Archive for the ‘Blogfinger News’ Category

To my dear sister with all my love—Adelaide

By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger  (Re-post from 2012, but timeless.)

We found this photograph at the Ocean Grove flea market, some years ago. At first, we were drawn to it because it was in a beautiful blue glass frame.

But then we noticed  the lovely portrait of an elegant woman who seemed mysterious.  The hairdo  is probably from the twenties or thirties and is likely an example of a “finger wave.”  She’s wearing lipstick and she probably has makeup on.  Her expression is blank except for the slightest suggestion of a smile.  It looks like she is wearing a coat or jacket with a fur collar. The material is shimmery.  What is it?

There was no date, but there was a little dedication at the bottom. It says, “To my dear sister with all my love—Adelaide.”

The inscription is written in a delicate ornate and crystal-clear style. She separates a few letters with tiny spaces between–sort of a combination of cursive and printing.  People don’t write on photographs anymore, and, in fact, they often take their own digital photos and then leave them in their cameras or on their computers, never to be printed or shared, except in the form of digital images on phones, iPads, or Facebook pages. No one can actually touch such a picture.

But Adelaide had her portrait done by a professional photographic artist. She probably was very particular in her selection.  Every town back-when had a photo studio.  Remember the work of Disfarmer which we presented on this blog?

Disfarmer. Portrait artist Blogfinger post.

An actual photograph, made on film and printed on paper by an expert, as in this case, is an object of beauty that transcends the actual subject matter. Some photographers today are learning old black and white methods such as platinum or albumin printing or silver printing in a darkroom with special papers  in order to capture those wonderful textures, tints and gradations of grey seen in photographs like this one.

The name Adelaide is from the Germanic and means “noble kind.”  It was popular early in the 20th century, but by 1950, girl babies were no longer given that name.  But then, as if rising from the dead, the name has regained popularity starting in 2005.  Now it is said to be quite popular.

On the Broadway stage (1950,) there is a character named Miss Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls.” She is a nightclub performer who is Nathan Detroit’s girlfriend.

If we try to dig down into the inscription at the bottom of the photograph, we sense a deep expression  of loss or distance between the writer and her sister. There is a sadness there, compounded by the fact that this image wound up for sale to a stranger at a flea market.   “To my dear sister with all my love–Adelaide”  seems so heartfelt, as if it is more than a sister would say to another.  We’ll never know what was behind that emotional inscription.    But the song captures the sense of it all.

Renee Fleming, the opera star, often steps over the line to perform music in other genres.  This was recorded by her for the soundtrack of The Shape of Water which won the Oscar in 2018 for Alexandre Desplat.

“You’ll Never Know” was written for a 1943 movie called Hello, Frisco, Hello.  The song is based on a poem written by a young Oklahoma war bride named Dorothy Fern Norris.  In 1943 it won the Oscar for Best Original song, one of nine nominated that year.  Harry Warren and Mack Gordon were the composers.



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Independence Day parade, 2022. Paul Goldfinger photo. Click to enlarge the good times.  Ocean Grove “underground”


By  Video and text  below by Charles Layton  Ocean Grove. Editor at Blogfinger.net.  2012.


Before all this chilly weather, and before the hurricane and its aftermath, there was a magical time in Ocean Grove. Days were sunny, skies were blue, hearts were light. Surely if we wait a while that time will come again.

Here is a video.

Music. Eydie Gormé


Fine job Charles.–Paul


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OG Flea Market, June1, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. Left click for better look.

OG Flea Market, June 1, 2013.   Photo by Paul Goldfinger. Click on image for better look.   Girls and boys in their summer clothes.


RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN.  Medley from Carousel.  London production with original cast:


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July 1951. It wasn’t “cheesecake” if it appeared in U.S. Camera

By Paul Goldfinger, photography editor @Blogfinger.  2012 post.

Recently Charles Layton wrote an article for Blogfinger about an archaic term “cheesecake” as it refers to “girlie photos.”  Link to BF cheesecake article  He posted a picture of Betty Grable in a bathing suit–an example of a World War II “pinup.”   Of course, now we have tiny bikinis on display at beaches—more daring in some places than others, but basically very acceptable and admirable today.   A photograph of a woman dressed in such attire would not be shocking today.

But what is the background of such photography and when did it become acceptable?  And what about nude photography of women (and men) ?   It is said that when photography was invented in England in the 19th century, many of the first images obtained were female nudes.

In 1951, when this U.S. Camera cover of a girl in a bikini was published, there was an ongoing debate going on regarding the nudes in Playboy. However, in the fine art world, nudes had been acceptable in museums, galleries and publications such as U.S. Camera for many years, so the choice of this 1951 cover was mild by this magazine’s standards. In fact , this July 1951 edition of U.S. Camera contained a nude by  Edward Weston.

From U.S. Camera, 1951.


U.S. Camera began publication in 1938, a time of great excitement in the field of photography.  Edward Steichen was an advisor to the magazine, and nudes by the greatest photographers were shown in their pages back to the 1930’s.  The publisher /editor of the magazine, Tom Maloney, was arguing for a more liberal attitude towards “figure photography.”

In 1952, one year after this issue of U.S. Camera was published, he produced an entire special edition of nudes by many of the great pioneers of art photography such as Edward Weston, Harry Callahan and others.

Harry Callahan’s wife Eleanor; his only nude model.

Tom Maloney could get away with that because he was an important figure in the world of fine art photography, but back then, you would never see a nude in your local newspaper, in Life Magazine, or at “the movies.”   The venue was all important as to the acceptability of nude photographs.

The magazine ceased publication in 1969.  The era of glossy photo-driven magazines  such as Life and Look was over. But today you can go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see an exhibit called, “Naked Before the Camera.”  You can also turn on TV or a movie to see that   “figure photography” is alive and well in our culture—just one advantage of living in a free society.  (This article is a re-post)


KURT ELLING:   Do you have 8 minutes for this tribute to the music of Coltrane and Hartman.  It is a live performance called “Dedicated to You” by Kurt Elling who is a 51 year old jazz singer from Chicago.



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By Paul Goldfinger,   Editor Blogfinger.net.      Reposted from June, 2012. New photos and music.


Seaside Heights. 2017. Blogfinger photo.


For those of you who are from Jersey, you probably had your favorite shore town for summer fun.  I came from Rutherford, and the RHS crowd went to Seaside Heights.  It was a wild and sensual place, although there were some dangers.

But it was teenage heaven, especially those summer nights and the girls. If only we were old enough to get into the “Chatterbox”  where big name rock groups performed from Philly and elsewhere.

Where did you go for your Jersey Shore “Summer Nights?”  —Paul Goldfinger


Maybe OG is the place to be now (especially if you also include the Asbury boardwalk). Paul Goldfinger photographs ©  2012.   Blogfinger.net


“Chase the wave or get a Carona? Chase the wave or get a Carona? Chase the wave or get a Carona?  I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” PG photos  2012  (Click once to read the label; then back arrow when you stop looking.)


Seaside Heights boards, October, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Seaside Heights boards, October, 2015. Hold onto your cheese balls and order the salad.     By Paul Goldfinger ©


The Broadway cast of Grease (1994)


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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger on Martin Luther King’s birthday—-Re-posted 2022.    It was first presented on Blogfinger in July, 2014.

It was Saturday night, July 18, 1925, at 8:15 p.m., when vocalist Paul Robeson and his accompanist Lawrence Brown strode onto the stage of the Great Auditorium to present a concert of “Soul Stirring Negro Spirituals” (1)  to an integrated audience of three thousand people. Mr. Robeson, an imposing black man, was twenty seven years old. He was already famous as a screen and stage actor as well as a singer.  He was a true Renaissance man who would become one of the most popular performing artists of the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Robeson, who was born (1898) and raised in New Jersey, was an All-American football player and Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers University and an honors graduate of the Columbia University Law School. As a college student, Robeson was friends with the Day family who owned Day’s Ice Cream “Gardens” in Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. He had a summer job as a singing waiter at Day’s. (3)  When he came to Ocean Grove for his 1925 concert, he had just completed a triumphant run at The Provincetown Theater in New York, where he performed the lead role in Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Children Got Wings.”

He had friends at the Algonquin Round Table in New York City, and it was there, with the encouragement of his colleagues, that he decided to do a concert tour with an entire program of “Negro” spirituals and secular songs also known as “slave or plantation music.”

This would be the first time that this music would be performed in concert, and he would appear with his close friend Lawrence Brown, also an African-American, who was a gifted composer, pianist and singer. The two would work together for thirty years. The first stop on the tour was The Greenwich Village Theater in New York City, and then, three months later, he appeared in Ocean Grove.

The concert was reviewed by the Asbury Park Press, which said, “Robeson showed an intelligent appreciation of his task and a splendid voice.” They called him “a talented son of this state” and they described “great applause” in the Auditorium. Among the songs which he and Lawrence Brown sang were “Go Down Moses,” “Weepin’ Mary” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”

The following month he performed his concert in Spring Lake. They would tour for five years, all over the world, with this program. Later, Robeson would become the third most popular radio artist in the USA in the 20’s and 30’s. In the 1940’s he was the highest paid concert performer in the country and he was also successful as a recording artist. He would sing in the first production of “Showboat” and he would play Othello on Broadway and in England. He would star in eleven movies.

But his visit to OG that night was not only about music; it was also about recognition of African-American culture and the elevation of that folk music to high art. In addition, Robeson always was about hope for African-Americans, and performing that music was his way to offer pride and encouragement to his people. In 2004, when Barack Obama gave his “Audacity of Hope” speech at the Democratic convention, the first example he cited was, “…the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.”


Robeson would accomplish much in his life, but his greatest contribution would be his tireless and life-long advocacy for civil rights. In 1925, Martin Luther King wasn’t born yet, and the “civil rights movement” would not begin until the 1950’s. Imagine how much courage was required for a black man to step forward publicly on behalf of racial justice at a time when lynchings were still occurring in this country. In 1921 a race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma resulted in the deaths of 20 whites and 60 blacks. In 1922, an anti-lynching bill was defeated by filibuster in the US Senate. In 1925, the year of the concert, there were 17 reported lynchings in the US. Jim Crow laws could be found in many states, but Paul Robeson pressed for racial justice wherever he went and for his entire life.

Robeson had been “eagerly” (1) looking forward to his concert in The Great Auditorium. It is likely that he was aware that many “extraordinary African Americans” (2) had appeared there in the past, including the famous Marian Anderson (1921),  Booker T Washington (1908), the singing evangelist Amanda Berry Smith (late 1800’s) and many renowned black  preachers. The Ocean Grove Historical Society has documented the African-American History Trail in our town. (2)

In 1998, the Ocean Grove Historical Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of Robeson’s birth by a day-long commemoration featuring lectures, dance, a book signing and an exhibition. The centerpiece of the program was a re-creation of the 1925 concert in the Auditorium. They brought the noted African-American bass Kevin Maynor, who used the original program and reproduced the concert from 73 years earlier. This remarkable event was made possible by a committee of Ocean Grovers led by Rhoda Newman (chairman), Kevin Chambers, Phillip May, Jr., and others.

Paul Robeson’s contributions have been recognized many times in the form of tributes at Carnegie Hall and NJPAC, plus many articles, books, exhibits and documentaries. He is a part of Ocean Grove’s musical heritage which includes Enrico Caruso, Duke Ellington, John Phillip Sousa, and Pearl Bailey (2). Paul Robeson died in 1976 at age 77. Five thousand people attended the funeral in Harlem.

Paul Robeson sings “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” from The Complete EMI Sessions 1928-1939, remastered 2008.


1. Asbury Park Press Archives (Asbury Park Library)

2. Ocean Grove Historical Society Archives (Ms. Rhoda Newman)

3. Mr. Kevin Chambers, Ocean Grove Historian

4. Ocean Grove Times Archives (Neptune Township Library: Mrs. Marian R.Bauman, Director)

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Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes? Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*

Camp Ground c. 1870. Rev. Stokes is in black. Rev. Cookman is in white. Why is no street named after Stokes?    Photo courtesy of W. T. Bell*   Reposted from June, 2013 on Blogfinger.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In an article in the New York Times, published on July 12, 1873, their “special correspondent” said,” On the eastern coast of New Jersey, from Sandy Hook to Cape May, there is not a more lovely spot, nor one better adapted for a Summer’s resort than Ocean Grove. The grove proper is situated six miles south of Long Branch, and contains 300 acres of forest land, bounded on the north by Wesley Lake, on the south by Fletcher Lake, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the turnpike road to Long Branch.”

Even though Ocean Grove was only four years old then, there were already 300 cottages built or under construction. That week of July 11, 1873, there was a beehive of activity getting ready for the week long “Union Seaside Convention” which was being held for the dedication of the Tabernacle, which was a “monmouth tent” open on the sides and able to seat thousands. The event was not only for Methodists. It was clearly for Christians, but a variety of sects were welcomed and were in attendance including Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Friends and Methodists.

“Crowds” were pouring into the Grove from Philadelphia and New York by train. “By noon the place was fairly overrun.” The tourists had to be resourceful in finding a place to stay. There were to be 250 tents erected, and workmen were rushing about trying to get them finished.

The article mentioned that 1,500 people lived in OG for the summer season, and 600 of those lived in tents. The tents were set up all over town—there were no special tent places. It was noted that there was a “bare strip of grassland” running near the beach, and many tents were erected there. Setting up was a family affair, and the process was considered great “fun” as people were moving furnishings and supplies around all over town.

In the Grove were a few boarding houses and “several very good hotels.” You could stay for a week in an “excellent” place for $10.00. The “season” extended from June through September, but the huge camp meeting week was held in August. People would come from the train and go to the post office to find out where they could get a room.

The Times observed that “there is no hurry about anything. Everybody takes his time.” No intoxicating beverages could be sold in the Grove or for 3 miles around. The main activities were “boating, bathing and fishing.” Some of the “boys” played baseball. Others played croquet, although it’s not clear if girls could join in.

Most visitors and townies showed up for the dedication of the Tabernacle where there were prayers and speeches. Note that the Bishop Janes Tabernacle was constructed in 1877.

A couple of interesting items were mentioned in the article. One stated that homeowners received a 99 year lease, but at the end of that term, the family heirs could “buy the lot unconditionally.” That sounds like something to look into.

Finally, a very special event was to happen that week. Rev. Osborn, the founder of OG, was to be presented with a $3,000.00 cottage on Wesley Lake.

It sounds like Ocean Grove became quite famous very quickly after the Founders first got together in a park over by Long Pond (later, Wesley Lake) in 1869.





CREDIT: Photo from Images of America: Ocean Grove.* Thanks for permission from Wayne T. Bell, author.

See the Blogfinger article about the birth of Ocean Grove: ” Who’s Your Daddy?”   The true story of the founding of Ocean Grove. (Scroll down a short distance)    link:

Who’s Your Daddy?

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Crew-members: Doolittle raid on Japanese islands, April 18, 1942. 16 B-25B bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet.

By Kennedy Buckley of Ocean Grove, New Jersey   (Re-posted from 2012; 2019  on Blogfinger.) Ken was a former writer for Blogfinger. net.

“I was 9, visiting Ireland, when the war started in 1939. To get home we embarked from Scotland, and Mom bought me some toy soldiers and a tank for the sea voyage home.

“The bombing of Pearl Harbor was what changed life in the US; now we were in the war instead of watching. Lots of small banners with a blue star in the center started appearing in front windows, meaning a family member was in the service. My two older cousins from Philly went in, and  one would become an officer in the paratroopers (more about him later). Dad’s younger brother with no children was drafted — my dad not. Soon there were multiple flags in many windows.

“Nobody was allowed to go up on the roof of my uncle’s tall apartment building in Brooklyn because a spy could see all the ships in New York harbor awaiting convoy. All  windows had to have heavy  drapes to prevent light shining out. If light could be seen, an Air Raid Warden blew a whistle until you fixed it. Rationing books were needed to buy food and things. Tin cans and tin foil were saved and collected for the “war effort.”

“There was little car driving (gas and tires were rationed) so Esso (now Exxon) printed war maps instead of road maps on which you could follow the battle front as the Allies went through Europe and the Pacific. War news was really bad, defeat after defeat; however, our spirits were raised with very welcome GOOD news about a daring air raid on Tokyo by B-25 bombers flying off aircraft carriers. (The 70th anniversary of that raid just passed–in 2012.)

This family had 3 members serving. The service flag hung in many windows.

“As the war went on, many of the BLUE stars in the windows started changing to GOLD, signifying the death of that serviceman.

“Many of our neighbors in the tenements were Italian. Each family had a small storage room in the cellars. Italian families made wine there and stored it in big bottles. When V-E Day came, the celebrating started in the afternoon by bringing the wine to the street for huge block parties that went on into the wee hours. EVERYBODY drank. I was 14 and my buddies and I got falling drunk for the first time, rolling around in the street — nobody cared.

*Newsreels of color war footage of the island by island battles in the Pacific were shown in the movie theaters. The Japanese troops  were so gruesome that when the atomic bombs were dropped, nobody complained — soon after came V-J Day.  It was the end ….of that war.”


4  brothers from the Demby family of Bayonne, NJ (Paul’s family) returned home after serving in WWII. Three were in the Pacific, and one (Marty) was in the convoys that plowed through the North Atlantic with supplies for Russia and England.     PG family photo. 1945.  Front l to r.  Ben (Bronze star valor), “Duke” (subs), rear: Al on left (Sea Bees) and Marty  (Coast Guard). Eileen’s Dad Bernie Harkavy served in Europe.


Postscript by Ken:

“The soldiers came back home in droves to try to begin a normal life. My cousin Jimmy, the paratrooper, was already back recuperating  in an Army Hospital. He had jumped twice in Europe, D-Day in France and later in Belgium. He lost most of his men in the 2nd jump and was badly wounded. He never really resumed a normal life. He married (I was in the wedding party) a wonderful, beautiful woman,  an ex-Rockette. He was in and out of Veterans hospitals until he died in his early 30’s.

“I fear for the returning veterans from our recent and current wars. Will they get enough care? I really worry.”

(Note:  Ken Buckley died 2019 in Ocean Grove.)



* Maxwell Air University: Regarding how to finish off Japan:     “A policy of imposed starvation—of food, as well as materiel—would have weakened Japanese capabilities without reducing their resolve. Lewis estimates that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the extent that it induced Japanese surrender, saved the lives of roughly 30 million people.”


Blogfinger:   Today , 10/14/23, as we watch Israel respond in their war with  Hamas Islamic terrorists, the same standard should be acceptable.     Perhaps 1 million American soldiers could have died if we had invaded Japan.   PG


MUSIC from that era:  A lot of the music was sentimental and often catered to the imaginations of homesick GI’s who literally spent years away from home and loved ones.

Here is Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman orchestra with a song that undoubtedly reminded many GI’s of their girls back home.  —PG


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Scotrun, Pennsylvania. Ashley (l), Gilly (c) and Piper. 1999. ©Paul Goldfinger. Click left to enlarge

Scotrun, Pennsylvania. Hunting dogs: Ashley (l), Gilly (c) and Piper. 1999. ©Paul Goldfinger. Click left to enlarge.



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Captiva Island, Florida. 2012. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Captiva Island, Florida. 2012. By Paul Goldfinger © Click left for full view.

ART FARMER (1928-1999)  made an album in 1958 with the great pianist Bill Evans. It is called “Modern Art.” The group consists of Art Farmer on trumpet,  Bill Evans on piano, Benny Golson on tenor sax, Addison Farmer on bass and Dave Bailey on drums.

The song “Like Someone in Love” was written in 1944 for a film called “Belle of the Yukon.”  Jimmy Van Heusen wrote the music, and Johnny Burke—the lyrics. This is one of the great love songs of all time, but you won’t hear the lyrics on this version.    Being an old saxman, I love the interplay between the sax and the trumpet early in the song. Listen for it.

—-Paul Goldfinger  (reposted from August 2013 on Blogfinger)


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The Milky Way. Photo from the Internet


Re-post from 2012.  Charles Layton was a member of the Blogfinger staff when he wrote this marvelous piece. Charles now lives in Philadelphia.  He is a professional editor from the Philadelphia Inquirer, now retired.


By Charles Layton

A few years ago we lived for three weeks in Nicaragua, in a house at the edge of a small, very remote fishing village called Casares. It was a spectacular place. Instead of shooshing and murmuring, as they mostly do in Ocean Grove, the waves on that shore towered and crashed and sucked and splattered and spat. They were never subdued.

From our porch, looking out on the Pacific Ocean, we watched pelicans dive bombing for fish. Each afternoon huge flocks – a hundred or more at a time – would fly right past us, headed for their nesting grounds.

But even better was the sky at night. After all the meager lights in that little town went dark, the sky became a light show of blazing stars and star clusters, plunging meteors, wandering planets. Sometimes, very late, when the call of nature roused me from bed, I would walk out on the patio alone and stare and stare at the universe, and especially at the Milky Way, wheeling above me. Stars by the thousands, unbelievably distinct and clear.

In Ocean Grove, on most nights, you can actually count the number of visible stars. Often it’s no more than a dozen. Sometimes it’s none. Living under a permanent scrim of light pollution, we forget how many stars are out there. Many of us have never actually seen the night sky in its true state – as I saw it on the coast of Nicaragua, and as our ancestors knew it.

In a couple of weeks we’ll hear jokes about the Mayan calendar coming to an end, and how that will be the destruction of the earth and all mankind. No need to do your Christmas shopping or pay your taxes now, our doom is written in the stars, har har. What idiots, those Mayans.

But really, the Mayans and all ancient peoples lived their lives in constant communion with the teeming, moving lights in the natural sky. The ancient peoples had no idea what those lights were. They noted that the lights moved in strange ways. Sometimes one could be seen to streak and fall out of the sky. Sometimes a comet would appear, ominously hovering. (What did that portent? Something important, right?) The night sky was those people’s television, fraught with drama and bad news.

The constellation Orion. The three middle stars are his belt

Religions arose to explain all those moving lights. Stories were told. People saw pictures in the sky – a lion, a crab, a hunter named Orion holding a bow in one hand and a club in the other. Because the planets moved independently of the rest of the turning firmament, the ancients associated those special lights with gods – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

But because the sky was so brilliant, prominent, ever-present and mysterious, ancient people studied it methodically. They built observatories and took and recorded measurements. They found that the heavenly bodies displayed repeating patterns which, when plotted, yielded information useful to hunters, farmers, nomads and sailors. Astrologers tried to discern when “the stars were right” for planting or marrying or doing business or giving birth.

The Bible says the “wise men” (men who understood signs in the sky) were guided to Bethlehem by a star. If such a beckoning star rose in the sky now, I doubt we’d even see it — unless JCP&L suffered a major blackout.

Hurricane Sandy taught us the value of electricity, and I’m happy to have the power back on; I would never want to do without it. Still, it’s not a trivial thing, our loss of that ancient awareness of the richness of the sky.



BILLIE HOLIDAY  (this song added on 4/23/21):


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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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Editor’s note:  This was a wonderful idea for a community event in the arts. If you read the last paragraph you will see why we did not pursue a “3rd annual” version.   –Paul Goldfinger.   Blogfinger.net



Josh Pomponio (L) Wm. Paterson U.; Katherine Picariello NYU; Marlee Roberts NYU; Scott Schuyler NYU; Stephanie Wong Rutgers; George Itzhak NYU (missing: Lindsay Rassmann Montclair State; Charlie Redd NYU)
Josh Pomponio (L) Wm. Paterson U.; Katherine Picariello, NYU; Marlee Roberts, NYU; Scott Schuler, NYU; Stephanie Wong, Rutgers; George Itzhak, NYU (missing from the photo: Lindsay Rassmann, Montclair State; Charlie Redd, NYU, Nicole Rosen, Drexel U.)   click left for full view.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©


“This is wonderful,” said BFFF producer Marlee Roberts.   She was speaking for the nine university film makers who showed their creations in the Youth Temple at Ocean Grove today.

A scene from Katherine Picariello's film A scene from Katherine Picariello’s film “Tracing.” Photo by Eileen Goldfinger


Seven of the directors from 5 different schools were thrilled to see their work projected on a big screen with professional quality audio and video provided by the Camp Meeting Association staff.  They also were delighted to be in Ocean Grove at such a beautiful venue and they were grateful to have an audience with whom they could share their work.

Paul introduces the program. The NYU hat is to honor film makers from that school who made movies in the Grove: Woody Allen and Marlee Roberts

Paul introduces the program. The NYU hat is to honor film makers from that school who made movies in the Grove: Woody Allen, David Chase, and Marlee Roberts. Eileen Goldfinger photo

The Festival began with a music and slide show featuring images of Ocean Grove by Paul Goldfinger.

Paul and Marlee introduced the program, and then the films were screened in succession.  The material was quite varied including two documentaries, a fantasy featuring a ballet sequence,  a French style film noir,  a couple of dramatic sequences,  a study of the effects of bulimia, and  a comedy about getting into the heaven of your choice.

Afterward a Q & A revealed some insights into the inspirations influencing these young film makers as well some practical revelations about how a film school degree can lead to a job in the movie industry after graduation. One insight that they shared had to do with how many people are required to produce a short film and how these students collaborate with each other and tap into each other’s talents to complete their projects.

We would like to thank the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, OGCMA staff members Chris Flynn and Shelley Belusar, assistant producer Eileen Goldfinger, our tireless creative producer Marlee Roberts, Mayor Eric Houghtaling, and Mr. Richard Lepore of the OG Chamber of  Commerce.

We also want to acknowledge our sponsors, the OG Chamber of Commerce, KFR Communications   (Andrew Gioulis), Barbaric Bean, Smugglers’ Cove, OG Flower and Gift Shop, Drs. Whilden and Brevit (painless dentists) and Cruisin’ Limo Service of Ocean Grove  (Florence and Mark Meier.)

Also thanks to the CMA volunteers who helped at the event.  Thanks finally to our audience who attended and helped  in our effort to raise some money for the OG boardwalk reconstruction.

Lastly  (but not leastly)  we want to acclaim and thank our talented filmmakers who took part in today’s festival.  We will miss you. Come back soon and bring some more great films with you.

—–Paul Goldfinger , editor @Blogfinger


From “The Aviator”  Loudon Wainwright III:  “After You’ve Gone.”


April 2022.    I’m sorry that I don’t have any followup regarding what happened to these fledgling film makers. Perhaps some Grovers will get together to resurrect this idea in the future; it was a wonderful small town event—the sort of idea that is perfect for the Grove as it moves to a better cultural/secular future to balance the religious life here.

And, you should know that the main reason we did not pursue a “Third Annual”  was the insistence on the part of the CMA that they approve every film in advance.   We reluctantly went along, and Marlee Roberts and her colleagues were beautiful in making that work, but I would never again subject young creative people to censorship.


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