Once again, greetings and salutations. By the time you read this, we will be out on the high seas on the beautiful Holland America Eurodam with DJ Joel Stephens plus all the artists on our annual Malt Shop Memories Cruise -- Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, the Four Tops, Little Anthony, Lou Christie, Darlene Love, Sha Na Na, The Coasters, Sonny Turner, and the Brooklyn Reunion starring the Mystics, the Passions, the Classics, the Traditions and the Tribunes.
This year's cruise was sold out more than six months in advance, and with lineups like this, you can see why. By the time we return next Sunday, over half of the people on board will have re-booked for 2016. I had the opportunity to hang out with my old pal Frankie Valli during his appearance at the Borgata in October. Frankie is just one of the artists, along with Dionne Warwick, who will join us for next year’s Malt Shop Memories cruise, so if you ever have considered being a part of this unforgettable experience, now is the time to reserve your spot -- go to MaltShopCruise.com for all the details. As you can see from the photo, Frankie and yours truly think it's a good idea.
Back in town, there will be plenty of opportunities to keep on partying with the Geator through the season, including our terrific Thursday happy hours in the Rush Lounge at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, so come and join us there. And for everybody who's been asking about New Year's Eve, we'll be celebrating at the Sands in Bethlehem, Pa., and you can get your tickets now at Ticketmaster.com. And don't forget about our doo wop reunion Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the Kimmel Center. For more info about that, go to KimmelCenter.org or call 215-893-1999 for tickets.
And speaking of Frankie Valli, here's a trivia question for you. Frankie, Pat Boone, Bobby Darin, and Sammy Davis Jr. were all signed by the same person -- do you know who it was? If you listen to my WXPN show on Saturdays (see our first question), you probably know the answer to this one, or you can read it at the end of this column. But now, it’s time for you to ask the questions.
Listening to XPN at 6 p.m. as always on a Saturday night but, honestly, "You Belong to Me," 1952 -- really?? I danced to the Duprees in the mid-to late '60s. How that could have happened like 15 years earlier? -- Diane, Birdsboro, PA
Very simple - what you heard me play were two different versions of that song by two different artists from two different eras. The Duprees' version came out in 1962, but way before that came the original, a country version recorded in 1952 by Sue Thompson, then by Patti Page as the B side to "I Went to Your Wedding." The hit version was by Jo Stafford later in 1952, which is the version I played. A very popular song that has been covered by many artists over the years, including Dean Martin, Patsy Cline, Ringo Starr, and Bob Dylan.
By the way, if you want more insight into the history of the music, tune in every Saturday to the Geator's Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Express on WXPN. You can hear it on 88.5 FM here at the shore or online from wherever you are at XPN.org.
Geator, what part were you up for in A Bronx Tale? - Pasquale, Bensalem, Pa.
Actually the movie I was asked to do was Once Upon a Time in America. Robert De Niro wanted me to play a lawyer, and as you know, the story of that meeting is in my book. Unfortunately, because of my work schedule I was unable to commit to the project.
I saw your article about Low Cut Connie being invited to make a guest TV appearance on The Voice without an audition. When I read about them turning it down, it made me think all the opportunities you had to sell your show to larger stations. I think he was following in your footsteps. -- Jason, Hammonton
I think you are 100 percent right, but I will let my pal Adam Weiner explain it. "I was going to have to do a lot of modern pop songs, songs that they were essentially promoting on the show. That's not my thing. I'm not a modern pop guy. I felt really strongly that the potential benefits were very small and the potential to be damaging was very great. I'd have to sacrifice a lot of things and dates that I worked hard for. In the end, it was not a hard decision to make. Always trying to think WWJD -- a.k.a., what would Jerry do?"
Answer to trivia question: Berry Gordy.
For complete info on Jerry’s appearances go to Geator.net. Got a question for the Geator? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, watch this column for the answer -- and remember, keep on rocking, 'cause you only rock once!