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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Kaufmann residence in 1935 for a family from Philadelphia.  It is a marvelous place to visit. Located in a woodsy area in Mill Run, southwest Pennsylvania, it has recently undergone restoration.  Read about it. See link below.

When we went there, there were many photographers. It is considered one of the most important works of American architecture. We learned that Wright designed all the furniture inside and he even wanted to design the clothes for the lady of the house.    Wikipedia on Falling Water

 

Falling Water. Photo by Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for bigger view.

Fallingwater. Photo by Paul Goldfinger. © Click left for bigger view. Reposted from 2013.

 

 

ART GARFUNKEL.   “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.”   This song was released in 1970.

 

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Summer tent. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. July 26, 2013. Paul Goldfinger ©

Summer tent. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. July 26, 2013. Paul Goldfinger ©  Left click for full view

 

FRANCIS LANGFORD

 

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Sir Edward Elgar, c. 1900. This is not a Blogfinger photo.

Sir Edward Elgar, c. 1900. This is not a Blogfinger photo.

By Paul Goldfinger

I think that music can be appreciated totally at an emotional level, but if you are a musicologist you like to analyze what’s going on under the surface. The title quote above is by Sir Edward Elgar—the first sentence in his description of what his “Enigma Variations” are all about.

Needless to say, although I have a musical background (my mother sang all the time when she was carrying me and for all the years later,) I did not make it past Elgar’s first sentence.

He wrote his “Enigma Variations”  in 1898. He was tinkering on his piano at his home when he came upon a melody. Mrs. Elgar liked it and she encouraged Ed to stick with it.

I can imagine the conversation, “Ed, I like that tune. It’s about time you got your quavers and crotchets in order. Why don’t you write some variations on that theme while I prepare some bangers and kidney pudding for lunch?”

Sir Edward did prepare about 14 variations, and the work became a big hit in concert halls in England and abroad.

But, for me, all bangers and crotchets aside, I just like the main theme. Here is the “Enigma Variation –Nimrod adagio” by Sir Edward Elgar. It sounds like movie music, even though there were no sound movies back then.

However, this variation was used in the movie “Elizabeth” a 1998 film starring Cate Blanchett. The soundtrack received an “Oscar” nomination.

Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” have made the list of the “50 greatest classical pieces to be featured in a movie.”  The recording is by Sir Adrian Boult and the London Symphony Orchestra.

 

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—Paul Goldfinger, Editor, Blogfinger.net

Some songs really need to be performed with a vocalist because the lyrics are so beautiful.  And that is true for the jazz classic “All the Things You Are.”  It was written in 1939 for a show called “Very Warm for May.”

Jerome Kern wrote the music while Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the words. These two musical geniuses collaborated for many great songs.  Here are some of the lyrics from the verse, so you can see how remarkable the words are:

 

“You are the promised kiss of springtime
That makes the lonely winter seem long
You are the breathless hush of evening
That trembles on the brink of a lovely song
You are the angel glow that lights a star
The dearest things I know are what you are
Some day my happy arms will hold you
And some day I’ll know that moment divine
When all the things you are, are mine”

But the music is so gorgeous on its own, that in the hands of a great jazz musician you can get this—Dizzy Gillespie and his sextet, recorded in 1945.

Dizzy Gillespie. (1917-1993). One of the most innovative jazz musicians, especially in be-bop and Latin jazz.

 

 

BONUS TRACK:  This time with the words.  Carly Simon from her 22nd album “‘Moonlight Serenade.”  (2005)

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Pat Brenan of Neptune has been attending every Planotone concert for thirty years.

Pat Brenan of Neptune has been attending every Planotone concert for thirty years, dressed as Kenny and his guys do. Paul Goldfinger photo © 9/7/13. Ocean Grove, NJ. Great Auditorium.

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger, who wrote the Book of Love, and Editor of Blogfinger.net

 

2013:   The official count for last night’s Doo Wops concert was 2,700, but it sure looked like more than that—downstairs practically all seats occupied, and the balcony seats about 1/3 full.  The crowd was wide awake, alive and well.  We lost count of the standing O’s, whistles, shouts and applause.

Each of the three performing groups thanked the audience for helping to keep a musical era alive—an era of nostalgic, romantic and understandable music.  This was music that you could dance slow with, under low twinkling lights in gyms decorated with crepe paper.

That music, in OG last night, clearly was attracting some people who were born after the actual Doo Wop times of 1950’s going into the ’60’s when it helped form the basis for rock and roll. The Beatles found inspiration in performers including Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Drifters and many others.

Last night, the show opened with the Duprees–not my idea of a Doo Wop act, but they are polished performers. The Duprees have had many hits during their 50 year history (1962-2012) and they do put on a musically excellent show. Unfortunately the loudness of their presentation sometimes made the music a bit muddy.  The personnel of this group has changed many times over the years. The current group are all fine singers.

The Duprees are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a new album, and I did like their rendition last night  of the Bobby Darin hit “Beyond the Sea” from that album.

 

THE DUPREES, from their 50th anniversary album:   “Beyond the Sea.”

 

Shirley Alston Reeves, age 72, came on stage with two young women backup singers and her band.  She is the real deal,  and, although she did some girl group songs by the Supremes, the Chiffons, etc, which the audience loved, she really came alive when they did music by her old group:  The Shirelles.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”  undoubtedly broke a few hearts again in this audience.  One item that kept eyes on the stage were the two backup singers who, by some magic, managed to keep those low cut red gowns aloft.  Shirley also wore red, but her outfit was wisely  more demure.

 

THE SHIRELLES: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”

 

 

But, the Great Auditorium came really alive when Kenny Vance and the Planotones were introduced by Big Joe Henry for act II.  Their entrance set the stage as they came on doing the Planotone walk.  Kenny, who is now 69, has revised his show and made it funnier, edgier and musically more interesting, while retaining the infrastructure of his best hits and perfect falsetto.

Those guys, in their black suits, their porkpie hats and shades—always not taking themselves too seriously—lit up the place with their presence and the quality of the music.  Johnny Gale, the guitarist and musical director, was superb, as usual, in multiple rolls on bass, guitar, and vocals.  He even did some fine blues.

The group  opened with an old favorite, but one that I had never heard before by them:  It was the Five Satins’  “In the Still of the Night” which the Planotones did in a totally unique way.  But later, Kenny again mesmerized an audience with his version of “Gloria”

 

Here’s a link to the Blogfinger article about that song and its importance to Doo Wop history, and you can hear Kenny Vance sing it.

 

Gloria link

 

And here is a song that Kenny seems to do at every concert.  Angel Baby is beautiful, but he always gets the audience to sing along, and that is especially poignant when  a few thousand people participate in the Great Auditorium.

 

KENNY VANCE AND THE PLANOTONES with “Angel Baby.”

 

 

—Paul Goldfinger, Music Editor @Blogfinger.net

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By Paul Goldfinger      Editor@Blogfinger.net

 

Every year, the day after Labor Day, it feels like we are getting our town back.  It’s almost like magic, because it is so less congested—many hundreds of cars and people simply vanish.  It reminds me of the show Brigadoon where a small town in Scotland vanishes and then reappears, albeit, every one hundred years.

Here is a song from that original Broadway cast with Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, selected by Eileen who loves Brigadoon.  “The Heather on the Hill.”

Of course, we have Rosa Rugosa on the dunes.

 

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Carnival. By Paul Goldfinger. © Carnival. Chester, NJ.  By Paul Goldfinger. ©  Left click for full view. Shot on Kodachrome.

 

NORAH JONES.  “Carnival Town”  from her album Feels Like Home

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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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California dreamin’

 

xxxxxx

 

BAND OF H.M. ROYAL MARINES:  “Cavatina” from The Deer Hunter.

 

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RE-POST  from  2015.  Still relevant:

 

Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Belizia photo, Blogfinger staff. Old Salvation Army housing is being turned into a boutique hotel in Asbury Park. Prosper Bellizia photo, Blogfinger staff. April, 2015. ©

 

Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End? The CMA seems to create the good old days in the Grove and call it Is this the historic look that the HPC wants for the North End?*   The CMA seems to want to re-create the good old days in the Grove and call it “historic.”

 

This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood? Blogfinger photo. This space on the southern border of Asbury Park, across from Wesley Lake, will get condos in the future. Does Ocean Grove need to add more condos to the neighborhood?  Isn’t AP more in need of “redevelopment” than we are?      Blogfinger photo.

 

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

If you were wondering what our new North End hotel might look like, better hope it doesn’t take shape like the one on top.   The NERP calls for an 85 room hotel, but don’t worry—-remember that the HPC must approve the design.  What? You don’t trust the HPC? Perhaps you are thinking about the Greek Temple on Main Avenue or about the new Mary’s Place which will take up two lots and look like a pseudo- Victorian building designed to fool the tourists.

Or perhaps it occurs to you that there are enough hotels in the neighborhood counting the one above, so maybe we don’t need another hotel in the Grove. Currently in Asbury Park there are 3 hotels:  Berkley-Carteret, Tides, and Empress. In Ocean Grove we have Majestic, Shawmont, and Laingdon.

How about a nice park which we could call “Hotel Park” to remember the old North End Hotel which became useless in its time and was finally torn down in 1978.

Did you have a look at recently built condos in Ocean Grove  (e.g. on Ocean Pathway)  or in Asbury Park?  What do you think?

Editor’s note March, 2021. We have posted the architects design* for the hotel and condos.  It has a pseudo-Victorian look.

Historic zoning should not have permitted a hotel now at this site.  Just because there was a hotel before in that vicinity does not mean that another one should be allowed.  The 1911 hotel at the North End was demolished in 1978.  Note that the Asbury Hotel has opened in the interim, while the Tides has closed.

 

 

JOE WILLIAMS  From his album Music for Lovers

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