CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
MOVIES, DINING, NIGHTLIFE, & GENERAL FUN
In Camden and Vicinity
November 25, 1955
As time passed and the the suburban towns evolved, more and more business opened to cater to the recreational desires of those folks who had moved tot he suburbs. The opening of the Garden State Race Track in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill) in the 1940s created a market along what is now Route 70 and Route 38. Other business opened up in the region. Some were new establishments, others had roots going back many years.
To see what changes five years brought to the local entertainment scene, click here to see what was being advertised in the Courier-Post on June 10, 1960.
Today most of the business that will be mentioned below are long gone, but I know that for those who visit this page, those names and the images accompanying them will bring happy memories.
I would very much like to find out and post some information and photos of some of some of the live acts advertised below. Some of course are relatively famous... Sally Starr and John Weber, for example, others less so, and some pretty much all but forgotten. If you have any information on some of these acts, please contact me by e-mail.
As always, HAVE FUN!!
Severs & the Oak Valley Boys
Les Severs had a long career as a singer, bandleader, recording artist, and disc jockey in the Philadelphia-Trenton area. He also hosted a television show in Philadelphia in the late 1960s. As of 2015 he is still alive and living in Richboro, PA.
Riddell was a master of the pedal steel and was active in bands from the
1940s on. He passed away in Deptford NJ in 2009. Emery "Sonny"
Sleeter also led bands and recorded. He moved to Florida and died in
Bar & Grill
The Ray-o-Vacs - Santora
Deighan's Sport Center - Five O'Clock Club - Starlite Ballroom
Jimmy Lynn was a Chester PA disc jockey who hosted a Teenarama show on radio in the 1950s. He took the show to television on the short lived (1955-1957) WPFH channel 12 in Philadelphia. In 1968 he put together a one-hour polka show on Philadelphia WKBS channel 48.
In the 1940s and 1950s Al Chevalier led an orchestra in South Jersey and possibly Philadelphia.
Piano-player Col Nemeth was active as a bandleader in the 1940s, appearing as Col Nemeth & his Gypsy Melodians in Baltimore in 1945, and was still performing in New Jersey in the early 1960s.
Organist Bill Coates appeared in South Jersey from the 1940s into the 1960s. In 1950 he recorded at least one song on the Robin label while appearing at Club Shaguire (now The PUB) written by Camden songwriters Jaines Jamison and Bud Delaney, backed vocalist Eddie Roecker on at least six sides for Robin in 1951.
Rocco & His
Barney Long worked mostly in Philadelphia as a nightclub comedian and emcee from the 40s into the 1960s. He married Ruth Mason, a dancer in Gloucester City in 1949.
|Brown's Log Cabin|
|Joe Voorhees and His Orchestra appeared at Brown's Log Cabin as early as June of 1944|
|Brown's Log Cabin|
Restum & His Quartet
Nowicki & His Polka Band
Willie Restum was a baritione saxophonist, band leader, comedian, and recording artist from Allentown PA, who had a long career in show business, including am 11 year run at the Dream Lounge in Miami Beach. He worked and was friends with many of the top performers of his day, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tony Bennett. In 1966 he moved to California where he enjoyed a four year run at the Playboy Club in Hollywood. He died of a stroke in Los Angeles in 2006.
Adam Nowicki, from Conshohocken PA led a very succesful oufit and recorded for at least five differentlabels. He was induced into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1995.
Oscar DuMont (whose real name was Oscar Borelli), led a 15 piece big band whose live performances were broadcast from WCAU in Philadelphia from the 1940s into the 1950s. At the height of his popularity in the early 1950s his broadcasts, which from October 1949 through 1957 were from the Sunset Beach Ballroom in Almonesson NJ, were carried coast-to-coast over 142 stations, plus overseas via Armed Forces Radio. He also worked from 1951 on for WKDN in Camden as a disc jockey and radio time salesman. When his run at Sunset Beach ended, he took his band on tour at least once, in the spring of 1957. Sadly, Oscar Dumont passed away on February 3, 1965 at Edgewood Hospital in Berlin, New Jersey. He was 48 a the time of his death.
formerly Charlie Ventura's
Raft Quartet - Ethel Barron
South Philadelphia based Joe Raft appeared in clubs in Philadelphia and South Jersey as early as 1942. Ethel Barron, who played piano and sung, also worked the Philly-South Jersey market in the 1940s and 1950s.
|Red Hill Inn||Kent's Chimney House|
Arcade - Hank Reese
Gene Arcade was a singer who worked in Philadelphia and South Jersey in the 1940s and 1950s and possibly beyond, He recorded a number of singles over the years, including two on the Reeel Label in the late 1950s. Hank Reese worked the same circuit n the 1950s and 1950s. The Johnny Crawford referred to here is NOT the Johnny Crawfrd from "The Rifleman" TV show, who recorded extensivley in the 1960s. I'm not sure who he is/was, to tell the truth.
Drummer and vibraphonist Mickey Collins led one of the more poplar outfits in Philadelphia in these years. He appeared with many top artists when the came through Philly to play at the Uptown. Jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley also got his start in the Collins band, also known as the Micky Collins Orchestra.
Zeke Johnson & His interludes
Ralph Meeker - Polly Bergen
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