From Ohio to France: Musician who wrote ‘Hang In There Youngstown’ reflects on successful career

Local News

Mike Pachelli, who now has 20 of his own albums, grew up on Youngstown's west side

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – First News anchor/reporter Stan Boney first met Mike Pachelli in 1982, when Boney was assigned to do a story on how a song is created. It was Pachelli who wrote and produced “Hang In There Youngstown” for Boney to sing.

Since then, Pachelli has been all over the world making music — a hometown boy made good.

“Hang in there Youngstown because there’s better days ahead…”

“Hang In There Youngstown” was written in three hours and recorded in one night.

“You did a great job, that was a lot of fun. What a great thing that was. Thank you for that opportunity,” Pachelli said.

Earlier this week, Pachelli and Boney linked up again — Boney in Youngstown and Pachelli in an entirely different time zone.

“So I’m talking to you from a studio in the south of France, two minutes from the French Riviera,” Pachelli said.

It’s where Pachelli lives now. From his balcony, there’s a view of the Mediterranean Sea — the rewards of a very successful career in music.

“I’ve been fortunate, I’ve worked hard. We were able to pay for this house, cash. I have no bills. I’m fortunate in that way,” Pachelli said.

Pachelli grew up on Youngstown’s west side, took his first guitar lesson at the Strouss Music Center and later made $100 a night in Youngstown’s then vibrant nightclub scene. He made more than his father who was a janitor at U.S. Steel.

“I think Youngstown showed me the possibility that if you work hard and you master your craft, you’ll be successful,” Pachelli said.

From Youngstown, Pachelli lived in New York City, Florida, Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville, where he was six doors away from his west side Youngstown friend and guitar legend Phil Keaggy.

He has played in bands and been in recording sessions. He has also been a part of records, commercials and concerts.

“I mean, I’ve been written up as a Renaissance musician, kind of a Renaissance man. I’ve always tried to reinvent myself,” Pachelli said.

He has also recorded 20 of his own albums, the latest being an instrumental version of The Beatles’ songs.

Pachelli then concluded the interview with his rendition of “Hang In There Youngstown.”

“Hang in there Youngstown, hang in there Youngstown, hang in there Youngstown, you always will be mine…”

“Thank you Youngstown for everything you did for me. I love you,” Pachelli said.

Pachelli’s latest album is titled “Beatles On Guitar.” You can buy it, and his other CDs or downloads on his website,

He says he’d appreciate people buying there because if they’re sold anywhere else, he says “they just pick your pocket.”

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