Archive for the ‘Music from the stage’ Category

New York Street Series. By Paul Goldfinger ©

New York Street Series. East Village. 2014.  Sunday morning.     By Paul Goldfinger ©


DENISE VAN OUTEN    “Tell Me On a Sunday”


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St. Remy, France. By Paul Goldfinger © St. Remy, France. Silver gelatin darkroom print.  By Paul Goldfinger   Click  to enlarge Blogfinger.net


EVA CASSIDY:   “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” from her album Imagine.


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Naples Botanical Garden. February, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger

Naples Botanical Gardens. February, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.


JESSICA MOLASKEY.  This song was written in 1921 for an African-American review called  Shuffle Along. Ken Peplowski on clarinet.



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Joyous Spring Potter, Anagama kiln. c. 1988. © By Paul Goldfinger

Bizen Nobori Gama kiln at the Joyous Spring Pottery in Monterey, Massachusetts.  c. 1988. © By Paul Goldfinger  (click on the image to view enlargements of most of our photographs. Use the little arrow at the upper left corner to return)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

This outdoor Japanese multi-chambered climbing kiln is from the Joyous Spring Pottery in Monterey, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires.  The American potter Michael Marcus had studied as an apprentice in Japan for four years under master potters and kiln makers and he  learned how to build his wood-fired kiln which is named after the Japanese town of its origin, where unglazed ware called yaki-shime has been produced for over 1,000 years.

It is constructed out of 10,000 fire-bricks and built on several levels, with a firebox on the bottom and a flue on the top. It is 43 feet long.  The potter places all his unfired clay pieces on shelves, and when the kiln is loaded, large amounts of firewood are placed.  The firing of the kiln only occurs occasionally, perhaps only once per year, and it is cause for great celebration.

Diagram of the4 Bizen Nabori Gama kiln named for the Japanese town of its origin. (from the Joyous Spring brochure)

Diagram of the Bizen Nabori Gama kiln named for the Japanese town of its origin. (from the Joyous Spring brochure)

Flames and ash belch out the chimney (Joyous Spring photo)

Flame and smoke belch out the chimney (Joyous Spring photo)

Marcus would use 10-12 cords of hardwood to fuel the sustained kiln fire.  The firing must be watched 24 hours per day. The interior temperatures reach up to  2,500 degrees F.  As Michael Marcus describes it, “It is fired for ten consecutive days and nights until it roars alive in a firestorm of belching smoke and flame. It fires its load of raw, unglazed wares, imparting a spontaneous decoration of running flame and melted ash.”  The effects of the molten ash and the fire interacting with the elements of the clay create unusual patterns, colors and textures.     When complete, it would take a week to cool down and a week to unload.

Marcus worked as a potter for 25 years and then closed Joyous Spring to pursue his vocation as a chef.   Michael Marcus is a skilled Japanese sushi chef and he still has his gourmet restaurant BIZEN in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. See his note to Blogfinger in the comments section below.

Vase by Michael Marcus. Phtographed in Eileen's Ocean Grove garden. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Vase by Michael Marcus. Photographed in Eileen Goldfinger’s Ocean Grove garden.   Paul Goldfinger photo © Click image to enlarge.



MADAMA BUTTERFLY BY PUCCINI  “One Fine Day”   Act II, Part 1. Yves Abel conducting.


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Freddie Paris (on top) with the Five Satins. Vintage 1950's

Freddie Parris (on top) with the Five Satins. Vintage 1950’s.


Freddie Parris died yesterday, 1/16/22  at age 85.

We don’t get to report about Doo Wop music in the Grove any longer, so here is a very special report/interview  regarding a remarkable and famous rock and roller who loved coming back to the Great Auditorium


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

We have to get one thing out of the way —there are only four Satins now, but they will be in the Great Auditorium for the Doo Wop extravaganza on June 22, 2013.and it is going to be a wonderful show.

I spoke by phone tonight with Freddie Parris, the lead singer and the guy who wrote one of the all-time best rock and roll songs ever—“In the Still of the Night.” That song is a classic story of a boy and a girl out together, a night in May, under the stars , hugging and hoping it all never ends.

But as simple as the story is, there is the marvelous and unforgettable musical composite of harmonies, rhythms, falsettos, shooby doos, Freddie Parris’s long notes, and a memorable tenor sax solo in the middle. All of that comes together into a mega-hit that never declines in popularity.

Freddie Parris, more recently. Lookin' good.

Freddie Parris, more recently. Lookin’ good.

Freddie has been performing his all-time-favorite song for about fifty years and he never gets tired of it. He wrote the song in Philadelphia while he was on leave from the Air Force. His inspiration was a girl friend who later left him, but her memory lives on in this song. Later he recorded “In the Still of the Night” with some friends in the basement of St. Bernadette’s Church in New Haven.

Over the years, the Five Satins have changed personnel and styles. In 1975, they took on a disco sound and became “Black Satin,” but later they returned to their roots.

Freddie Parris and the Five Satins have been performing all these years and they have played all kinds of music. In 1969 they were part of what was the first major “Oldies But Goodies” concert when they appeared on the same bill as the Coasters, the Comets, and Gary US Bonds.

He acknowledges that most of the original Doo Wop group members have passed on and that the current performers are mostly younger substitutes. We talked about how so many of these groups have changed their presentation with some developing Vegas style flashy acts and others finding new ways to present dated material.

An example is Barbara Harris and the Toys, who will be here on the 22nd.  She does a wonderful take-off on the girl groups of the ’50’s and ’60’s. Then there are the “tribute bands” which imitate huge stars like the Beatles and the Stones.

Freddie thinks that the Doo Wop phenomenon will eventually fade as did the big band era which was predicted to last forever. But meanwhile Freddie and the Five (oops four) Satins will continue to do their show. He always looks forward to these concerts where he gets to reunite with old friends like the remaining Drifters.

Freddie and the Satins have been featured several times before in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, NJ, , and Freddie calls it a “wonderful and unique venue.” He loves the acoustics, the building and our historic town.

On June 22, The Five Satins will be arriving here with four Satins and a five piece band. He and Richie Freeman are original members of the group. Freddie is 77 years old, and he admits to slowing down somewhat, but he continues to travel and perform with his bandmates, one of whom is a woman. He loves the addition of that female voice, and it really helps with the high notes, especially the one at the end of “In the Still of the Night.”

The Five Satins are no one-hit wonders. They have recorded and hit the charts with many winners over the years, and we will hear some of them at the concert. Freddie hasn’t yet determined the program for his Ocean Grove segment, but he says that “every song has its place.” Meanwhile his motto seems to be, “Let the good times roll.”

That night we will also hear John Kuse and the Excellents, The Brooklyn Bridge, and Barbara Harris and the Toys. Hosting will be 101.5’s Big Joe Henry. Tickets are $35.00 reserved and $30.00 General Admission. Order online at http://www.oceangrove.org or by phone at 800 590 4064.


Good evening ladies and germs. Blogfinger presents Freddie Parris and the Five Satins with “In the Still of the Night” A great song like this is recognizable after one bar, so grab your significant lover, I mean other, because this is the ultimate slow dance.



Here’s the link to the BF article about the Excellents and “Coney Island Baby.”  Don’t miss this:

The Excellents

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Left Bank, Paris. c. 1998. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Left Bank, Paris. c. 1998. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge


KELSEY GRAMMER AND DOUGLAS HODGE.   “Song on the Sand.”  From La Cage Aux Folles.  Broadway cast album.


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Tuscany, Italy. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger.

Tuscany, Italy. 1996. By Paul Goldfinger. ©


By Paul Goldfinger,  MD, Editor  @    Blogfinger.ne


It is very difficult for one swan to do a pas de deux,  but this Italian swan is capable.  After all, he (or she?) is the only component in this photo which is in sharp focus.   Recently we posted a photograph of a seagull in a boat, misidentified as a duck. But a swan?—–never mistaken for a duck.

Has professional ballet ever been presented  in Ocean Grove?  I’ve never seen it mentioned in the OG history books. We certainly had a lot of opera, instrumental, and choral music, but vocalizing was always emphasized here thanks to Tali Essen Morgan who’s buddy was Caruso.  There is no mention of Tali hanging out in the Grove with prima ballerinas.

Swan Lake made its debut in Moscow in 1877 by the Bolshoi. Tchaikovsky wrote it, and it  has been almost constantly on tour ever since. Maybe someday we will have Swan Lake on the stage in the magnificent Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

But we can dream. 

Here is a pas de deux from Swan Lake Act II,  It is called the Love Duet, and the star is Ulyana Lopatkina.  Can you imagine these two going to Days after the show for hot fudge sundays?

Tchaikovsky must be kvelling wherever he is.

Click on the full screen or picture in picture mode to enlarge all these ballerinas hopping on one leg.




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St. Remy. 1995. By Paul Goldfinger © St. Remy, France.   1995. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Silver gelatin darkroom print.  Click photo to enlarge.


This is the 19th century  mansion “Le Château des Alpilles.”   It is a 5 star  hotel in St.-Remy-de-Provence (southern France.)   It has 21 rooms and a first class restaurant.



GEORGE BIZET.  From “Carmen Suite No.1—Intermezzo.”  Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Listen for a garden of woodwind delights.


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 By Paul Goldfinger © April, 2014.

Freehold Township, New Jersey.  By Paul Goldfinger © April, 2014.  Click left


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Captiva Island, Fla. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. © Left click for front row seat

Captiva Island, Fla. 2013. By Paul Goldfinger. ©Click image for front row seat.


BRAHMS. “Ronde de Jambe…Hungarian Dances.”   For ballet class.


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