Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

A large crowd assembles for the Saturday night concert in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA. Photo by Paul Goldfinger


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor,  Blogfinger.net    Memorial Day 2012.  Ocean Grove

Leave it to Harry Eichhorn to come up with a concert that celebrates America while covering the gamut of music, from Dvorak to Irving Berlin and, of course, Ocean Grove’s sentimental favorite, John Phillip Sousa.

Perhaps you are wondering what a wind ensemble is, and how it is different from a band.  Well, there’s not much difference, but “wind ensemble” tells you what to expect, while a band could be anything  from the Foo Fighters to the Neptune High School Marching Scarlet Fliers.

I guess a wind ensemble contains musicians who blow into their instruments. This definition , or course, doesn’t hold up for the percussionists.  After all, did you ever try to blow into a snare drum?  But Harry Eichhorn’s group of about 45 musicians and 35 choristers turned on the charm for an audience of mostly senior citizens, some of whom might have actually heard Sousa perform live when he conducted the Marine Band here back in the day.

Harry looked great in his trademark pressed slacks and starched shirt. If he were running for office, he would win by a landslide, even if Lawrence Welk himself were on the ballot.

The concert was predictable with the veterans rising to their feet  (those who could actually still stand) and clapping to the rhythms of their theme songs. As always, the smallest group to get up has the most unrecognizable song—the US Coast Guard.  But I think that their song is the most beautiful.  Sometimes only one or two Coast Guard vets stand. They should wear something special like a life vest.

I get to stand with the U.S. Navy as they play Anchors Aweigh, but I wasn’t a warrior—-my weapon was a stethoscope, but I did get to wear an undrawn sword for dress inspections. I actually keep that sword in my OG bedroom in case a Barbary pirate were to invade my house.   Yet I do feel proud getting up  during this ritual which is always met with enthusiasm by the crowds that come to Harry’s patriotic musical tributes.

It really doesn’t matter what Harry plays—it will delight the folks, especially when a euphonium player sitting in the back, Ted Freeman, stands to announce the program using his 1940’s era radio voice. I wish, just once , that Ted would say, “”From out of the west with the speed of light and a hearty hi-yo Silver.”

The whole experience of going to a concert like this in Ocean Grove encompasses a lot more than Harry’s merry band digging into one old-fashioned medley after another. The unique ingredients that create that “old feeling” include the Great Auditorium itself, the sea breezes, patriotism, the town’s history, people sitting on the lawn, kids playing in the park, and the polite crowd lined up outside of Day’s.

The third piece on the program was the “Liberty Bell March” by Sousa. It is not well known, but Ted told us that it was played by the Marine Band at the inauguration of the last three US Presidents. So here is the US Marine Band playing the “Liberty Bell March:”

—Paul Goldfinger

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Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach–East Coast, Fla. By Paul Goldfinger ©


Elvis Presley: “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You:”


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Paul Anka in the Great Auditorium. Photo by Tracey James, Blogfinger staff.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net


Shelley Belusar, who books the acts for the CMA, was amazed when Paul Anka’s crew arrived at the GA on Saturday morning.  He brought a synchronized production  team that included sound, lighting and staging personnel.  They set up a massive backdrop of drapes that turned out to be dazzling light reflectors.  They placed small platforms around the auditorium for Anka to stand on as he moved through the room, and they prepared a multimedia presentation that recreated Vegas.

When Anka came on stage, he was surrounded by a 12 piece orchestra. The allocation of musicians was a bit peculiar: 2 trombones, 1 sax, 3 trumpets, synthesizer  and a bongo player—in addition to the mandatory piano, bass, drum and guitar.  But they were a superb stage band with a big brassy sound.  The show was a model of professionalism, showmanship and glitz.  The program included a wide array of musical styles, performed with great zest and skill; it was a satisfying show in terms of musicianship.  Among the best songs were Mack the Knife, For Once in my Life, Jump, She’s a Lady, It Doesn’t Matter Any More, and many other famous hits.

We tend to think of Paul Anka as a rock and roll kid whose friends included performers like Buddy Holly and Annette Funicello, but those years passed and Anka became a show business great whose mentor was Frank Sinatra and whose friends included the big stars of that  Copacabana, Las Vegas, New York-New York and Hollywood era.  Over the last half century, in addition to performing,  he wrote music for many stars besides himself, including the theme song for the Tonight Show.

Last night,  Paul, dressed in a dark three piece suit, shirt and tie, was a dynamo for 1 1/2 hours of pure energetic entertainment. He is tan, trim and fit, and his voice is still magnificent. You couldn’t avoid imagining Frank Sinatra on stage, because Paul Anka is built like Frank, sounds like him and even has mannerisms like “old blue eyes.”

A remarkable element to Anka’s  performance is his enthusiasm. He seemed to be having a wonderful time as he went out into the audience and interacted with the crowd in a way that had a few thousand people standing, shouting, whistling and even running up and down the aisles.


Paul Anka works the large crowd in the GA.   Photo by Tracey James


The show was less about his famous hits (“Diana, Put Your Head on My Shoulder, etc.”) than it was about music from his entire career. He paid tribute to Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Van Halen and Sammy Davis, Jr.

A giant screen came down several times to show photos of himself as a chubby kid and then a teen-age heart-throb. He showed a movie performance of Sammy Davis singing an Anka song, “Let Me Try Again,” and then, in a brilliant staging maneuver, the band and Anka seamlessly joined in that performance from fifty years ago . It was thrilling.

Here’s Paul Anka with a song from his album “Live in Las Vegas.”  He sang “For Once in My Life” last night in the GA.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Congratulations to Shelley and the CMA for bringing this exciting show to the GA.  It should be noted that Paul Anka, like Tony Bennett, remarked on the uniqueness of the Great Auditorium.  Performers love the structure, the crowd and the acoustics. Parking gets tight on such a Saturday night, but the concerts tend to be only about 2 hours long.

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Washington Square Park. August, 2012. NYC Street Series. By Paul Goldfinger. Copyright.

Washington Square Park. August, 2012. NYC Street Series. By Paul Goldfinger. © Click for full view.


ALICIA KEYES:  “Empire State of Mind (Part II).  Broken Down.”  From the album The Element of Freedom.


“Even if it ain’t all it seems, I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I’m from New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York!”


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The Village of Loch Arbour, New Jersey was founded in 1958. According to the 2010 census, the population is 194. This photograph was obtained on a gorgeous June day at 7 pm—the “golden time” for photography.  The image shows a group of homes arranged in a courtyard.  It is reminiscent of Ocean Grove with historic houses going back to the early 1900’s.  There is a porch culture like ours.

I spoke to a family sitting on their porch having a drink.  The kids were doing cartwheels under a giant  tree, and we met Mom and Dad, who  is a volunteer fireman.  The common areas are beautifully tended, and all the neighbors share that expense.

It seems like the kind of a place that would be a setting for a Jimmy Stewart movie. I got the impression that this is a neighborly place, a place where memories are made.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor  Blogfinger.net


Loch Arbour. June, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo.©  Originally posted here in August, 2012. Blogfinger.net  Click to enlarge.






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“Michael” Paris, 1991. By Paul Goldfinger ©


Paul Goldfinger has published quite a few of his  Paris photos including this portrait.  One time one of our Paris images  (of the Eiffel Tower)  was used in a commercial in Spain.  I never saw the commercial, but they sent me $100.00, enough to go for dinner at Don Pepe in Newark.

About 10 years ago our photo of the Asbury Park lifeguards was chosen for the cover of the book “New Jersey 24/7”

But now we have some news:  One of our Paris images has been chosen for the cover of a book to be published in London in 2022. This will be our second book cover.

We cannot offer the details now, but this is very exciting, so I will share it with our readers —–Paul


SOUNDTRACK:    Django Reinhardt  “Brazil”


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Italy. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Italy.   Photo by  Paul Goldfinger ©  Re-post from 2014 on Blogfinger.net.  Passover and Easter are approaching.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor Blogfinger.net


The writing on top is in Hebrew. It is the blessing for lighting the candles on the eve of  the Sabbath. If you try to read it, you need to go from right to left.

Is it wrong to mix these two religions in this post?  I don’t think so. Religion in its most elemental form consists of people seeking God in one way or another.

Candles give off light, just like the sun, the moon and the stars. All people share the gift of light, regardless of religion or no religion.  So, as in this church, anyone can light a candle anywhere and find peace in the light.

And anyone can find God when listening to Mozart, even in the dark.




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By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor at Blogfinger.net


Lee Wiley, a jazz singer from Oklahoma, was popular in the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s. This is a sweet song. Lee says, “I’m daffy about sugar.”


That’s not surprising because sugar does stimulate pleasure receptors in the brain causing release of dopamine and making children and adults a little daffy.



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By Charles Layton and Paul Goldfinger.   Editors:   Blogfinger.net


Ocean Grove becomes transformed late at night. Another side of the town’s beauty — at once calmer and more dramatic — emerges.

Streets, porches, vegetation and storefront displays turn ghostly and mysterious. Over on the Asbury side, some of the murals on the Casino (like the one above) become downright scary.

The contrasts of encompassing darkness, silvery moon and spots of artificial light point up architectural features that are less obvious in the brassy light of the day. Sounds strike the ear differently; the ocean surf suggests the breathing of some giant, sleeping thing.

As humans withdraw from view, wild creatures begin to roam noiselessly – a rabbit grazing on a darkened lawn, a possum scuttling in the shadow of a curb. Walking through town at midnight, one is surrounded by a world filled with secrets.


In an effort to convey that feeling, we offer a multimedia show: a collection of nocturnal photos © by Paul Goldfinger and a musical performance by Ben Webster on tenor sax, Oscar Peterson on piano and Ray Brown on bass. (The tune is In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.)


To enjoy this sight/sound combination, click on the audio arrow below. Then, as the music plays, put your cursor on the photo slide show and use the tool that appears to freeze a frame in place or to move forward or backward from one photo to another. — Charles Layton



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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“Though April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So if it’s raining have no regrets
Because it isn’t raining rain you know, it’s raining violets.

And where you see clouds upon the hills
You soon will see crowds of daffodils
So keep on looking for a blue bird
And list’ning for his song
Whenever April showers come along.”

The song was introduced for a 1921 Broadway musical Bombo.


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