology, philosophy, theology and business.

His current involvement is in an organization called T.R.U.E.,[10] tapping into his main passion, which is to spread God in the world ... but in an objective, scientifically-backed way.

Addiction recovery contribution

Marcellino made an advancement in the addiction recovery field by developing a successful program whose innovation was to challenge the currently popular "behavior modification" approach or seeing drug and alcohol abusers as “recovering alcoholics or drug users for life" ... seeing alcoholism as a disease. He says that a person can become a permanent "EX" addict or abuser. He cites his own personal recovery in 1982, saying now that alcohol and drugs are too harsh for his level of sensitivity and therefore not enjoyable.[11]

He has done many radio and television interviews on this topic,[12] speaks at colleges,[13] and authored three books: Sweeping It Under The Drug, Addiction Free Forever, and the Addiction Free Forever Workbook.[14]

Music history

Dennis Marcellino’s history in the music business has primarily been with him playing the sax, flute, guitar, and bass, as well as being a vocalist, composer and arranger. He is a former member of The Tokens, Sly & The Family Stone, The Elvin Bishop Group and Rubicon. With these groups he recorded 10 albums. As a solo artist he had the #1 selling cassette in the Northwest in 1992 & 1993 called "It's Christmas" and the following solo CD releases: "Daddy's Home", "New Beginning", “An Evening To Remember”, “Tenderly”, "The Spirit of Christmas" and “Onward & Upward”. His duo CD with Mark Stefani (now called "Tenderly") received a five star review in Jazzscene magazine and was an international bestseller. On the annual chart (1996) of popular mainstream jazz station WGMC in Rochester, it charted over all sax players, including Tom Scott, Sonny Rollins, Dave Koz, Stan Getz, Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G, etc.[15] Marcellino also held down #1 spots in the charts at, receiving over 350,000 downloads and listens.

His television credits as a "Special Guest Star" or guest include American Bandstand, Merv Griffin, Midnight Special, Cal Jam 2 Special, Truth Or Consequences, March Of Dimes Telethon, Throb, 2 On The Town, PBS special "Let's Rock Tonight", CNN Headline News, Showibiz Today, The Tracey Ullman Show (2 shows, including the sketch of the year), Living The Life (ABC Family Channel, CBN) and a number of Good Morning shows in various cities.

While living in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s, he accrued film credits as a producer, writer, arranger, musician and engineer in films that included Talia Shire, Vic Tayback, Ursula Andress, Marcello Mastroianni, Peter Ustinov, Nancy Kwan, Victor Buono, Donald Pleasance, John Carradine, Leslie Caron, Catherine Bach, and Michelle Phillips. He also sang the lead on 2 songs (including the opening) in "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1989) starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon.

His CDs have received many highly positive reviews, including these: “When it comes to soul, Dennis Marcellino redefines the term. His remarkable tone and feel are full of passion and soulful expression.”Bob Carlisle, Grammy and Dove Award winning writer and singer of "Butterfly Kisses"[16]

“I can’t remember when I’ve been so entranced by an album. Marcellino is a master virtuoso. 5 Stars!” - Wayne Thompson, Jazzscene Magazine[17]

Relatives in the music business

Jerry Marcellino (writer and producer for Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Bobby Darin, and The Jackson 5), Jocko Marcellino (leader of Sha Na Na), Vince Guaraldi, Sonny Bono, Muzzy Marcellino (who whistled the hit soundtrack for "The High And The Mighty", "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly", the theme from "Lassie", and was bandleader for "The Art Linkletter Show"), Mark Stefani, and Gene Marcellino (former bass player for Gary Lewis and The Playboys).


  • 2011 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - “Onward & Upward”
  • 2010 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - “Its Christmas”
  • 2009 Rubicon (Renaissance) – 2 CD re-release of “Rubicon” and “America Dreams”
  • 2009 Sly & The Family Stone (Epic) – “The Essential Sly & The Family Stone”
  • 2002 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - "The Spirit of Christmas"
  • 2001 Dennis Marcellino/Mark Stefani (Lighthouse) - "Tenderly"
  • 1999 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - "New Beginning"
  • 1996 Dennis Marcellino/Mark Stefani (Sugo) - "An Evening To Remember"
  • 1996 Horn Rock Bands (Sony) – Wrote and played the horn parts for “Rock My Soul”
  • 1996 Rubicon (Sony) - "Cal Jam 2" (CBS album reissue on Sony CD)
  • 1996 Mike Pinera (M&E) – “In The Garden Of Eden”
  • 1994 The Elvin Bishop Group (Sony) – “Tulsa Shuffle: Best of Elvin Bishop”
  • 1994 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - "Daddy's Home"
  • 1992 Dennis Marcellino (Lighthouse) - "It's Christmas" (Cassette single)
  • 1988 The Tokens (RCA) - "Re-Doo-Wopp"
  • 1985 Kyle Henderson Band (Kerygma/Sparrow Records) - "More Than The Look Of Love"
  • 1979 Rubicon (20th Century Fox) - "America Dreams"
  • 1978 Rubicon (20th Century Fox) - "Rubicon"
  • 1978 Rubicon (Columbia) - "Cal Jam 2"
  • 1978 Mike Bloomfield & Friends (Clouds) - "Count Talent & The Originals"
  • 1977 Graham Central Station (Warner Brothers) "Now Do U Wanta Dance"
  • 1976 Sly & The Family Stone (Epic) - "Heard Ya Missed Me Well I'm Back"
  • 1975 Sly & The Family Stone (Epic) - "High On You"
  • 1972 The Elvin Bishop Group (Epic) - "Rock My Soul"
  • 1969 Creation (with Leon Patillo) (Studio 10 Records) - "This Is The Beginning"

He also worked as a musician or vocalist with Sha Na Na, Rare Earth, The Spencer Davis Group, Otis Day & The Knights, The Coasters, The Drifters, Danny & The Juniors, Blues Image, etc. and once was musical director for: The Shirelles, The Drifters, and Fabian.

His studio experience included over 50 albums and singles in the Billboard Top 100, including what is mentioned above plus Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Lawrence Welk, and various Motown recordings.

Books authored

  • 2011 THE Solutions (Simple, practical solutions to the biggest personal and societal problems)[18]
  • 2009 THE PROOF that God exists and the Bible is true[19]
  • 2008 How To Directly Experience God (a step by step guide)
  • 2008 The Plague Of Liberalism
  • 2007 Why Are We Here? Workbook
  • 2007 Addiction Free Forever Workbook
  • 2006 Addiction Free Forever
  • 1996 Why Are We Here?
  • 1988 Sweeping It Under The Drug

Some notable reviews for his books include: “This is a very important book that is greatly needed at this time.I agree that the Bible should be the ultimate resource for life and living and that the world could greatly benefit from being logically and scientifically shown that this is true.” Mark Victor Hansen, Co-author, New York Times #1 Best-Selling “Chicken Soup For The Soul” series[20]

“Dennis Marcellino has the answer. Actually, with an education that ranges from science and engineering to theology and psychology, Marcellino has many answers. But in his new book, Why Are We Here?, he chooses to answer the one question that has puzzled intellectuals for centuries.” Laura Gunderson, Clackamas Review[21]

“In using science to explore what is usually an emotionally charged subject, Marcellino provides a strong fact-based philosophical approach which is compelling.” Diane Donovan, The Philosopher’s Bookshelf, The Midwest Book Review[22] 5.0 out of 5 stars. "The best book of its kind!" "I have been a pastor for twenty three years and there were many times when I needed one book that would answer all of the questions that seekers had about faith in a cogent and scientific manner. I was never able to find that one book until now, and Dennis Marcellino has written it! The author seems to make a pretty bold claim when he says that he has discovered and written "the proof" about the existence of God and the veracity of the Bible. When I first picked up the book I was skeptical, however, by the time I put it down my skepticism had been laid to rest. A famous baseball player once quipped about his athletic prowess that,"It ain't bragging if you can back it up." Well this author certainly has backed up his claims with a very readable and enjoyable book. Great job!" James Calhoun, Burtonsville, Maryland[23]


Marcellino speaks at events that range in size from small groups of people to medium sized events to large conventions. He's spoken to Christian groups of various denominations (and non-denominational), political groups, corporations, and colleges.[24]


Marcellino has been on TV many times in his careers as a writer, professional musician, singer and actor. He has also been a guest on many radio shows, representing Christianity to every viewpoint in the radio world, including secular, political, mainstream Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and new age.[25] Marcellino is also a Weekly Feature Article writer for The Patriot News.


Dennis Marcellino has completed 210 semester units in science, engineering, theology and psychology from California State University (Northridge), Los Angeles Valley College, Logos Bible College, Wholistic Psychotherapy Institute, City College of San Francisco, Pierce College and Santa Monica College. [26]


External links

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