Friday, October 17, 2014

The Wildwoods Unveil Second 'Icon Wall' Mural Featuring Bill Haley & His Comets


The Wildwoods, NJ – October 17, 2014 – The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) unveiled its second Icon Wall Mural in the Wildwoods today, October 17.

Bill Haley & The Comets were selected for the second Icon Wall Mural to commemorate the 60th anniversary of their hit song ‘Rock Around the Clock’ – which was first performed live in the Wildwoods at the HofBrau Hotel in 1954 – just one block from where the commemorative wall is now located at Oak and Pacific Avenues.

Dick Richards and Joey D’Ambrosio – the two living members of the original group – joined officials as they unveiled the giant icon wall mural, which features the band’s likeness from the 1950s painted on the south wall of the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce building.

The unveiling event appropriately kicked off the 11th Annual Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Weekend in the Wildwoods – a two-day celebration paying tribute to the Wildwoods’ role in the birth of Rock and Roll music.

During the ceremony, City of Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano presented a proclamation to the surviving Comets; New Jersey State Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi presented The Comets with Certificates of Appreciation; and Jon Bowman “Bowzer” (formerly of the singing group Sha-Na-Na and currently the leader of Bowzer and the Stingrays) shared insight about the upcoming  “Fabulous ‘50s and Beyond Concert” taking place on Saturday, October 18 in the Oceanfront Arena at the Wildwoods Convention Center during Fabulous 50s Weekend in the Wildwoods.

John Siciliano, executive director for GWTIDA explained, “We could not think of a better group of artists for the second Icon Wall Mural than Bill Haley & The Comets – the group, who debuted the first American Rock and Roll hit song right here in the Wildwoods, forever changed music for a new generation.”

Susan Daly, owner and primary artist of Masters Mural Studio – a custom artwork and design production company – was selected as the artist for the Bill Haley & The Comets Icon Wall Mural. Daly brings years of extensive experience – she has painted custom art work for casinos, restaurants and private individuals for 30 years. Daly is located in the South Jersey area – her work is most prominent in Atlantic City, NJ and Charleston, SC.

For more information on Susan Daly please visit

The Bill Haley & The Comets Icon Wall Mural is the second in a series of several murals planned throughout the Wildwoods. The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) conceived of and developed the Icon Wall Murals project to beautify selected public spaces while heightening appreciation of how the Wildwoods have evolved over the decades into a living, breathing slice of Americana.

The Icon Wall Murals will feature key individuals or one-of-a-kind treasures that have significantly contributed to Wildwoods' colorful history and unique culture that has drawn people of all ages to this shore resort destination for generations.

Founded in 1952, Bill Haley & The Comets – also referred to as Bill Haley & His Comets and Bill Haley’s Comets – were perhaps the first group to bring Rock and Roll to a mainstream audience. The group put their enormous signature on rock and roll history during the final minutes of a recording session in 1954 for the single ‘Rock Around the Clock.’

A month later, the group first performed the song live at the HofBrau Hotel in the Wildwoods, marking the beginning of the Rock and Roll revolution. The song was later chosen to play over the opening credits of Blackboard Jungle, and as a result, the single sold a million copies in a single month in the spring of 1955.

Decades later, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ enjoyed a renewed wave of popularity after being introduced to a new generation when it was used as the theme song for the popular 1970s sit-com “Happy Days,” set in the 1950s. Over the course of the past 60 years the song has sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Bill Haley & The Comets as well as the HofBrau Hotel are synonymous with the Wildwoods and the birth of modern Rock and Roll music.

For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit or call 800-992-9732.     
About the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority
The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority (GWTIDA) was formed in 1993 to consolidate the tourism economy of its three founding municipalities: Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood. The Tourism Authority operates the Wildwoods Convention Center and acts as the island’s destination marketing organization overseeing the development, research, planning, marketing, advertising, promotion, public and media relations encompassing the tourism, meeting and convention industry in the Wildwoods. Additionally, the Authority funds, assists with and hosts more than 180 annual special events to enhance the visitor experience and extend the tourism season, including the Beach Monster Mash Truck Races, Family Nights On The Boardwalk, Friday Night Fireworks, the New Jersey State Barbeque Championships and Anglesea Blues Festival, Classic Car Shows, the International Kite Festival, Irish and Italian Festivals and the National Marbles Tournament, among others.

The Wildwoods have won numerous travel and tourism awards, heralding the resort for its beaches, boardwalk and attractions. The Wildwoods were named among the top three Boardwalks in the nation as a Best Boardwalk for Food by; #1 Boardwalk in the nation by in 2014, 2013 and 2012; among the ’10 Great Towns, Villages and Neighborhoods in the World for Architecture’ for their Doo Wop architecture by CNN Travel; and the Wildwoods’ Morey’s Amusement Piers were named in 2014 among the Top 10 Piers by Coastal Living Magazine.  In 2013 the Wildwoods were also recognized as one of the Most Awesome Boardwalks in America by; as the Favorite Shore Town by Delaware County Daily Times readers; as the Favorite Beach and Boardwalk by readers; the Top Family-Friendly Beach Town by; and as One of America’s Top 10 U.S. Tourist Towns by families voting in FamilyFun magazine. In 2012 Smarter Travel named the Wildwoods Boardwalk, one of “Americas Best Boardwalks.”

For more information about the Wildwoods, contact the GWTIDA at 800-WW-By-Sea (800-992-9732) or visit its web site,

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