Posts Tagged ‘Stardust Memories in Ocean Grove’

Maurice Scott and his society band. Metropolitan Hotel c. 1950's. Blogfinger file photo courtesy of the Scott family. ©

Maurice Scott and his society band. Metropolitan Hotel c. 1960’s. Blogfinger file photo courtesy of the Scott family. ©  Hotel photographer unknown.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger

Most hotels in resort areas such as Asbury Park and the Borscht Belt (Catskill Mountains) had their own bands because ballroom dancing was popular in that era and because guest entertainers needed backup. Maurice Scott, a highly regarded New York bandleader and trumpet player, worked with the biggest names in entertainment in Manhattan, but in the summer he would perform at the Metropolitan, a well known hotel in A. Park, which was torn down about six years ago after being closed for a number of years.

He and his family stayed in the hotel all summer, and the life of a musician there was very good.  They played music at night, often backing up well known singers and dance teams.  During the day they enjoyed the amenities of the hotel.  Maurice also was a fine singer and master of ceremonies. His trumpet playing was remarkable, with a big sound reminiscent of Harry James.

And, speaking of memories, don’t forget “Stardust Memories” a film by Woody Allen shot in Ocean Grove.  Here’s a link to the 2011 Blogfinger post about that film:


Stardust Memories Blogfinger post 2016

VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS  with “Stardust”    The trumpet solo sounds like Maurice Scott in his prime.  This version is from the film soundtrack “The Aviator.”

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An early scene in Stardust Memories from the PBS documentary about Woody Allen

By Paul Goldfinger

“Stardust Memories” (1980) was Woody Allen’s 10th film in which he acted and directed. It came after his biggest hit, “Manhattan” (1979), a gorgeous film which had won four Academy Awards.

“Stardust Memories” is about a famous filmmaker who comes to a seashore retreat to celebrate his work. The movie is a serious effort that examines themes such as life, death, relationships and religion. It was shot in black and white by Gordon Willis, the famed cinematographer who also filmed “The Godfather.” Woody says that “Stardust Memories” is one of his favorite movies, but it bombed at the box office. The film was discussed during part I of the Woody Allen Documentary on PBS Sunday night.

Woody as Sandy Bates in Stardust Memories

The Great Auditorium exterior was used to represent the Stardust Hotel. Some other exteriors in OG and Asbury were also used, but other locations and studio venues participated. I think the Casino was used as a train station. Evidently, the electrified cross was taken down since it needed repairs, and Woody paid for a new one after filming.

In the documentary, they showed some scenes from the film, and I managed to grab a few shots from the TV including two showing the GA.

Some of the peculiar characters in the film. The GA hotel in the background

So while we are on the subject of movies where local towns are mentioned, Stardust is a favorite of mine, and the above article explains it all.  It was last posted on Blogfinger in November, 2011.

MUSIC: From the Stardust Memories soundtrack. Louis Armstrong (recorded 1931) plays “Stardust.” The movie title is derived from the Stardust recording sessions (1931) where Louis, in an alternate take, said “Oh, memories” three times in succession.

Woody liked the latter version of the song for the movie title, but the version below was chosen for the soundtrack. (Do you care? Some aficionados actually do.)  PG

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"Maggie" by MaryLou Shipman

Ten years ago, my sister and I purchased a two-family home here in Ocean Grove. Shortly after we moved in, my niece, who was 13 at the time, lost her beloved cat, Simon. Sadly, he died of natural causes at the ripe old age of 16. The very next day, a female carbon-copy of Simon showed up in front of our house. She greeted us with a “Please rub my belly” burly roll and we were hooked. Simon had something to do with this for sure! Our mail lady told us that she knew of a similar cat in the area whose name was “Maggie.” We weren’t positive if she was the same cat, but the name stuck and Maggie has been a part of our lives ever since.

We came to learn that she was left behind by neighbors who moved away. My sister and I have our own indoor cats. Maggie was welcomed to join the club; however, she insisted on going outdoors. I had her spayed and by the grace of God (and geography) a wonderful couple moved in two doors down. They adopted Maggie as an indoor/outdoor cat and, not long after, blessed her with a sister beagle named “Maya.” We are not sure if Maya is a blessing or a curse in Maggie’s mind. She has been seen, however, following closely behind her dad and Maya on their daily dog walk. While patrolling the street, Maggie is always willing to stop by for a belly rub and a quick conversation. She’s also the volunteer taste tester at evening barbecues.

Ocean Grove is a haven for cat and dog lovers. Over the years I have become acquainted with many four-legged friends on my walks through town. I still say “hello” to Jason, the senior citizen dog who takes himself for a walk and could probably tell you his phone number (if he remembers). I will always recall, like many tent owners, the big black-and-white cat named Oreo who lived near the auditorium. He could often be seen lounging across his front porch step or wandering from tent to tent. As an illustrator, I have managed to capture several of the neighborhood cats, including Maggie, in my own paintings. That way, they will always be in my memory as well as my own home gallery of Ocean Grove cats.

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