Once again, greetings and salutations. Well, here it is, the holiday season. And what a great way it was to kick it all off last Thursday when Jim Allen from the Hard Rock International and his lovely wife, Isabel, did their annual Gilda’s Club benefit at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, which raised a quarter of a million dollars. It was my pleasure not only to bring the Allens onstage for that event, but to talk about my pal, Dion DiMucci, who performed that night.
And here’s a great holiday gift: How about the gift of music and our next show at the Kimmel Center Jan. 26, “Divas of All Time,” featuring Darlene Love, Freda Payne, Candi Staton, Baby Washington, along with a salute to the Philly Sound with Blue Magic, the Tymes, and the Soul Survivors? To purchase tickets, call the Kimmel Center box office at 215-893-1999 or go to kimmelcenter.org. Also keep in mind our gala New Year’s Eve party with the Trammps at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. For more info, go to vfcasino.com. Now, let’s get to your questions.
Before we start, I’ve got a trivia question for you: Clint Eastwood, James Brolin, Burt Reynolds, Rex Harrison, Mel Gibson, Michael Caine, Richard Burton, and Cary Grant — all these actors at one time were considered for a very iconic screen role. What role? Check out a recent movie opening for a hint. Answer at end of column.
Do you know what Philadelphia/Atlantic City TV dance show from the ’70s-’80s played “Takin’ Care of Business” as their opening theme song? The camera panned from the ocean onto the beach as the song played. This is driving me nuts, as everyone I ask tells me that it was Ed Hurst on the Steel Pier Show, which played a vanilla version of “Satisfaction.” Please help regain my sanity! — Bill Kane, Swedesboro
If it came out of Atlantic City, it would have to have been Summertime at the Pier, which throughout the years had different opening themes.
Listened to your Detroit show today, liked it very much, my question: Are Nolan Strong & Barrett Strong related? — Jake, Ocean City
Yes — Nolan Strong, who performed with the Diablos, and Barrett Strong, who in addition to being one of Motown’s foremost songwriters, had one of their first hits with “Money (That’s What I Want),” were cousins.
I have a question about the night in September 1977 that Hy Lit killed off WIBG before your show went on at 6pm. Were you angry when Hy did that? I wanted to ask you about it years ago but I just never got up the nerve. — Ellis B. Feaster via Internet
I wasn’t angry, but I was a little surprised because it seemed that Hy’s ego got in the way of his professionalism that night. In my book, You Only Rock Once, you will read how Hy unfortunately always saw me as a threat to his career, which was not so. He was a format disk jockey, I was not. He had his following, and I had my following.
I hear Billy Harner, “The Perk,” was hurt or something happened to him in Wildwood. Is he OK? — Gem, Bensalem
Haven’t heard anything about that. You may be thinking of the time he and his band were playing the Steel Pier in A.C. when it collapsed and he barely managed to escape. As far as I know Billy is still percolating.
Once again, greetings and salutations — and officially, a very happy and healthy new year to one and all. To those who joined us at the gala New Year’s Eve bash at Valley Forge Casino Resort — oh, what a night.