Archived Topics

Thread City Discussion Forum

New Willimantic song

Posted By: Wayne Norman <>
Date: Wednesday, 29 January 2003, at 12:04 a.m.

There is a new, original song about Willimantic, called "Thread City." It was written and performed by Willimantic native John Catalano, who is a WHS grad, and whose parents ran Catalano Florist on Mansfield Ave near the hospital until the 70's.

I have stayed in touch with John since he moved to Florida--he's a terrific musician and there's much more work for him there. He has done some short jingle promo's for my radio show. John stays in constant touch with this area, and visits us several times a year.

I notified him of the Heroin Town series, and like many, he was upset with the negative image portrayed of his home town. So he wrote the song and recorded all the music tracks himself, put it on a CD, and sent it to me.

John has become an accomplished musician. He does studio work with some of the top names in Florida, and is quite versatile--he does rock, blues, and jazz. I've seen his "John Cat Band" play live, and they are terrific.

I try to play his Willimantic song once a morning--at rotating times--and have gotten terrific response.

The lyrics include references to the Thread City Crossing bridge, the Victorian homes, and ECSU's improved campus. And he sings "Don't listen to those people from the Hartford Courant--they hardly ever come around."

The song is in a blues style, and mentions "about 200 great musicians came from this of them is singing this song."

It is not available commercially, and probably won't/can't be. For now, the only way you can get a copy of it is to tape it off the radio. Remember, in the morning, you can also hear the audio portion of my show on Charter Channel 14, which means you can roll the VCR on Channel 14 and get the audio (only). I try to say in advance when I'm going to play it so people can record it. I know some who already have. John WANTS people to hear it. Later we hope to have a link to an mp3 file on our website so people can download it and burn their own versions. I'll let you know when that's available.

WILI's Shawn Higgins plays the song in the afternoons occasionally too.

It's quite different from the old Jesse Greer "Willimantic USA" song, but both share the same love for our city. 


Posted By: John Catalano <>
Date: Wednesday, 29 January 2003, at 10:14 p.m.

In Response To: New Willimantic song (Wayne Norman)

Thank you Wayne and hello to my friends in Willi! I am flattered that this song has been so well recieved. I encourage you to tape it or download it. It was written for you. While my song "Thread City Blues" was a solo work; I recently released a CD called "Tropical Jazz" featuring some of the finest talent available. You may be familiar with the conga sounds of Carlos Benthien, formerly of Santana and Shaboo All Stars. He lived in Willi for a number of years. Also featured on the CD is Othello, considered to be the worlds number one steel pan player. I was fortunate to have these special talents and many others contribute to this work. You may e-mail me at if you are interested in purchasing a copy of "Tropical Jazz", or just to say "hi"! 


Posted By: Wendi Clark <>
Date: Friday, 31 January 2003, at 9:19 a.m.

In Response To: New Willimantic song (Wayne Norman)

Greetings ~

I know all you'rs just love to read my posts, so here goes another one...

How on earth can the denial of the heroin problem in Willimantic be so well recieved in a song is beyond me!!!

Wayne Norman writes; " ~ And he sings "Don't listen to those people from the Hartford Courant--they hardly ever come around." ~ "

They don't have to come around!!! It is there, and has been way before any reporters came into town. You would have had to be blind not to see it!!! Or deaf to not have heard about it!!! Maybe, if someone listened a long time ago, and was able to do something when this problem first started, it wouldn't have snowballed into such a huge problem for Willimantic. The facts speak for themselves. By 'ignoring' it, or just resigning to 'that's the way it is', has in all reality, hurt your community to the core, and NOW you are complaining.

If I lived in Willimantic today, and I did not know about heroin in town, I think I would want to, simply to be aware so I could further educate my children.

It took what it took, even if it made people upset. It looks like it is the beginning of something good for Willimantic. And you readers of this forum are right, Windham County is a very beautiful part of the state, and does not deserve what it has been given. More focus on positive will bring positive.

I definately commened anyone with the talent of song, and their ability to use it to bring happiness to others. Music is a great gift, play on Mr. Catalano, play on...

As always, thank you for letting me express my opinion here.

~ Wendi ~


Thread City Discussion Forum

To download the song

Posted By: Wayne Norman <>
Date: Friday, 31 January 2003, at 4:18 p.m.

In Response To: New Willimantic song (Wayne Norman)

Thanks to Windham Rec Director Mark Paquette, John Catalano's "Thread City" song is now available in a windows media file which I can email to anyone interested. Write me at and I'll send it to you.

As for the discussion in this thread related to John's lyrical reference to The Courant...I think I can speak for him by saying he's talking about how the Courant rarely does a story showing something positive happening in Willimantic. And their coverage of day-to-day events here is negligible. John does NOT deny the heroin problem exists. Conversely, John's lyrics are an attempt to highlight his love for this town and to say it has plenty of positives--but don't hold your breath waiting to see any of those attributes mentioned in the state's largest newspaper. 


Posted By: Clayton Church <>
Date: Friday, 31 January 2003, at 4:50 p.m.

In Response To: To download the song (Wayne Norman)

The Author, John Catalano, is also sending a copy to me so I can make it available on

Thank you Wayne, let's keep thinking positive about Willimantic and the whole northeast.