Once again, greetings and salutations. And if you were listening over the weekend to our live broadcast at Memories in Margate, you know it was bombastic. Friday night, a big birthday party in the Geator Garden for 150 people (see photo) celebrating Maury Singer's 70th birthday and the opening of the Eagles training camp. The theme? All green, Go Eagles Go, and even my man Butchie Buchanico cheered it on.
And it got even better. Busloads, literally, of people from Ocean City and Sea Isle City to spend the entire weekend at Memories and celebrate the 2nd annual Sandals & Scandals Sea Isle party, And do you want to talk about partying? Well, you heard it on the air -- the big Saturday night party was the engagement of Anthony, the last of the Three Amigos to go, to the lovely Alexa, with the champagne toast given by Justin, the first Amigo to go (see photos). On board, not only both families but friends from the bride and groom to be, including John from the legendary Cannuli's Sausages and his lovely wife, Lauren, and Ray & Jackie -- yes, Charlotte's granddaughter -- of Cascia's Bakery in Hammonton. Also in attendance, one of our favorite guys, Sheriff Carmel Morina of Gloucester County. And more birthday parties, including my secretary, Carol Tempesta, with her entire family, including husband Jerry and son Kevin Taylor and his girlfriend Michelle, singing "Happy Birthday."
And whether you realize it or not, we just have a few more weeks until Labor Day. So if you've not picked up on the magic, you better do it in a hurry. And remember, for the month of August on Thursdays, Bobby Kulik of the Happenings ("See You in September," "I've Got Rhythm") will be appearing live to entertain you at Memories, along with a sensational Donna Summer impersonator Rainiere Martin on Aug. 23 and 30 -- and coming Labor Day weekend, the return of the sensational Adam Weiner and Low Cut Connie, plus the return of the great comedy revue Not Collidge Mateerial. More about that next time -- now, let's ask the Geator.
I am trying to validate a memory from 1969 that I believe you were part of. That summer I was with the house band at the Steamboat Deck in Essex, Connecticut. In July, the yacht owned by Frank Sinatra berthed at the marina. After dinner, Mr. Sinatra and his guests stopped into the club for an hour as guests of the club owner, who had roped off a section for the Sinatra group and asked us to prepare a set of his songs to play if/when he did stop in. We played our Sinatra set and to express his thanks, Mr. Sinatra invited the seven of us to join him on his yacht for a drink. We were delighted to do that, and on his yacht we also met his cruising guests. To the best of my recollection, those guests included Mr. and Mrs. Romanoff (Los Angeles restaurateur), Robert Merrill (singer), and you. It was a magical experience and as the years have passed, I have often thought about it and reconstructed it in my mind. I remember you being very witty and funny, and I also remember Robert Merrill booming out a few lines from a song over the still waters of the Connecticut River at 1:30 a.m. on an otherwise quiet night. I would greatly appreciate your letting me know if my memory is still intact. Anything else you might remember would be a very welcome bonus. Thanks in advance -- Frank Fimmano, Short Hills
Your memory is correct, though not 100% accurate. That was Gary Merrill, the film actor, on the boat and not Robert Merrill, the opera singer -- though Gary, especially after he had a few drinks, would often break into song. As usual with Frank, at least in my experience, it was always fun and frolic and never knowing who else was going to show up. That night I was the guest of Gary, who at that time was about to divorce Bette Davis. Gary and I had just finished filming a movie with Sammy Davis Jr. that was never released called Cycad. I was on Gary's boat (that's Gary on the right in the photo) and Frank was in the same marina. We hooked up and Frank invited all of us onto his boat. Unfortunately that's about all I remember of the night. I'm impressed with your memory of it. Those indeed were special times.
Geator, do you carry all of your records everywhere or do you have different collections at your studios and at Memories? -- Fred Cilurso, Tampa, Fla.
When I am in my studio I play vinyl, and also at Memories. But when I do my one-nighters it is impossible for me to shlep all my 45s to all the different clubs where we work. So my assistant, DJ Joel, takes all the music I play digitally on his laptop. I segue as if I had my turntables, and it's the same as if I were playing vinyl.
I have been trying to find and purchase some songs by Ricky and the Ravens. I heard you play them on WXPN a year or two ago. Please advise me on how I can purchase their songs. Thanks for your help and “keep on rockin'” for all of us. -- Bob Ross, Philadelphia
The name of the group you are looking for is Rico and the Ravens, but unfortunately there aren't any recordings other than their one single, "Don't You Know," because the group was a one-hit wonder and never did anything else to my knowledge. Sadly this is true for many other talented artists from the era. Incidentally Rico's real name was Ricky Martin - no relation, of course, to the pop singer.
For complete info on Jerry’s appearances go to www.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!