Asbury Park’s Black music historical past being rediscovered

In Asbury Park, music followers come from world wide to see the sights and venues made well-known by Bruce Springsteen and the musicians who got here of age in the ’60s and ’70s.

However on the West Facet of Asbury Park, an African-American musical and cultural legacy was all however misplaced.

It is now being rediscovered.

The hope by residents is that the brand new curiosity within the former music and cultural scene on Springwood Avenue, and the stirrings of latest music there, will generate the curiosity of residents and out-of-towners alike.

“Younger folks in the neighborhood, they don’t actually perceive the historical past of their hometown,” mentioned metropolis resident Nina Summerlin of town’s West Facet Residents United group.  “We’re speaking for 50 years there’s been nothing on Springwood Avenue. Our children don’t perceive what was once there. So long as I’ve been rising up, there’s by no means been something there.”

Reclaiming historical past

The Asbury Park vocal group the Vibes in 1956, left to right,  Bobby Thomas, Lenny Welch, Joe Major and William Penha.

Prior to now two years or so, group teams have organized with the mission of reclaiming the West Facet’s historical past. Cultural landmarks are being acknowledged, and Springwood Avenue Park hosts weekly live shows within the summertime.

Within the shell of the previous Turf Membership at 1200 Springwood, the final remaining membership on the strip, the Asbury Park African-American Music Mission is searching for to renovate the venue, partly with income from their “Tuesday on the Turf” summer season sequence. 

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