Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry rocked the Wildwoods during its rock 'n roll heyday

The Treniers... Charlie Gracie... Bill Haley & His Comets... Fats Domino... Little Richard... Chubby Checker...

The list of not just "big names," but rock 'n roll pioneers who played Wildwood during the 1950's and 60's is downright staggering.

Included on this roster of rock royalty, sure enough, is the legendary Chuck Berry, who passed away at his home in Missouri on Saturday at age 90.

According to previous research at the George F. Boyer Museum - Wildwood Historical Society, Berry performed at Ben Martin's Club Bolero from June 12 - June 17, 1957.

That was a Wednesday to Monday stretch (no specifics on how many times he performed over that six-day period).

(NOTE: There is some conflicting info, suggesting that Berry performed at the Bolero from July 12-17, 1957. These are likely typos in promotional materials rather than another set of shows on the exact same dates the following months. But we're continuing to research this to see if we can confirm, one way or another.)

Berry wasn't a young, unproven performer on the rise, as many others who passed through Wildwood during this time were. He was an artist in very high demand, a reflection of the entertainment mecca this was in those days.

Three years after Bill Haley & His Comets debuted "Rock Around The Clock" at the Hofbrau Hotel, this revolutionary sound was still finding its legs. Berry was a driving force in shaping emerging music AND American culture, having already wowed audiences with the million-record selling "Maybellene" (1955) and the seminal smash hits "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock And Roll Music" (1956).

("Johnny B. Goode" would hit the charts in 1958.)

Club Bolero was one of Wildwood's premiere venues in the late 50's, competing for top acts with the Riptide, Surf Club, Beachcomber, Hurricane East, Manor Supper Club and others.

It was located at Atlantic & Oak avenues, at the modern site of the Bolero Resort.

Were YOU there?

Names, places and dates have been documented. What we need to continue to piece together the LIVING HISTORY of Rock 'n Roll in the Wildwoods are personal accounts and memories.

We would love to hear from anyone who saw Chuck Berry live at the Bolero, or who has stories of the club scene, in general, from this time.

Photos or old ticket stubs you can scan and share? Even better!

Drop us a line anytime at

No comments:

Post a Comment