John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, which recorded the original soundtrack for the 1983 cult hit film “Eddie and the Cruisers,” will headline the June 23 beach concert in Somers Point.
"Eddie and the Cruisers" was set and partially filmed in Somers Point — where the fictitious band gets its start at Tony Mart's nightclub, a real-life legendary rock ’n’ roll hot spot in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s (Tony Mart's is known for being the place where Bob Dylan's The Band got its big break playing as the house band Levon and the Hawks).
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Parts of "Eddie and the Cruisers" were also said to have been shot on the Ninth Street bridge into Ocean City beach, the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Palace of Depression in Vineland and other South Jersey landmarks.
The movie flopped but became a cult favorite after being released on HBO, and the soundtrack went to the top of the music charts, with three of the songs — “On the Dark Side,” “Wild Summer Nights” and “Tender Years” – hitting the pop charts as singles.
Cafferty's solo track "Hearts on Fire" was featured in the Sylvester Stallone film "Rocky IV," and over the years he has placed 35 songs in major motion pictures, according to his bio.
For Friday's performance, the Billy Walton Band will join John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band as guest.
The Somers Point Beach Concert Series is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with more than 20 performances over 16 concerts this summer — and the lineup includes three Grammy Award winners, a Grammy-nominated artist who has received multiple awards from the Blues Hall of Fame, multimillion-selling recording artists and hot emerging artists, some of them from South Jersey, according to organizers.
Sponsored by AtlantiCare, the Concerts on the Beach series runs Fridays through Sept. 8, with a few extra concerts in between
The series' Fourth of July celebration will feature four shows, including back-to-back concerts June 31 and July 1. The Anniversary Festival Friday, June 30 will feature a three-artist concert starring Pittsburgh Queen of the Blues Jill West and Blues Attack, rising young saxophonist Vanessa Collier, and the Bo'Hog Brothers with a Southern rock tribute. At the Special Anniversary Show Saturday, July 1, the Tony Mart All-stars will perform their “Funkin’ with the Beatles” tribute and return Dr. Bobby Fingers to the lineup.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated concerts of the season is the Fourth of July show, titled “Jersey Girls Do It Right,” starring some of South Jersey’s top female vocalists performing classic rock, R&B and swing favorites: Geri Mingori, Patty Blee, Sunday Grasso, Ci Bon, and Rosie O’Reilly Gazzara with the Tony Mart Allstars.
The four-concert celebration concludes Friday, July 7 with dance party music by The Jeremiah Hunter Band featuring Kenny Jeremiah, founder and vocalist of the Soul Survivors ("Expressway to Your Heart," City of Brotherly Love"), and Bobby Hunter of Full House, one of South Jersey's most enduring party bands.
Beginning July 14 the series will present eight award-winning recording artists, starting with New England’s rocking and swinging big band Roomful of Blues, followed July 21 by Louisiana Music Hall of Famer Kenny Neal, a Baton Rouge swamp blues guitarist who was recently named contemporary blues artist and awarded album of the year at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis.
Next up, on July 28, it will be the funky New Orleans rock brass band Bonerama led by jammer Mark Mullins, and the Somers Point return of Southern rock and blues artist Devon Allman Aug. 4.
The series will be punctuated by a dance party Aug. 11 with the Dane Anthony Band. The Aug. 25 show is being billed as a "super group spectacular" featuring Hawkins Road Band and the Coconuts together in a classic rock, country music and Jimmy Buffett Parrothead-style extravaganza.
The big names will keep rolling in Aug. 18 when international blues rock star Walter Trout takes time from his European and United States festival headlining to return to his roots and visit with friends here and in Ocean City, where he lived for many years in his youth.
The concerts on the beach will bring on the heat for the last three performances, starring original Bruce Springsteen E Street Band drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez performing with the Billy Walton Big Band Friday, Sept. 1; two-time Grammy Award-winner Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience performing Sunday, Sept. 3; and the Grammy Award-winning producer and guitarist from the Johnny Winter Band, Paul Nelson, lending his guitar to a Johnny Winter tribute for the season finale Friday, Sept. 8.
Volunteer production coordinator Carmen Marotta urges concertgoers to bring their beach chairs, blankets and families and come to dance.
All concerts start 7 p.m. and are held on the William Morrow Beach on Bay Avenue between New Jersey an Higbee avenues.
Somers Point Beach Concert Schedule
All concerts are Friday unless otherwise noted
June 23: John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band with special guests The Billy Walton Band – music from "Eddie and the Cruisers" and beyond
June 30: Jill West and Blues Attack, Vanessa Collier, and the Bo Hogs – Southern rock
July 1 (Saturday): The Tony Mart All-stars show “Funkin’ with the Beatles” and Dr. Bobby Fingers
July 4 (Tuesday): Jersey Girls Do It Right starring Patty Blee, Geri Mingori, Sunday Grasso, Ci Bon and Rosie O’Reilly Gazarra with The Tony Mart Allstars – classic rock, R&B and swing favorites
July 7: Jeremiah Hunter Band – dance and party music
July 14: Roomful of Blues – rock and swing big band
July 21: Kenny Neal – New Orleans R&B, rock and blues rock
July 28: Bonerama – brassy funk and classic rock
Aug. 4: Devon Allman and special guest Northbound Train – southern rock and blues
Aug. 11: Dane Anthony Band – classic Motown, Elvis and dance music
Aug. 18: Walter Trout and His Band – blues rock
Aug. 25: Hawkins Road and the Coconuts – classic rock, country and Parrothead music
Sept. 1: The Billy Walton Big Band with special guests Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Dr. Phil – rock, blues and soul
Sept. 3 (Sunday): Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience and “Last Waltz 40” tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band
Sept. 8: Paul Nelson – classic rock and blues party with a tribute to Johnny Winter