Once again, greeting and salutations. And it’s like the Four Tops’ “It’s the Same Old Song” – it never really ends. Every year I seem to say it as we get close to the end of another season at Memories in Margate. Yes, it is still the same old song. And the memories will linger on.
When I opened Memories 44 years ago, I never imagined to this day that I would see so many people from the past, the present, even people who weren’t even born yet, become a part of the magic of Memories. It is truly gratifying for me to know that I have been able to be a part of your lives throughout all these years during the summer season. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think when we first opened the club back in 1972 that it would have the same effect on people from all over this great country of ours and even abroad so many years later.
And it’s really simple - you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. It’s the music, and it’s the warmth of people, new and old, reliving the good times that we’ve shared and creating new ones. All of this truly is a part of what America is about: people coming together for the purpose of having fun. Again, I thank you for allowing me to continue the journey for all of us.
Of course, this is not the end of Geator Gab, but just a thank you for all of those who may be leaving the summer shore for the season.
And now, let’s ask the Geator.
How do you think of everything you say when you are on the air at Memories? Maybe the words keep floating around in your brain. And how do you remember everyone's names? -- Gail Wright, Eagleville, Pa.
It’s all a part of the energy that is transmitted from the audience to me. It’s the people and the music that create my rap. I just pay attention and say what I see. And as far as the names, everyone who has been a part of my career, and everyone who for the last 44 years has become a regular at Memories, is a part of my family. It’s no different from the way you are with all your relatives – you remember their names because they are part of your family.
I moonlight as local historian in southwest Philadelphia - a corner of the city with many odd stories. A gentleman who lived in a big pink house on the corner of 46th and Osage in Philadelphia used to tell me that Elvis was said to have once visited that house, which was supposed to have been associated with one of your relatives long ago. That's a whole convoluted boatload of "supposes" and "maybes!" I'm wondering if the story rings any bells for you, and if there might have been any truth in it. Any thoughts or memories would be very helpful! -- Michelle Dooley, Philadelphia
No, Elvis Presley never lived in or visited the house, but I can tell you how the rumor came about. The home was owned by Nina Green's parents - her maiden name was Fow - and Nina was married to Jerry Greene, who along with Nat Segall, me and Jared Weinstein were partners in Lost Nite Records and the Record Museum. One of the first appearances Elvis had in Philadelphia was at the Arena at 45th and Market Street in 1957 (see photo). Nina went to that show and talked about it, but she said she never met Elvis and never took him back to her house at 46th and Osage. (That's Nina and Jerry on the left in the photo at the Record Museum at 1005 Chestnut Street in Philly, and Jared and Dorothy Weinstein on the right.)
I thought Memories was more classics like the Trammps – “Hold Back the Night” stuff. Not hating - just confused. -- Michael Dziena, Philadelphia
That is one great song we always play at my dances, but my music is always a mix, and at Memories in Margate we start out the evening with more classics. It then gradually evolves to more modern as the night gets later and the crowd gets younger. Hope you can stop by before the season ends.
Got a question for the Geator? Send it to email@example.com. Please include your name and location and watch this column for the answer. For complete info on Jerry’s appearances go to Geator.net. And remember, keep on rocking, 'cause you only rock once!