Once again, greetings and salutations. And after 40 years, Memories in Margate at Amherst & Madison Avenue is still the No. 1 dance club in South Jersey, attracting people from all over the country. The real magic has always been you, the people who come, meet, dance, and have fun. Since 1972 it’s been the same. And as you know, we do it live on WTKU KOOL 98.3 every Friday and Saturday night. Friday we go live at 8pm with a complimentary food buffet by Chickie’s & Pete’s of EHT and Barrels of Margate. And Saturday? Nothing but stars. This weekend we welcome my pal Frankie Valli, who’s in town at the Borgata. Frankie has always been a part of the magic at Memories. See you there this weekend — now, let’s ask the Geator.
You have been playing a beautiful song called “These Golden Rings,” but the version I heard on your show is different from the one I was able to find by the Jive Five. — Denise, Rehoboth Beach
“These Golden Rings” by the Jive Five is a different song altogether from “Golden Rings” by the Turbans. They were a South Philly group who originally recorded for the Herald-Ember label and in the mid-’50s had two regional hits, “Sister Sooky” and “When You Dance.” When their contract with Herald ended, they briefly went to Roulette and then were picked up by Cameo-Parkway Records. Earl Worsham, who joined the group when they were with Roulette, wrote “Golden Rings,” and Cameo-Parkway used it as the B-side to their 1961 re-release of “When You Dance.”
I’ve had a theory on how Hank Ballard lost out on having the big hit on “The Twist.” American Bandstand was in the middle of their annual dance contest and the song used for the contest was Hank’s “Finger Poppin’ Time,” but it was Bandstand policy that only one record by a given artist would be played on any one show. My theory is that Dick Clark knew “The Twist” was going to be huge so he used his connections with Cameo-Parkway to have it recorded by Chubby. Whaddya think, Geator? — Rich, Penns Grove
Hank’s original version of “The Twist” was the B-side of “Teardrops on My Pillow,” which his label, King-Federal, was promoting. When Dick Clark got the record, he liked the B-side better and thought it would be a perfect song for the kids on Bandstand to dance to. Bernie Lowe of Cameo-Parkway agreed. Because Dick’s first wife, Barbara, gave Ernest Evans the name Chubby Checker, Dick personally took an interest in his career, and he knew that if Chubby could create a dance out of it for the kids on Bandstand, the record would be national hit.
Have you ever thought about hooking up with WDAS 1480AM and having a weekly one- or two-hour show? There is a problem at night with 5000 watts. — Alan Rosenfeld, Philadelphia
Many other people have asked me that question. But I have reservations on how long they will keep that format. I think that they’re using voice tracks instead of live DJs, and as you know, that’s not my thing. If I had the time, and if they gave me the freedom for me to play my music, I certainly would consider it.
Got a question for Jerry? Send it to AskTheGeator@acweekly.com or Geator Gold Radio, 626 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more info on Jerry’s appearances, go to www.geator.net — and keep on rocking, ’cause you only rock once!
Once again, greetings and salutations. And here it comes, another bombastic Fourth of July celebration, not only for Uncle Sam but for yours truly, the Geator.