In Camden and Vicinity
November 25, 1955

As time passed and the the suburban towns evolved, more and more business opened to cater to the recreational desires of those folks who had moved tot he suburbs. The opening of the Garden State Race Track in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill) in the 1940s created a market along what is now Route 70 and Route 38. Other business opened up in the region. Some were new establishments, others had roots going back many years.

To see what changes five years brought to the local entertainment scene, click here to see what was being advertised in the Courier-Post on June 10, 1960.

Today most of the business that will be mentioned below are long gone, but I know that for those who visit this page, those names and the images accompanying them will bring happy memories.

I would very much like to find out and post some information and photos of some of some of the live acts advertised below. Some of course are relatively famous... Sally Starr and John Weber, for example, others less so, and some pretty much all but forgotten. If you have any information on some of these acts, please contact me by e-mail

 As always, HAVE FUN!!

Phil Cohen
Camden NJ
June 16, 2006

Jimmy's Tavern
North 27th Street & Buren Avenue

Les Severs & the Oak Valley Boys
Fritz Riddell
Sonny Sleeter
Uncle Jimmy Gardner

Les Severs had a long career as a singer, bandleader, recording artist, and disc jockey in the Philadelphia-Trenton area. He also hosted a television show in Philadelphia in the late 1960s. As of 2015 he is still alive and living in Richboro, PA. 

Fritz Riddell was a master of the pedal steel and was active in bands from the 1940s on. He passed away in Deptford NJ in 2009. Emery "Sonny" Sleeter also led bands and recorded. He moved to Florida and died in 2008.

Valentine's Cafe
1584 South 8th Street
Clarence Valentine Sr. & Clarence Valentine Jr.

Rip's Bar & Grill
939 Jackson Street

The Ray-o-Vacs - Santora

Harold Corbin - Butch Ballard - Bill Barron

Ron-Day-Voo Lounge

The Premiers
3 Guys & A Doll
Fritz Mendell & His Merry Men

Deighan's Sport Center - Five O'Clock Club - Starlite Ballroom

Jimmy Lynn - WPFH Channel 12 - Joan Weber
Jack La Tour's Rhythm Rockers - The Four Sons - Al Chevalier

Jimmy Lynn was a Chester PA disc jockey who hosted a Teenarama show on radio in the 1950s. He took the show to television on the short lived (1955-1957) WPFH channel 12 in Philadelphia. In 1968 he put together a one-hour polka show on Philadelphia WKBS channel 48. 

In the 1940s and 1950s Al Chevalier led an orchestra in South Jersey and possibly Philadelphia.


Sally Starr - Lou Graham & His Carolina Kinfolks

Andy's Log Cabin

Mike Pedicin
Buddy Kane
Bill Haley & The Comets


Mills Brothers
Joan Weber

Bi Betty's Musical Bar

Col Nemeth
& His International Trio
Joe Hoover's Twilighters

Piano-player Col Nemeth was active as a bandleader in the 1940s, appearing as Col Nemeth & his Gypsy Melodians in Baltimore in 1945, and was still performing in New Jersey in the early 1960s.

Big Apple Inn

Bill Coates

Organist Bill Coates appeared in South Jersey from the 1940s into the 1960s. In 1950 he recorded at least one song on the Robin label while appearing at Club Shaguire (now The PUB) written by Camden songwriters Jaines Jamison and Bud Delaney, backed vocalist Eddie Roecker on at least six sides for Robin in 1951.  


Murray's Inn

Rocco & His Saints
Chet Peters
Barney Long - Marion Adams
Joey Val's Orchestra

Rocco & His Saints are best remembered as the band that spawned Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon. They backed on Cupid, Teacher's Pet and others, and cut the instrumental  Jivin' With The Saints.

Barney Long worked mostly in Philadelphia as a nightclub comedian and emcee from the 40s into the 1960s. He married Ruth Mason, a dancer in Gloucester City in 1949.


Brown's Log Cabin
Joe Voorhees and His Orchestra appeared at Brown's Log Cabin as early as June of 1944

Brown's Log Cabin
Willie Restum & His Quartet - Adam Nowicki & His Polka Band

Willie Restum was a baritione saxophonist, band leader, comedian, and recording artist from Allentown PA, who had a long career in show business, including am 11 year run at the Dream Lounge in Miami Beach. He worked and was friends with many of the top performers of his day, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tony Bennett. In 1966 he moved to California where he enjoyed a four year run at the Playboy Club in Hollywood. He died of a stroke in Los Angeles in 2006. 

Adam Nowicki, from Conshohocken PA led a very succesful oufit and recorded for at least five differentlabels. He was induced into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1995.

Dudgie's Grove Inn Gruber's Inn
Garden State Rangers Swing Four

Hampton House Latin Villa
The Keynotes Bobby Walters Trio

The Honey Dew

The Rockin' Horses

The Hawaiian Cottage

Moana and the Paradise Islanders


Sunset Beach

Oscar DuMont

Oscar DuMont (whose real name was Oscar Borelli), led a 15 piece big band whose live performances were broadcast from WCAU in Philadelphia from the 1940s into the 1950s. At the height of his popularity in the early 1950s his broadcasts, which from October 1949 through 1957 were from the Sunset Beach Ballroom in Almonesson NJ, were carried coast-to-coast over 142 stations, plus overseas via Armed Forces Radio. He also worked from 1951 on for WKDN in Camden as a disc jockey and radio time salesman. When his run at Sunset Beach ended, he took his band on tour at least once, in the spring of 1957. Sadly, Oscar Dumont passed away on February 3, 1965 at Edgewood Hospital in Berlin, New Jersey. He was 48 a the time of his death. 

Soundless Video, probably made with a home movie camera, of Oscar Dumont Orchesta at Sunset Beach, 1957

In 1953 Cathy Carr & Her Boyfriends recorded "Heartbroken", written by Larry Fotine, Oscar Dumont, & Frank Stanton

Holiday House
Lindenwold Inn
formerly Charlie Ventura's
Joe Raft Quartet - Ethel Barron

South Philadelphia based Joe Raft appeared in clubs in Philadelphia and South Jersey as early as 1942. Ethel Barron, who played piano and sung, also worked the Philly-South Jersey market in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Dixieaires

Red Hill Inn Kent's Chimney House

Gene Arcade - Hank Reese
Ruth Brader -
Mickey Collins Band
Johnny Crawford


Gene Arcade was a singer who worked in Philadelphia and South Jersey in the 1940s and 1950s and possibly beyond, He recorded a number of singles over the years, including two on the Reeel Label in the late 1950s. Hank Reese worked the same circuit n the 1950s and 1950s. The Johnny Crawford referred to here is NOT the Johnny Crawfrd from "The Rifleman" TV show, who recorded extensivley in the 1960s. I'm not sure who he is/was, to tell the truth.

Drummer and vibraphonist Mickey Collins led one of the more poplar outfits in Philadelphia in these years. He appeared with many top artists when the came through Philly to play at the Uptown. Jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley also got his start in the Collins band, also known as the Micky Collins Orchestra.

Lewko's Bar Sand Bar
The Bel-Airs Joe Bailey & His Constellations


Zeke Johnson & His interludes

At The Movies

In Philadelphia

Ralph Meeker - Polly Bergen
Marcel Marceau
Patricia Morison - Leonard Graves
Top Man -  The King and I
Old Original Bookbinder's