Five Mile Beat > Sedaka was the big attraction at ’60s weekend

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Neil Sedaka in concert. Neil Sedaka in concert.

The Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce’s Sensational Spring Weekend at the Wildwoods Convention Center, Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28, started with the “Geator with the Heater” Jerry Blavat and a record hop on Friday night.

The next day at Fox Park in Wildwood, the beat went on with vendors offering crafts and food for the free street fair with classic cars, contests and “Doo Wop Bus Tours.” The entertainment was provided by a Motown band, the Mahoney Brothers, the Rocktologists and a Beatles cover band. The weather was a little chilly but the spirits were bright and we all waited for the Neil Sedaka and Lesley Gore concert.

The evening began at 7:05 and Gore came on stage with a powerhouse voice. She just turned 66. Her songs take you back in time. She did her rendition of “Great Balls of Fire,” “Look of Love,” “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” and “He Really Loves Me.” But the crowd was on its feet for “It’s My Party,” and everyone knew the words.  The crowd loved “You Don’t Own Me.” She did a fabulous job. She told the audience that she recorded “It’s My Party” when she was 16 years old. She also mentioned the Quincy Jones called her “little bits” because she’s about 5 feet tall.

I am a great fan of Neil Sedaka and I was not disappointed. Those in the arena gave standing ovations to almost all of his songs. He spoke about winning his first Grammy for “Love Will Keep Us Together” recorded by the Captain and Tennille in 1976. Sedaka has sold more than 40 million records.

Sedaka spoke throughout the concert, on his life- being married for 50 years to Liba, that his daughter Dara sings and writes jingles and lives in New York, and about his son Mark, who lives in Los Angeles and is a screenwriter for the movies. He is a grandfather of twin 9 year old girls and a 6-year-old grandson.

He mentioned that a play about him entitled “Laughter in the Rain” will be produced in London’s West End, and the 73-year-old Sedaka is proud of that. His career has spanned 55 years.

He wrote many songs, such as “Where the Boys Are,” which Connie Francis sang, His most recorded song, “Solitaire,” was sung by Elvis Presley.

Sadaka sang “The Diary,” “Living Right Next Door To An Angel,” “Calendar Girl,” “Bad Blood,” “Happy Birthday, Sweet 16,” and “Oh Carol,” and the whole hall sang along. He finished the show with “Breaking Up is Hard To Do,” performed as a ballad, not rock ‘n’ roll.

At the show were many friends and neighbors including Joe and Ann Cirrinicione, Yogi and Karen Kurtz, Ron and Loretta Reiss, Angel Daniels and Ron Gelzunas, Darleen Heym, Bobbi and Ed Olwell, Jodie DiEduardo and her mother, Jim and Joan Rowland (the chamber president) Johnnie Walker and his Kate, Dave and Laurie Roach, and Tracey Dufault, the executive director of the chamber.

Also there were Suzanne Walters, Barb St. Clair, Barb Tomalino with her husband, Jim Dahlen and Deb Bass and her husband, Steve. Freeholder Sue Sheppard was with her mom, Marlene Sheppard.

 

Laurie Roach with her grandson Chase Slaney 14 months old enjoying rock ‘n’ roll. Laurie Roach with her grandson Chase Slaney 14 months old enjoying rock ‘n’ roll.

Lesley Gore in concert. Lesley Gore in concert.

Yogi Kurtz with Angel Daniels. Yogi Kurtz with Angel Daniels.

Barbara Tomalino, Suzanne Walters, Barbara St. Clair, and Debbie Bass all smiles after the concert. Barbara Tomalino, Suzanne Walters, Barbara St. Clair, and Debbie Bass all smiles after the concert.

Darleen Heym at the concert. Darleen Heym at the concert.

Barbara Magee, Barbara Flacco, and Margie Hughes. Barbara Magee, Barbara Flacco, and Margie Hughes.


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