Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Music Department’ Category

The Fountains of Wayne. Adam Schlesinger is on the right. Stereogum.com

The Fountains of Wayne. Adam Schlesinger is on the right. Stereogum.com

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger, Updated from our 2013 post.  Please read the comments.

Going back in music history to Gregorian chants, Mozart operas, and Frank Sinatra singing with Tommy Dorsey, it was always important for the songs’ lyrics to make sense and to be clearly  heard.   Sinatra was a fanatic about phrasing and pronunciation of  words.

Lyricists always compose songs so that they tell a story  (as in Broadway musicals) or express ideas (as in “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific) or consist of poetry  (as in “You are the angel glow that lights the stars” from “All the Things You Are”)

However, since the rock era of recent times, the words, if you can clearly hear them, sometimes are unclear as to their meaning.  Which brings me to the late Adam Schlesinger, a successful modern-day songwriter who  wrote an editorial in the New York Times (2013)  asking whether song lyrics needed to tell a story or even to make any sense at all.

I was fascinated.  Adam Schlesinger had won Grammy and Emmy awards along with Tony and Oscar nominations for his song writing.

In the editorial, he said, “Lately I’ve been getting more interested in focusing on the overall sound and texture of song, and worrying less about the logic of the words.”

So, at last, someone who could explain to me why I am so often baffled by modern song lyrics.

What’s the Story NY Times link

THE CLICK FIVE:  “Just the Girl” written by Adam Schlesinger

Here is one of Adam Schlesinger’s songs performed by “The Click Five.”  It’s a simple story with understandable lyrics.  Note that Schlesinger is from New Jersey and was one of the founders of the group  “Fountains of Wayne.”


And here is a song I love,  but the lyrics are incomprehensible.   It is by a group called Beirut. The song is “A Sunday Smile.”


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Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo. . © Perry Young. Sept. 4, 2016. Labor Day weekend.    Ocean Grove near the boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo.  ©


Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net  2016 original post:


I struck up a conversation with Perry when I spotted his Planotones shirt. We chatted near the large American flag.   Perry is from Milton,  New Hampshire.  Originally he was from Queens, NY, but he left there in 2003.

Perry was at the World Trade Center on 9-11, and in his words, “I was fortunate to escape the falling north tower.”   Perry was a member of the Painters Union.

Perry Young has been visiting Ocean Grove for nearly 40 years.  He says that it is a very special place for him and he  is drawn to it and loves to come here each summer. His favorite hotel is the Shawmont. He knows a lot about the town and this area.

Perry and his daughter Christine are Blogfinger fans. In a subsequent  email he said, “I along with my daughter Christine will always be following Blogfinger.net.  I enjoyed looking at all the photos you have posted on your website.  I also thought your history in the medical field was awesome.   Your friend, Perry.”

We became fast friends, and Perry asked me to pose for a picture, but I agreed only after he said I could take his picture in the Planotone shirt. We sent a copy of the photo to Christine, and she was thrilled.

We talked about Kenny Vance and his marvelous falsetto and close harmonies with his group.  I should have asked Perry to do the Planotone walk.  Maybe next time we could find two porkpie hats and some shades to do a video.

We agreed that one of Kenny’s most evocative  songs was “Gloria”—–a beautiful and sad love song  that all the fans of that era know to be the gold standard for excellence from that musical genre.


Perry confided that his favorite Planotone song is “Oceans of Time.”  I never heard that song before, but you can appreciate why Perry favors it:


NOTE:  This past June, 2022,  Perry returned once again to the Grove.   He stays at OG hotels.    Perry is a creature of habit as you can see from his history of returning here every year.

After the June visit he sent me a note:  “For my last night I went to Brando’s for linguine Sinatra.   Since I went home I went to the supermarket  and bought all the ingredients for that dish: scallops, shrimps, clams, Greek olives, and capers.  That for dinner tonight.

 Find enclosed tickets from 2009 when I saw Kenny Vance and the Planotones in the Doo Wop show in the GA.  I will miss those shows.”

All the best,  Perry.

2023 Perry Young update: Perry has remained a fan of the Grove and of Blogfinger. We keep in touch and try to get together when he visits here.  This season Perry came with 12 relatives and they had a wonderful time.

He got to celebrate his birthday in the Grove,  and I just heard from him by phone about the birth of his first great-grandson Henry Huggins.  Perry says that we should do lunch next year, and I promised him to repost this piece along with some of those  Kenny Vance songs which he still loves.

Kenny is now 78 years old and still tours with the Planotones.  In December he will be at the Count Basie in Red Bank.

And here is a Kenny Vance medley from his recent album: Lost and Found Vol 2.


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Boardwalk Empire: A 1920's Atlantic City nightclub. Boardwalk Empire: A 1920’s Atlantic City nightclub. HBO photo


Boardwalk Empire. Photo is of a young Al Capone (center) and his two brothers who are busy creating the family business out of Chicago. HBO photo Boardwalk Empire. A young Al Capone (center) and his two brothers are busy creating the family business, out of Chicago. It’s good I spell his name correctly, because in this episode, Capone makes a personal visit to a newsman who got the spelling wrong. HBO photo

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Ocean Grove and its buildings have appeared in a number of movies including Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories” (1980) and “According to Greta” with Hillary Duff (filmed in 2007). Except for Greta, Ocean Grove has appeared because of it’s unique seaside appearance rather than because it is Ocean Grove. In Stardust Memories, the town was presented as a generic seaside resort, and the Great Auditorium became the Stardust Hotel. In Greta, the town actually was portrayed as OG.

Which brings me to the opening episode of Boardwalk Empire’s 4th hit season on HBO. This multi-award winning series is film-making at its best. Set in 1920’s Atlantic City, during Prohibition, it is about Nucky Thompson, a gangster who struggles to maintain his hold on the booze trafficking into New Jersey. As many of you know, we at BF are big fans of the production including its music, and we often post songs by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the Grammy winning group that provides much of the music.

Last Sunday it began again with its usual precise and georgeous portrayal of an era and a place. The costumes and the settings are magnificent. The plots are fascinating.

Now it is 1924, and Nucky has carved out his territory which is from Cape May up to Asbury Park and west to Trenton. He is having trouble with rival gangsters from New York and Chicago, and his marriage has failed. Now he is living in a fancy suite in an Atlantic City hotel.

Late in the episode he steps onto the porch to get some sea air, and this is what we see:

TV photo. HBO's Boardwalk Empire, season 4, episode 1. Sept. 8, 2013. PG photo TV photo. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, season 4, episode 1. Sept. 8, 2013. This scene is set in Atlantic City. On the porch is Nucky Thompson (foreground) and his personal assistant. Paul Goldfinger still  photo from the TV series.

The setting is Atlantic City, but that sure looks like our Albatross Hotel.  So I went over to Ocean Pathway to compare, and, as you see, the look is very close—too close to deny. Inside, owner Bill Reilly decided to let the cat out of the bag.

A crew from HBO showed up a couple of months ago. They thought that our Albatross looked like a 1924 seaside hotel. So they took photos and measurements inside and out, and then, somehow, with some modifications, re-created our Albatross in Atlantic City.

The Albatross in Ocean Grove, Sept. 13, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo. © The Albatross in Ocean Grove, Sept. 13, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo.

So once again, OG is shown in a successful film production, but this portrayal is unique  because the hotel exterior scene in this episode was not actually filmed in the Grove.

Considering the sex scenes, the booze, the violence and the chorus girls (and the current absence of a boardwalk in the Grove) it is amazing that a part of OG has actually found its way into this production, especially one ironically called “Boardwalk Empire.” But that did happen, and maybe more scenes of the Albatross will show up later.

VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS, From the original soundtrack of Boardwalk Empire: “Margie” Their soundtrack recording won a Grammy. Vince appears regularly in New York City.


STEPHEN DeROSA as Eddie Cantor with a tune from Boardwalk Empire:


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By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff ©. Undated

Sunrise.  Ocean Grove.   By Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff.  Click to enlarge.


THE ATOMIC KITTEN (2002 hit version)


Atomic Kitten

Atomic Kitten

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Central Park. August, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Central Park. August, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.


NAT KING COLE   (requested by Kevin Chambers)  The song is by Ray Noble from 1941, and there was a movie of the same name that featured this song.   Re-posted—A girl in her summer clothes.


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Free to be You and Me was published in 1974. It was Marlo Thomas' idea. This image is from the book.

“Free to be You and Me” was published in 1974. It was Marlo Thomas’ idea. This image is from the book.



ROSY GREER  from the album Free to Be You and Me


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Lollypops can do it. Amazon music photo.

Lollypops can do it. Amazon music photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.   Editor@Blogfinger.net and Dean of the Blogfinger Off-Shore School of Medicine in Ocean Grove, NJ.   2018.

There is a song called “My Heart Goes Pitter Patter” recorded by Simone and Girlfunkle.


There is another (below) by Bia, a young singer from Brazil whose song is “My Heart Goes La La La.”



Rod Stewart has a tune called “Rhythm of My Heart”, while Etta Jones sings “There Goes my Heart” (below)

I know a cardiologist whose heart goes pitter patter every time he drinks coffee.   The symptom is due to extra heart beats (premature contractions) which give that sensation.

If a heart is stimulated, it might react with a fast beat or an erratic beat. The stimulation can be due to intense emotions including love.  Brain related causes result in adrenaline release and activation of the sympathetic nervous system—ie the “flight or fight” reaction; or the stimulation might be due to certain substances such as caffeine, prescription drugs, cocaine, or alcohol.   The effects on the heart may be perceived by the patient or may be “silent.”

A violinist came to see me because, before she would go on stage, she would experience tremors in her hands, sweaty palms,  and palpitations due to “stage-fright.” a typical emotions-based cause of such symptoms.   Other brain related causes of adrenalin release symptoms include fear, anger, severe stress, sudden surprise, threats, and battle.  As for love,–if would have to be pretty intense.

The violinist was successfully treated by blocking the effects of adrenaline using a drug called a “beta blocker” which the musician could take as needed, prior to a concert. The drug would not adversely affect the performance as might a tranquilizer, but would enhance it by removing the fear factor.

The cardiac responses to stimulation do not necessarily indicate heart disease.    It can happen to healthy individuals. But if you have palpitations, a visit to a cardiologist would be wise. He can order a take-home monitor which can record your electrocardiogram (ECG) when your heart goes pitter patter and it will also make a recording if you have a rhythm disturbance (arrhythmia) without symptoms. In either case, the doctor will be able to see what kind of arrhythmia is causing the symptoms, and then a decision can be made regarding what to do about it.

But no doctor will advise giving up love.


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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.   Reposted in Ocean Grove 2014.

Saul and Lynn Goodman, visitors to the Grove on Saturday, June 28, are not your typical tourists.  They are a professional guitar and fiddle duo from Pipersville, Pennsylvania.  Their specialty is ethnic music including cajun, celtic and gypsy. They have a special interest in gypsy music from Eastern Europe,  such as from the Ukraine.  It is a fairly exotic specialty.

I stepped out on my porch and heard music by what I thought might have been a bluegrass radio station. But soon I realized that the music was coming from the park and that it was being performed live.

Walking over to the eastern edge of Firemen’s Park, I saw two musicians in the gazebo playing guitar  (Saul) and violin (Lynn.)  A few people had gathered around to listen. I thought their music was wonderful and so different from what we might ordinarily hear in this musical town.

When Saul mentioned Eastern European gypsy music, I thought of Django Reinhardt, the gypsy guitarist,  whose music we often play on Blogfinger.  And I also thought of the Woody Allen movie with Sean Penn called “Sweet and Lowdown.” It is one of the best outputs by both Penn and Allen.  Penn plays a guitarist who is obsessed with Reinhardt whose music he could never surpass.

Here is a video of Lynn and Saul playing a Celtic tune called Fairy Queen  by a famous 17th century Irish  composer  O’Carolan.

Thank you Lynn and Saul for a real treat. Sorry for the abrupt ending.  The piece ended a few moments later.

Once you begin playing the video,  If you put your cursor over the video, you will see small arrows in the lower right corner.  Choose the upwards arrow to make the video much bigger.



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Ronald Naldi, tenor, poses in front of his Ocean Grove tent, a short walk to the Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo, Blogfinger.net. ©

Ronald Naldi, tenor, in front of his Ocean Grove tent, a short walk to the Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo, Blogfinger.net. ©



Q:  Where in the world can you meet a world famous opera singer, wearing a lavender sport jacket, emerging from his tent home, about to leave for his recital—one block away?

A. Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA.    Only in America.

I was on my way by bike to Ronald Naldi’s Sunday afternoon recital, when I spotted the man himself, getting his wardrobe organized on his porch, having just emerged from his tent, i.e. his summer home in Ocean Grove.

I made a U turn and stopped in front of his abode.   Ron, a lyric tenor, artist-in-residence each summer in the Grove, was almost ready. For those of you who don’t know of him, he is a major star with the Metropolitan Opera in NYC.

I reminded him of who I was, but he was well aware of our Ocean Grove blog.   Actually I knew that from a prior telephone interview, but I wasn’t sure he would recognize me. He cheerfully and enthusiastically agreed when I asked to photograph him in front of his tent. His concert would start in about 15 minutes, so we didn’t chat much, but he did give me the Blogfinger quote of the year:

He said, “I love Blogfinger.…it is the best blog in the world.”

Holy mackerel!   “Thank you,”  I blurted out, “I promise a good review for your concert.”   Goodness—-what a lame thing to say.

He laughed. I jumped on my bike pedaling off towards the Youth Temple—visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head.

The next time I saw him was when he strode on stage  for what Shelley Brown of OG calls “The best concert of the year in Ocean Grove.”

Needless to say, the recital was superb.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger


RONALD NALDI from his album of Neapolitan Songs.  “Rondine al Nido”

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New Orleans. Paul Goldfinger photograph. Silver gelatin print. Undated. ©

New Orleans. Paul Goldfinger photograph. Silver gelatin print. Undated. ©





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Wesley Lake is almost frozen solid this morning, Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015. By Bob Bowné, special to Blogfinger. © Wesley Lake is almost frozen solid this morning, Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015. By Bob Bowné, special to Blogfinger. ©. Asbury Park, N.J.



SHERRILL MILNES.  “Bella figlia deli’amoré”   (Verdi’s  Rigoletto)  From the soundtrack of the film “Quartet”

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By Paul Goldfinger. Undated. ©

By Paul Goldfinger. Undated. ©  Blogfinger.net





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