History of Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny Lyon and two prominent West Side Asbury Park musicians will discuss the city’s unique vocal harmony music scene during a special, never-before-seen video presentation being given by the Asbury Park Historical Society on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.
Bobby Thomas, of the famous Orioles singing group, and well-known West Side vocalist Nicky Addeo joined Springsteen and Lyon on April 2, 2011 in a panel discussion on Asbury Park’s vibrant West Side music scene and how it affected their lives and their own music.
The panel discussion was followed by a tribute concert to the West Side musicians on that same day at the Wonder Bar, where Springsteen and Lyon joined in the show.
The Historical Society will show the video to the public for the first time ever in association with the Light of Day events also planned in Asbury Park that week.
“When we speak of Asbury Park’s West Side, we’re referring to the once thriving black business and entertainment thoroughfare of Springwood Avenue. Located just a short walk from the boardwalk and beach, the West Side was a world away culturally,” said Charlie Horner.
Horner and his wife, Pam, are recognized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum as premier experts on vocal harmony, or doo wop, music and both the Horners will attend the showing of the video.
“Asbury Park’s historically segregated, pre-civil rights-era society gave rise to an area across the tracks that produced unique and noteworthy music. Long before Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Bon Jovi, the West Side had a jumping musical scene, with nightclubs like Leo Karp’s Turf Club, Cuba’s the Madonna Club, the Orchid Club, and Big Bills, forming the foundation for Asbury Park’s later musical glory. As we honor Asbury Park’s musical legacy, we must remember its socially diverse roots,” Charlie Horner said.
In the video, both Springsteen and Lyon discuss the influence the West Side musical scene had on their own careers. Author Daniel Wolff (4th of July, Asbury Park) moderated the panel discussion.
Bobby Thomas passed away last year and a special tribute video of him singing “Crying In The Chapel” will precede the panel discussion video.
The video will be presented at the Atonement Lutheran Church, where it was originally taped, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. Admission is free. The church is located at 308 First Avenue (at the corner with Heck Street) and is within easy walking distance from the downtown or boardwalk.
“This is the first time this video is being presented to the public and I think it will offer viewers a unique perspective into the early history of rock & roll in Asbury Park as seen through the eyes of some of the city’s most famous musicians,” Historical Society President Don Stine said.