Have a favorite memory about yourself, a classmate or about Clarkstown during our junior high or high school years? If so, please feel free to share your memories by sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If not but you would like to view photos and read thoughts from other classmates about our years at CCHS, simply scroll down the page and enjoy. Left click any image below to enlarge for ease of viewing or reading.
Our High School Years: The End Of The Beginning
Our junior high and senior high school years were a time of social exploration and maturation. Frankie Avalon let us know that girls were changing from "Bobby Socks To Stockings", Shelley Fabares had met her "Johnny Angel", Dion warned us of the perils of pursuing "Runaround Sue", and at the time, all the Beatles wanted to do was "hold your hand".
We went steady, danced at sock hops, made runs to the local pizza parlor, spent "Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer" at the lake, had makeout parties, and we cheered on Clarkstown athletic teams to winning seasons. At the end of the beginning of our adult lives, we looked forward with wide-eyed anticipation to all that awaited us. How long ago that was and yet how short the time has seemed since we left the hallowed halls of Clarkstown High.
Please enjoy the submissions below and thank you for sharing.
Posted 7.18.14: From Vinne Burns, A Retrospective on Music with Doc Carney
Vinne Burns has written a delightful article on his memories of Doc Carney and the music department back in our high school days that he wanted to share with the class. It's an entertaining read and we think you will find it very enjoyable. Simply click here.
Posted 7.18.14: From Arlene Freiermuth MacDonnell, Junior Prom, Cue 'n Curtain, Fall Sports Schedule
Once again, from the personal archives of Arlene Freiermuth McDonnell comes additional nostalgic memories from days gone by, the programs from Junior Prom and the senior year Cue 'n Curtain presentation of "Jezebel's Husband".
In addition, Arlene was even able to locate the fall sports schedule from 1963 (who knew we had a printed schedule) in which she thoughtfully recorded every score from our first-ever county championship in football. It's no wonder we won the county football title that year: we dominated the competition racking up 159 points on offense while defensively holding our rivals to just 41 points for the entire season. In the immortal words of old blue eyes, our senior year was indeed "A Very Good Year"!
Left click any image to enlarge.
Cue 'n Curtain:
Fall, 1963 Sports Schedule
Senior Class Play
"The Man Who Came To Dinner"
Posted 7.18.14: From Ralph D'Alessandro, Our Graduation Program
Ralph D'Alessadro has provided us with the program from graduation, back on a beautiful June evening in 1964 where the end of the beginning of our adult lives began. Check it out in all of its restored glory below! Left click any image to enlarge.
Posted 6.2.14: From Arlene Freiermuth MacDonnell, the Class Will
The year was 1964 and we were about to "get the heck out of Dodge"! However, we couldn't leave Clarkstown without first bequeathing our Senior Class treasures to the underclassmen we held so dear. And now, emerging for the first time in five decades from the Arlene Freiermuth MacDonnell Time Capsule, we give you the official CCHS '64 Class Will and Testament. This genuine gem includes it all, from bestowing our seats at local pubs to handing off positions on sports teams to leaving behind hand-me-down gym clothes (really...yuck), we passed it all on to Clarkstown's "graduates-in-waiting", the heirs apparent to our throne. To read and reminisce about all that we gave in our dubious glory and magnanimity, simply click here.
Below are three postings from CCHS '64 alums as follows:
An article about the late Thom Olsen compliments of Pat Wissig
Note: Left click both panels of the article to enlarge for ease of reading.
An article by Frank Eberling: IT WILL STAND
Below is a fascinating retrospective on the music of our era, another in a collection of articles from fellow classmate and music jumkie, Frank Eberling (and edited, redited, uploaded, re-uploaded and re-re-uploaded by Don McNeil until his typing fingers were raw to the bone). :)
To be whisked away to yesteryear, simply read on.
IT WILL STAND
“It swept this whole wide land,
Sinkin' deep in the heart of man.
Yes, Rock & Roll forever will stand.”
IT WILL STAND by The Showmen (1961, 1964)
If you were to walk the almost-empty hallways of Clarkstown High School tomorrow morning and listen very carefully, ignoring the slamming of a locker door over on the next corridor, or the sound of Mr. Buerkett's mop pushing a pile of sweeping compound down the glistening floors, or a girl's laughter after she drops her books while bending over a drinking fountain, you might hear something familiar. If you are lucky enough to hear it, you'll never forget it.
My family was filled with musicians. My parents, older sister, Bonnie, and younger brother, Ray, could all play at least two instruments, with an old upright piano being the common core. I grew up listening to live piano music played by four family members, all day long.
I took piano lessons myself for a few months but they didn't take me. But I loved the music. So it probably comes as no surprise that the first Rock & Roll record I ever bought was by a piano player. It was I'M WALKIN', by Fats Domino.
Some people believe the old conventional wisdom that Rock & Roll was invented in 1956 and the term was coined by Alan Freed. I'd agree with them, but then we'd both be wrong. There was music being played in the early 40s that is Rock & Roll music. Listen to Wynonie Harris or Amos Millburn or Louis Jordan. Best evidence? Listen to Fats Domino in his 1949 hit, THE FAT MAN.
As for the term “Rock & Roll,” it had been a euphemism for sex for decades.
At my house Rock & Roll music may have been late in arriving, my parents being partial to Big Band, Patti Page, Perry Como, Lawrence Welk, and some cowboy music. But that would all change in the spring of 1956 when Elvis appeared on The Dorsey Brothers' television show and later, Steve Allen's Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show. I can still hear my older sister swooning as my brother and I looked at one another. “What is this?”
Like many kids in New City in the mid-1950s, the music came to us via several radio stations, all out of Manhattan; all AM.
Starting at the low end of the dial on the left hand side there was WMCA, 570, with the WMCA Good Guys. The WMCA jocks included Joe O'Brien, Harry Harrison, Jack Spector, Dandy Dan Daniel, and B. Mitchel Reed, and their play list was sort of good-time, middle of the road stuff, with a bunch of guys trying to be funny and a lot of forced laughter. Not my cup of tea, but a lot of the girls seemed to like it. If you look in the 64 SAGA, there is a picture of Nancy Robinson standing next to a trampoline, wearing a WMCA Good Guys sweatshirt. Nancy, I just saw on e-Bay they're selling for $50,000. Just kidding.
Next stop on the dial was “Seventy-seven, WABC,” at 770. Herb Oscar Anderson ran the morning drive, Big Dan Ingram, a truly hilarious DJ, was on in the mid-afternoon, and Bruce Morrow, “Cousin Brucie,” a recent émigré from WINS, ran the night shift. Their play list was also severely limited, with two songs followed by about six commercials and talk, and the mandatory playing of the top three songs every single hour.
My personal favorite was “Ten-Ten WINS,” with a less polished approach first led by the legendary Alan Freed, who was fired amidst a payola and tax evasion scandal in the late 1950s. Freed's play list included the more raw, real music, and was heavy on R&B, Doo-Wop, and the early pioneers of Rock & Roll, regardless of their position on the charts. He played the good stuff. He was also receiving “pay-to-play” cash from promoters. I once heard him play Jackie Wilson's, I'LL BE SATISFIED, seven times in a row without stopping.
WINS also had Murray “The K” Kaufman, an aging hipster with a trophy wife who ran his nightly show, “The Swingin' Soiree with Murray The K.”
Kaufman's musical choices were eclectic. He started the show every night with a Sinatra song. His picks were not always taken from the Top 40, and included lots of “Golden Gassers for Submarine Race Watchers,” a code phrase for making out in the back seat of your parents' car. Kaufman had lots of comical shtick, his own pig-Latin style language, and played Doo-Wop and lots of Girl Groups like the Shirelles, the Ronettes, and The Crystals. With Freed and Kaufman, there were no manufactured pop stars coming from Dick Clark's sphere of influence. No Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, or other cookie-cutter mush. WINS played the real deal. Both Freed and Kaufman promoted Holiday Shows at the Brooklyn Fox and Brooklyn Paramount, and would bring in up to a dozen acts. I vowed to get there one day, but never did.
At 1050 on the dial, WMGM played middle-of-the-road stuff, starting off in the morning with Ted Brown and the Redhead. Every night, Peter Tripp's “Your Hits of the Week,” would count down the Top 40 between 7 and 10pm.
For late night listeners who were up past eleven and were serious aficionados of Doo-Wop and more obscure R&B, the only place to go was WADO, 1280 on the dial. There, the legendary “Ace from Outer Space,” Jocko Henderson hosted his nightly “Rocketship Show.” A black hipster, whose rhyming patter pre-dated hip-hop by at least twenty-five years, Jocko played roots Rock & Roll and an assortment of amazing, heavenly Doo-Wop that couldn't be found anywhere else. I heard TWIST & SHOUT by The Isley Brothers on Jocko's show weeks before it was played on the other stations.
Our kitchen radio was always on while we got ready for school every morning and my portable radio was glued to my ear waiting for the school bus on the corner of Schriever Lane and Main Street. In seventh grade the class was split in half and half took the bus to Congers High in the morning, the other half in the afternoon. Every day riding across Lake DeForest was radio time for me. And again, taking “the late bus” after eighth grade basketball practice with Mr. Beecraft, more radio time. After homework, I listened on my bedroom radio. I was listening to music every available moment of every day, waiting to hear the latest gem that I could add to my record collection.
And what was the result of all of this listening to Rock & Roll on the radio? In grade school, when Miss Doerr was trying to teach us to dance the Virginia Reel and Miss Gardner(nee Hall) was trying to teach us WOULD YOU LIKE TO SWING ON A STAR, we wanted to ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK and learn to sing WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON.
For pre-adolescents and later teens during this era, there was music to suit every wild, hormonally-induced mood-swing: Music to fall in love by (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM, by The Everly Brothers); music to slow dance to (THIS, I SWEAR, by the Skyliners); music to fast dance to (Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly); music to recover from lost love (TEARS ON MY PILLOW, Little Anthony); and music for unrequited teen love, the most painful, non-life threatening scourge known to humanity (LONESOME TOWN, Rick Nelson).
There was Doo-Wop: TONIGHT, TONIGHT, by the MelloKings; EARTH ANGEL, by The Penguins; IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT, by the Five Satins; COME GO WITH ME, by the Dell-Vikings.
There was Piano Rock: DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT? by Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns; any Fats Domino, any Little Richard, any Jerry Lee Lewis, WHAT'D I SAY, by Ray Charles.
It might be said that Clarkstown Junior Senior High School was the only school in the country that prohibited Rock & Roll at school dances. All the music was provided by Doc Carney and The Sophisticated Swingsters. The play list was all Big Band favorites from the late 30s and early 40s that we now refer to as The American Songbook Standards. MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT, AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, IN THE MOOD, CHATTANOOGA CHOO-CHOO, and for really a wild time, THE BUNNY HOP.
I remember ridiculing the decision to have this music at our dances instead of what we were hearing on the radio. I was resentful. But then, I fell in love while dancing to the music of Glenn Miller one hundred times between 7th and 12th grades, the very same music our parents had fallen in love listening to. Who else, other than my classmates from the Class of '64 can make that claim? Now, I'm thankful I know the Big Band catalog.
Out of school we danced and fell in love to The Drifters and The Four Seasons and Elvis and Buddy and Ricky and Bobby and other teen idols. The dances we learned from watching American Bandstand all look so silly now. Sometimes the classics came from one-hit wonders like REPARATA AND THE DELRONS, or BARRY AND THE TAMMERLANES, or SUNNY AND THE SUNGLOWS, or The Elegants, or the Paradons. Sometimes they were wailers like James Brown, Jackie Wilson, or Marvin Gaye. Some were crooners like Smokey Robinson, or the great Girl Groups of Phil Spector who produced the greatest Christmas Album of all time.
On Sunday morning, February 3, 1959, I was standing in Tim Blauvelt's kitchen with Tim and Brother Ray, listening to the radio. The news came on that Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper had been killed in a plane crash during a snowstorm near Clear Lake, Iowa. We stood silently for a minute, not sure how to react. Nothing like that had ever happened to us before. Some people called it “The Day the Music Died,” but as big a fan as I was of Buddy Holly's, I cannot agree. It was a great loss, but the band played on. There was no stopping the momentum he helped create.
As for Ray Charles? He holds a special place in my personal music portfolio. He was born and raised in Florida for one thing, and I have been to his birthplace. The sharecropper's shack depicted in the movie, RAY, is a mansion compared to what his Florida home really looks like. I was enraptured by his music and so when I heard that he would be performing at Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon, May 13, 1962, Sandra Hofmann and I took a Red & Tan bus to Manhattan and watched from the balcony as a part of musical history took place before our eyes. As a tenth grader, I quickly realized you can never be the same person after witnessing something like that. You're different somehow.
What did all these songs have in common? They provided us with a soundtrack to our adventures; they enhanced every discovery; they reinforced our emotions; they validated our feelings of desperate longing; nursed us through broken hearts, helped us celebrate when falling in love; articulated our feelings about the girls of our dreams; gave us hope for the future of our love.
As Carole King wrote for the Drifters,
“When my little girl is smilin',
it's the greatest thrill there can be.”
What can I say, Carole? When you're right, you're right, and you were right (WHEN MY LITTLE GIRL IS SIMLING).
The music kept us from facing the reality that it would all end some day:
“Tonight, tonight, may it never reach an end.
I'll miss you so, til you're in my arms again.
With all of my heart,
I declare with all my might,
I'll love you forever, as I love you tonight.”
TONIGHT, TONIGHT, the MelloKings.
When it was summertime, summertime, the Beach Boys made us wish we were swimming in the Pacific instead of New City Park Lake.
When we were lonely and insecure, it helped us try to figure things out.
“Can't help it if I wonder what she's doing tonight.
Tonight, tonight, where can she be tonight?”
Barry and the Tammerlanes.
In the summer of '63, we stood poised for what we thought would be a standard issue senior year at CCHS, trying to follow in the footsteps and traditions of our predecessors. Two musical events signaled change. A twelve year old blind kid from Detroit released FINGERTIPS, and we all sat up and took notice. One thing we overlooked was a song sung by Del Shannon that climbed up the charts as “just another Del Shannon song.” What made it different was that it was written by two young men from Liverpool. Shannon had heard it sung by a band while on tour in England earlier that year and decided to record it for himself. It became a modest hit for him in this country that summer of ‘63. The song was, FROM ME, TO YOU, and the young songwriters, unknown in the U.S., were John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
As our senior year began, the best songs on the radio were BE MY BABY, JUST ONE LOOK, MOCKINGBIRD, POPSICLES/ICICLES, TALK TO ME, and SINCE I FELL FOR YOU.
And then, just when we thought we knew everything there was to know about life, love, school, and especially music, the unimaginable happened. We discovered how very wrong we could be. This is not an easy thing for a senior in high school to accomplish or admit.
In mid-November, 1963, ABC-TV News filmed a performance of four lads from Liverpool who would change the world of music, of love, of life, forever. The film was aired in the United States one week later, on Thursday night, November 21, but was little discussed in this country, because within eighteen hours of the broadcast of England's hottest new Rock & Roll group, JFK was assassinated.
If there was one thing that assuaged the pain of JFK's murder, it was the music The Beatles brought to us first via radio, when I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND was released in the U.S. the day after Christmas, 1963. Then in early February 1964, they performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. One third of the entire population of the United States watched them sing that night, and we would never be the same.
As seniors in high school, The Beatles were like an early graduation gift. By that spring, the British Invasion was in full swing, and boys were letting their bangs grow and girls were falling in love with British accents. All of our favorite American performers were being pushed off the charts by British groups who had been secretly studying the music of our best performers and were re-recording the old songs with a modern British beat.
The Beatles covered Chuck Berry, The Isley Brothers, and Smokey Robinson. The Rolling Stones first hit NOT FADE AWAY was a cover of NOT FADE AWAY by Buddy Holly. The Moody Blues first hit, GO NOW, was recorded in New York by Bessie Banks (GO NOW) the week after JFK's Assassination, but never became a hit for her. The Animals, The Yardbirds, Gerry and the Pacemakers. They all got their starts imitating American performers before branching off into their own music on their own terms.
It was not really possible at that time to quantify the impact this old and new blend of music had on some of us. What we now heard on our radios that last semester at Clarkstown and for the next few years to come was literally the best of both worlds. The music that followed, literally changed everything, forever. There was no going back. We may have only sensed something at the time, not able to articulate it, but in retrospect, it is all quantifiable.
By the end of the Senior year, we had won a football championship, put on a hilarious version of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, watched a president get assassinated, watched the Beatles on television, won the basketball, baseball, cross-country, and tennis championships, read THE CITADEL, LOST HORIZON, KING LEAR, crowned George Owen and Kathleen Starke King and Queen of the Winter Ball, fell in and out of love. We said goodbye forever to kids who had been our brothers and sisters for thirteen years. They drove off into the sunset of our lives; to colleges in faraway towns, to work, to Vietnam, just as Brian Wilson was assuring us, “DON'T WORRY BABY, EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT ALRIGHT.” What can I say, Brian? When you're wrong, you're wrong, and you were wrong.
Was that stuff we grew up listening to any good? You already know the answer. It inspired every British Invasion group. It inspired musicians for the next fifty years. It's still listened to on radio, MP3s, and streamed to your internet via Pandora or YouTube. It's still used in a zillion movies and television commercials for easy shortcuts to emotional triggers. It's inspired hit Broadway shows like SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE and JERSEY BOYS. My twenty year-old son knows every Beatle song by heart.
So here it is now, fifty, sixty years later. I spend my days listening to classical music, still mostly piano.
But sometimes at night, when I'm alone, I take a special CD out of the vault, and as I listen, I am transported back to New City Grammar School where I hear SCHOOL DAYS by Chuck Berry which “delivered me from the days of old.” This was the best tune to listen to on Whitey's jukebox while having one of his world-class cheeseburgers.
With other tunes I am with my fifth grade friends biking Maple Avenue, hanging out at the Dutch Garden, wading the Demarest Kill, or climbing High Tor, or having a cherry coke at Tor's, or a slice at Mario's Pizza, where the best jukebox song was YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME by Smokey Robinson. (By the way, if you're curious about what songs were on Whitey's jukebox in January of 1957, just let me know. I may be a little rusty on the B-sides). I like to think the songs were a reflection of his tastes in music.
For some songs I'm walking the halls at Clarkstown Junior Senior High School on my way to Locker 84 and a girl I had a crush on that week surprises me with a smile outside chemistry class and makes my day.
Other songs will blend in with music from Doc Carney's afternoon orchestra practice as I walk under the majestic maples by the tennis courts whose leaves are ablaze with autumn color.
There's a DOO-WOP SONG Bob Raspanti used to sing in falsetto in Mr. Dumoff's history class, just to drive him crazier, just like we used to drive all the teachers crazy with our own versions of the opening drum solo to WIPEOUT, pounded out on the school desktops.
I'm riding a bus to an away basketball game on a freezing January night, my portable radio stuck in my ear as the signal fades in and out on Skeeter Davis while she sings END OF THE WORLD.
Or parked on the 9W pull-off, overlooking the Hudson, wondering what life is all about and listening for tips on same from Motown. (In '65 we were later warned, STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE!!! Never).
Or I'm looking down at New City from the Low Tor parking lot trying to stay warm with my girlfriend of the month as a light snowfall begins. The warm glow of the radio on the dashboard provided a light show to accompany TALK TO ME, as we wonder what to do next (and what not to do next).
There is one song where I'm swimming to the raft at New City Park Lake after dark, when you're not supposed to, to meet a potential new girlfriend. We climb on deck and she whispers the lyrics in my ear.
And that song I listened to when my father let me take the car out after dark by myself for my very first time of night driving. When the song was over I pushed another button on the radio and the same song played on the next station, and then the next. What are the odds?
Some of the music reminds me of taking Sandra to the prom, my poor, lost friend who left us way too early. I'll never forget your laugh, Sandra. There are some songs I just can't listen to anymore.
The music was always there with us. It's still with me. Like that song you can't stop singing that's driving you crazy? Try two thousand of them. I still have all the 45s but I can't play 45s anymore. That's okay. I don't have to, because they're all playing on an endless loop inside my head.
QUESTION FOR “HOARDERS” REALITY TV SHOW PRODUCERS: So what do you do with two thousand 45rpm records too scratchy to listen to anymore from too many tear-filled, locked-in-the-bedroom, repeated playings?
There has always been a sense, a very strong sense, that just as before, when we started our lives as adults and we left behind six carefree years of Clarkstown Junior Senior High School, that now, as the end approaches, we will be privileged to walk those halls to renew those old friendships, say “Thank you” to our teachers, relive some of those adventures, laugh again, and listen to our music before it's time to go.
I’d like to think that is really going to happen someday. I’ll say thank you to Miss Hicks for demanding academic excellence, and to Mr. D’Innocenzo for bringing World History to life, to Mr. Hanley for forcing me to read THE SCARLET LETTER. I’ll stop by and say thanks to Mrs. Korn and Miss Gura for getting me through math, and Mrs. Martz and Miss Palermo for making us laugh, and to Coach Morrow for believing in us to the very last seconds of the game.
As I walk those halls, a big Hollywood movie set will open up to reveal Doc Carney leading the school orchestra. The music swells while the chorus sings softly in the background, lest we forget:
Purple mountain, Distant Mountain
Regal splendored sign,
Sign of Love and Adoration,
Clarkstown at thy shrine.
All the gold of sparkling water
Gold of mountain sun,
Gold our love for Alma Mater,
These to us are one.
One of the last series of interviews I filmed in my erratic, forty-year career as a documentary filmmaker was with some Rock & Roll pioneers. One of them was in Sumter, South Carolina with Bill Pinkney, one of the founding members of one of my favorite groups, The Drifters.
The Drifters had a long history, with numerous personnel changes like Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King. Pinkney sang with them in their early years on hits like WHITE CHRISTMAS, MONEY HONEY, and RUBY BABY. He would later form his own Bill Pinkney's Drifters and tour for another fifty years.
After about two hours of on-camera interviewing, Pinkney, then about 80, was growing tired. I knew he only had one more answer in him. I asked him to recollect for me his most memorable moment of his performing career. He paused only for a second, and I thought he was going to start crying. And then he told me something I think long and hard about every time I hear a Drifter's song.
He said in the mid-1950s, The Drifters were on a bus tour with about a half-dozen other groups traveling through the Deep South at a time when segregation was at its most vicious. He said segregation was so strictly enforced that when they stopped for meals, Buddy Holly would get off the bus and go into the restaurants and bring out sandwiches for them because they were not allowed inside.
Pinkney related that one day during that same tour the Drifters were playing at a State Fair in Texas. The segregation laws were so strict they actually had put up a chain-link fence which ran down the middle of the audience to keep the white and black kids separated.
He said when The Drifters got up to sing, the teen audience loved the music so much they became so excited that they tore down the fence and started dancing together, forgetting for just a few moments at least, the laws and hatred that separated them. Pinkney concluded the interview by saying, “I'd like to think our music had contributed in some small way to the Civil Rights Movement that was just beginning to become active.”
Pinkney died on July 4, 2007, in a Daytona Beach hotel the night before he was to perform as part of The Drifters touring group. It would have marked his 54th year of one-night stands as a Drifter.
Sometimes you get lucky in life. Over the past forty years, I have been fortunate enough to meet many of the singers I've spent hours listening to. I've had the opportunity to film their concerts for television and/or conducted sit-down on-camera interviews with The Beach Boys (twice ten years apart), Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone, The Moody Blues, Eddie Money, Marshall Tucker Band, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Buffett, Hank Williams, Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Frankie Avalon, Wayne Cochran, Mike Pinera/Blues Image, Bobby Vee, Tommy Roe, Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders, and Roger McGuinn, founder of the Byrds. Vinnie Burns and I even had the great fortune to lunch with Al Green in Memphis, but that's a story for another time.
And yes, I got to film a concert by The Drifters in one of their last performances at The Florida State Fair in Tampa in 2005. That night, as The Drifters sang, I am happy to report there was no chain-link fence down the middle of the audience and everyone danced together.
Below are photo memories and a little bit about the artists who shared a moment of their lives with me when we worked together over the years. It has been literally a dream come true to grow up loving music and to be able to integrate that passion into my work career. I salute each and every one of these artists for sharing their talents with the world and am truly honored to have been in their presence.
BILL PINKNEY was a kind, gentle soul, who for me, was an eyewitness to history having been awarded five BRONZE STARS during WWII. He grew up at ATLANTIC RECORDS, a powerhouse in early Rock & Roll, and he saw it all, including the astounding creative process of people like Ahmet Ertegun, Clyde McPhatter, Ray Charles. He saw so much and yet was so humble and generous with his time. He welcomed us into his home in Sumter, South Carolina. A few months later, sitting with him backstage before the Tampa show for the Florida State Fair, I'm sure he was remembering those fifty-plus years of touring, hanging out with Buddy Holly, being a part of history. I was deeply saddened to learn that he died not long after we interviewed him.
We filmed the BEEGEES interview at the legendary CRITERION STUDIOS in Miami for a segment of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. This is where they had recorded some of their great albums and also where Eric Clapton had recorded LAYLA. Again, The BEEGEES were three perfect gentlemen, so soft-spoken and articulate. They made us feel right at home. It was not long after their younger brother, Andy Gibb, had died tragically from the effects of drug abuse, yet they were gracious in their answers during our difficult interview. Seeing them perform in films and on television is one thing, but seeing them as real human beings facing real human emotions gave me a tremendous amount of respect for these guys. You could tell family was more important than anything that fame and fortune had ever brought them.
ALICE COOPER was a hoot. The hair and make-up are all an act, and he was about as "Joe Suburbia" as they come. Just before we interviewed him and taped his concert, he had dropped his wife off at the mall across the street from the auditorium and was mumbling and complaining like a typical husband. It was all so surreal because he thought it was all a joke with the make-up and act. I didn't get to meet the snake.
MIKE PINERA (below, upper left) is a Tampa kid who made it big with his One-Hit-Wonder group BLUES IMAGE and their song, RIDE, CAPTAIN RIDE, an early 70s Classic. He told us how the song was written in just a few minutes under pressure from execs hanging around the studio, and how the "hidden meaning" in the lyrics attracted an investigation by the C.I.A. He is a master lead guitarist and later played lead guitar for IRON BUTTERFLY and ALICE COOPER. He is a true character, extremely funny, high energy guy, who still tours with an All Star band and when we interviewed him he was living on a sixty foot yacht in Ft. Lauderdale. A few days later we filmed him at a local concert venue and if you haven't heard RIDE, CAPTAIN RIDE in a long time, listen to the closing guitar licks. He hasn't lost a thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKppSotWL3o
I've spent a lot of time thinking about these huge talents. I've tried to see if there is a common denominator with all of these wonderful pioneer performers, some of them obviously of genius caliber. The only link I can find is this one: none of them have any idea of the enormous impact they had on their audiences. They have no idea where their words and music have taken us.
FRANK'S PERSONAL PRE-BEATLES JUKEBOX:
FOR MOM & DAD:
MOCKINGBIRD HILL-Patti Page
OLD CAPE COD-Patti Page
RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER-Gene Autry
HOW HIGH THE MOON-Les Paul & Mary Ford
All Chuck Berry
All Little Richard
All Fats Domino
All Ray Charles
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT-Five Satins
EARTH ANGEL-The Penguins
TONIGHT, TONIGHT-The MelloKings
THOSE OLDIES BUT GOODIES-Little Caesar and the Romans
BE MY BABY-The Ronettes
THERE'S NO OTHER LIKE MY BABY-The Crystals
ONE FINE DAY-The Chiffons
ANGEL BABY-Rosy and the Originals
PHIL SPECTOR'S CHRISTMAS ALBUM
THIS I SWEAR-The Skyliners
COME GO WITH ME/WHISPERING BELLS-The Dell Vikings
WHEN MY LITTLE GIRL IS SMILIN', PLEASE STAY-The Drifters
MARLENA-The Four Seasons
DARLING LORRAINE-The Knockouts
YOU WERE MINE-The Fireflies
SEA OF LOVE-Phil Phillips and the Twilights
YOU BETTER MOVE ON-Arthur Alexander
I'VE BEEN GOOD TO YOU-Smokey Robinson
EVERY LITTLE BREATH I TAKE-Gene Pitney
STAY-Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
TWIST & SHOUT-The Isley Brothers
QUARTER TO THREE-U.S. Bonds
PEPPERMINT TWIST (Forget about Part I, flip it over to Part II)
-Joey Dee and the Starlighters
PARTY DOLL-Buddy Knox
PEGGY SUE-Buddy Holly
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR-Wilson Pickett
HEY, BABY-Bruce Channel
LOVERS WHO WANDER-Dion
STUBBORN KINDA FELLA-Marvin Gaye
HEAT WAVE-Martha and the Vandellas
PLEASE, MR. POSTMAN-The Marvelettes
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE-James Brown
DON'T YOU JUST KNOW IT-Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns
SHOUT-The Isley Brothers
IF YOU NEED ME-Wilson Pickett
NEW ORLEANS/SCHOOL IS OUT-Gary U.S. Bonds
IT WILL STAND-The Showmen
Oh, and one last thing.
(You know who you are).
From Frank Eberling's Personal Archives: Posted 11.5.13
Below is a thought provoking article written by Frank that appeared in the Rockland Journal-News on November 9th, 1995 commemorating the 32nd anniversary of CCHS's first county football championship ever, a commemoration we thought you would enjoy on the 50 year anniversary of the historical event! The team went 8-0 finishing the season on November 9th, 1963 with a great win over arch enemy Nyack, and was one of an unprecedented five county sports championships we won our senior year that also included basketball, baseball, cross country and tennis! Please enjoy Frank's retrospective on the team's undefeated season, the events that followed that altered the course of history, and his reflection on life's passing since that memorable moment.
Remember to left click the images below to enlarge them so they are easier to read.
The 1964 Saga
To continue your stroll, check out many of the images from our senior class yearbook and reminisce about our days at Clarkstown High School. You can left click the Saga to enlarge it.
Senior Class Officers and Senior Superlatives
Begin your Saga review with your senior class officers and the senior superlative photos, and relive the fun times we had and the neat people we knew during our days at CCHS! Left click on any photo to enlarge. (Note: For all senior class photos, click here.)
Other Photos From The Class of '64
Now enjoy more memories from the Class of '64. See who you remember as you continue your stroll down memory lane at Clarkstown High School. Left click on any photo to enlarge.
Some Of Our Defining Moments During The Early '60's
And your memory lane walk continues with some of the defining historical moments during our years at Clarkstown. Left click on any photo to enlarge.
And to enhance your memory lane walkabout, your CCHS Class of '64 website team, sparing no expense, brings you The Beatles and the beginning of the "British Invasion"!
And the last of our defining moments in 1964...
For a retrospective of the full 1950s and 1960s decades, you may find these two videos entertaining: