Friday, July 31, 2009

B.B. at A.C.

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Tom Ryan Photo

Atlantic City Pop Fest Billboard Press AC Story

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Deborah Olin may have been only 13, but she had her parents' OK before she, her friend Nancy and some guy named Billy hitchhiked their way south from Brooklyn, N.Y.
All she knew was that there was some kind of music festival in New Jersey, near Atlantic City, and while her parents felt reassured that her older brother would be there to watch over her - not that she ever saw him that weekend - they did give her one timely bit of advice.

"Don't drink from open containers," she remembers them warning.

At the same time, Barbara Steinman - now Barbara Kornbluh - Atlantic City High School class of '68, got her parents' permission to take their car east from Vineland - although she had heard of it, she did not really know exactly where the Atlantic City Race Course was - while 17-year-old Carole Monday, Mainland Regional High School class of '69, piled into a convertible with six friends and headed west.

"Fifteen dollars? How could you pass up that deal?" Monday said. " A lot of us were told we couldn't go - and we went anyway."

Among her fellow Mainland grads was Dennis DiOrio, now the owner of DiOrio's Circle Cafe in Somers Point.

"We never had anything like that before," DiOrio said. "That was the first time we ever experienced anything of that nature. ... It was just a terrific event."

The neighbors were blindsided.

"This thing came to town like the aliens had landed," said Joe Stafford, of Egg Harbor Township. "The future had arrived at their doorstep, and they didn't know what to do."

And no sooner did it all happen, no sooner did it end, before it all seemed to vanish.

Go ask Alice, I think she'd know...

The three-day Atlantic City Pop Festival was held from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 1 to 3, 1969, at the racetrack in Hamilton Township - although a rare original poster, finally tracked down by Ed Galm, of Maryland, after 30 years of searching, proclaims that the event was in "Atlantic City."

Not only are the posters almost impossible to find, but even images of advertisements, programs and tickets have been difficult to track down. Everyone said they had some kind of memento - but it was in a box somewhere, maybe in the attic, maybe in the basement. Somebody else must have something, right?

As for photographs, forget it. All the original pictures in The Press of Atlantic City's archives have disappeared, just like the original files in the race course's collection. There is almost nothing available online, either. There are 19th century events with more photo documentation than the Pop Festival.

Of course, there is another reason why the event seems to have drifted from memory. Just a few weeks later came another rock festival outside Bethel, N.Y. You may have heard of it. It was called Woodstock.

It featured many of the same acts as the festival in Hamilton - but this time there was a film crew on hand.

So all that's left of the Pop Festival, apparently, is the memories of those who were there.

Oh won't you come with me, and take my hand ...

The festival kicked off with a set from Iron Butterfly - "(They) played 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' for like three hours," said a slightly exaggerating Olin. "I remember thinking, 'When is this going to end?'" - followed by Procol Harum, Chicago and Santana. And Joni Mitchell, kind of.

"Joni Mitchell couldn't handle it," recalled Sherri Tunis, of Linwood, Pa. "She walked off."

"It wasn't a real good fit," said Ira Craig, of Maryland. "They put her in between two rockin' groups, and she burst into tears at one point and left the stage. I felt really bad for her."

Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, B.B. King and The Byrds performed Saturday - "One would clear out, and another would come on," said Vonnie Clark, of Absecon - and Joe Cocker, Canned Heat and the Mothers of Invention appeared Sunday.
And then there was Janis Joplin. "She blew everyone away," said Tunis, while Kevin Quigley, of Voorhees, Camden County, said he got onto the stage to see her - but for sheer vivid imagery, we turn to Kornbluh.

"We got right upfront and saw her no more than three feet away," Kornbluh said. "I still remember her in her hot pink outfit, sipping Southern Comfort. She had high, strappy shoes with rhinestones on them, and she sang 'Me and Bobby McGee.' I'll never forget that as long as I live."

Regarding the Southern Comfort: "She downed that whole thing," DiOrio recalled.
The crowd was mostly peaceful at what The Press called a "freedom binge,"attracting an estimated 40,000 on its final day. As for the temperature, however, Olin recalled that "you could smell the heat."

Track worker Quigley remembers dousing concertgoers with mist from the water wagon - although others tried a different tack.

"A few people decided to jump in the lake," he said. "If they knew what was in the lake, they wouldn't have done that."

As for any, um, enhancements?

Kornbluh: "You could smell the pot, but nobody I knew did LSD."

Tunis: "We were probably sharing a few things that were illegal."

Olin: "You didn't have to smoke. You just had to breathe in the air."

As it turned out, both Tunis and Kornbluh were banned by their parents from attending Woodstock two weeks later - although Tunis did not mind.

"I was quite the little hippie chick at the time," Tunis said, "But guess what? I didn't like dirt that much."

In the end, said Kornbluh, you cannot remove the festival from the greater context of the '60s.

"You turned on the news, and you all you saw was Vietnam and killing at dinnertime," she said. "(The festival) was about young people in search of a good time. ... The music wasn't angry, it was just anti-war - peace, love, sex and rock 'n' roll."

And then it was gone.

E-mail Steven Lemongello:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tony Marts Moved to Macs


Tony Mart Rock 'n Roots JamFestFriday, July 31, 2009 8:03 PM
From: "" View contact details

Due to unforseen circumstances we have moved the Tony Mart's Rock 'n Roots Jamfest to Mac's Restaurant 908 Shore Road in Somers Point. Doors at 6PM, Music at 7. Hope to see you there. If you need directions or any other info, please call 609-653-6069. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Carmen and Nancy Marotta ‘N ROOTS JAMFEST!!

Tony Mart’s celebrates our legacy of classic rock with Jerry Garcia’s birthday party at our Rock ‘n Roots Fest on Saturday, August 1, 2009.

A headline performance by Donna Jean Godchaux and her great jammin’ band will pay tribute to her performances as the female voice of the Grateful Dead from 1972 through 1979.

More classic rock ‘n roll will be provided by local favorites, Cerberus doing Led Zeppelin, Cream and Hendrix and Jeff Schwachter and the Ryders doing a tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band (aka “Levon and the Hawks” at Tony Mart’s in 1965).

New Orleans sounds will be provided by premier banjo player and singer, Franny Smith, and his tuba and trombone trio.

The Fest features continuous music from 7 til midnight just like the jam session days at Tony Mart’s.

There’ll be a late night jam in Mangia on the Greens at Sonny McCullough's Emerald Links.

The ticket price of $20 includes southwestern snacks, samples of Chef Richard Spurlock’s Louisiana Gumbo, tequila and margarita samples and a piece of the 5 foot cake prepared by master baker Michael Weinrich, especially for the Tony Mart’s Rock ‘n Roots Festival.

There’ll be lots of frozen drinks and delicious food available for purchase.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and settle in for a gorgeous summer evening at McCullough’s Emerald Links.

The parking will be free and the ambiance of great music on a beautiful summer night will be priceless.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1969 Fast Facts: Woodstock

1969 Fast Facts: WOODSTOCK,2933,533823,00.html

• Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place August 15-17, 1969

• Woodstock was described as an "An Aquarian Exposition, Three Days of Peace and Music"

• Woodstock drew 400,000 young people to Bethel, New York in the Catskill Mountains.

• The festival created massive traffic jams and extreme shortages of food, water, and medical and sanitary facilities.

• No incidents of violence occurred at the Woodstock festival.

• Most of the 80 arrests at Woodstock were made on drug charges involving LSD, amphetamines and heroin.

• Marijuana smokers, estimated to be the majority of the audience, were not arrested at Woodstock.

• Three accidental deaths were reported at Woodstock.

• The Festival had been scheduled to be held in Walkill, New York.

• After Walkill townspeople objected, it was moved to the 600-acre farm of dairyman Max B. Yasgur.

• The organizers of the festival, John Roberts, Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman, had originally estimated expenses, to be covered by admissions fees, at $750,000.

• The crush of spectators, however, caused ticket-taking to be abandoned.

• Ultimately, Woodstock Ventures, Inc. spent $2.5 million while collecting only $1.5 million.

• The $1 million debt was to be offset by a film of the festival and recordings of the music.

• Acts at Woodstock included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Santana, The Who and a nascent Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

• Festival featured 33 musical acts

• Janis Joplin was paid was paid $7,500 at Woodstock

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bubba Mac Blues at ACCC

South Jersey, New Jersey
(That's Us)

This appears to be a weekly event - every Thursday maybe.

What an invite:

Bubba Mac Blues Band
July 16, 2009 (Thu)
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Atlantic City Country Club
1 Leo Fraser Dr
Northfield, NJ 08225
ph. 609-236-4465


Bring the Family for Blues, BBQ, and Atmosphere!

Flip Flops, Shorts, and a Silk Shirt.…

Weekly Raffle Prizes for Golf and Brunch!

Join us outside on the patio overlooking beautiful views of the AC Skyline.

Free Line & Jitterbug Dance Lessons!

Enjoy our NEW BBQ patio food menu.

Compete in family fun games and Dance to the Bubba Mac Blues Band.

Recreate the memories from the Bubba Mac Shack!


Chickenbone Beach 2009

MONDAY, JULY 6, 2009

Chickenbone Beach Concerts 2009


It used to be that you would catch the jazz in the nightclubs at night, and then see the musicians, bartenders and waiteresses sleeping on the beach in the day. At least that's the way it was in the hey day.

Kentucky Avenue is where the clubs were in Atlantic City, and not far away, on the other side of the boardwalk, was Chickenbone beach was where the musicans were during the day.

With the clubs now gone, and in memory of the Chickenbone Beach heyday, they began this free jazz concert series a decade ago so it should endure into a real Atlantic City tradition.

Held on the boardwalk between Mississippi & Georgia Avenues, in front of Boardwalk Hall at Kennedy Plaza, this year they will hold six free concerts featuring twelve classic acts.

With the opening act beginning at 7 and going to 8 PM, the headliners will perform from 8:30 to 10 PM on select Thursdays beginning July 2 when the Eddie Morgan Trio opens for trombonist Steve Turre, a Mexican-American from the San Francisco Bay area. Steve's played with Ray Charles, the Saturday Night Live band and in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – The School of Bop. He also plays the shells – The Sanctified Shells – shell choir. Turre has recorded: Lotus Flower (1999 Verve)and In the Spur of the Moment (2000, Telarc). [].

On July 9 Dan Fogel opens for legendary Philadelphia jazz man Bootsie Barnes, who we all know from his many appearances at the Cape May Jazz Fest.

Dan was one of the regulars at the Kentucky Avenue nightclubs, beginning as a patron when he snuck in as a kid, and later on as a keyboard player in some of the makeshift bands they would put together for the shows, which ran from 9 pm until the end of the "Breakfast Show" early in the morning when the sun was up. Then it was time to grab some bibs and chicken at Jimmie's take out across the street from the Club Harlem, and hit the beach. Chickenbone Beach.

Danny and Bootsie on the same bill is something. Bootsie comes from the Old School in Philadelphia, where he is the mainstay of a long jazz tradition, and one of the regular members of the Cape May Jazz Fest Sunday afternoon jam sessions when they end each fest in a rousing fashion.

You can get more info about Dan here: []

And Bootsie can be found at: []

On July 16 – Hassan Abdullah Quintet opens for the First Lady of Jazz Guitar Monnette Sudler, who runs the guitar workshop at the Cape May Fest, encouraging young people to play jazz on the guitar. These two acts will be double dynomyte.


On August 6 the CBB Youth Jazz Ensemble – Camp by IDEA of Camden, New Jersey, my Hometown [], will open for pianist Orrin Evans. Now from Philadelphia by way of Trenton, Evans moved to NY in 1995. A teacher, producer and arranger at the Girard Academy and the Mason Gross School of Arts Rutgers, Orrin has recorded Luvpark; Live in Jackson, Mississipi,(on Imani).

Check them out: []

On August 13 there's Tony Day Trio and flute and sax queen Tia Fuller, a composer and educator, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in college and got a Masters degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from University of Colorado at Boulder (Summa Cum Laude). She's part of the Bayonce Experience and has recorded Pillar of Strength (2005 Wambui) and Healing Space (2007 Mack Avenue). Tia also plays with the T. S. Monk Septet, and other bands and orchestras (ie Nancy Wilson, Jon Faddis, Rufus Reid, Sean Jones) and gave keynote address at the Jazz Institute of New Jersey – “Journey to Success." The daughter of Denver teachers, she has taught at Stanford, played Duquesne and the Panama Jazz Fest.

On August 20 there's Mysterious Traveler with pianist/composer Helen Sung.
Helen is from Texas, UT Austin, where she teaches San Antonio public school students.
[ ] She's recorded Songbird (after Albeniz) and teaches at the Helenistique T. Monk Institute of Jazz at New England Conservatory. With Kennedy Center honors, she is a Chinese classical pianist who switched to jazz while a student at UTAustin.

More on Ms. Helen: []

Now that's some lineup of great jazz, and every one of those acts is also involved, somehow, in teaching jazz to young people. Hell, you should get school credit for just going to the show.

And it's at Kennedy Plaza, where you can also take in some real art - a sculpture of President John F. Kennedy, dedicated at the 1964 Democratic National Convention when his brother Bobby delivered a famous eulogy.

I will get more on the sculpture - the artist is from Texas, and unlike the bla, nothing, box memorial for JFK just off Dealey Plaza in Dallas, this bronze JFK bust is a very real and almost moving likeness. I have photos somewhere - and find some links to Bobby's speech, since if we're going to learn something about jazz we might as well learn something about why they call the venue JFK Plaza, right?

If you agree, let me know