State Fair Meadowlands does Palisades Park with Cousin Brucie
The fair, opening today, will deliver its usual lineup. The snouty rumpus of racing pigs. The thick, sweet aroma of zeppoles. A backdrop of blinking, tubular bulbs visible to drivers on Route 3 and Adidas Y3 Qasa High Unisex Black Dublin the Turnpike.
But Bruce „Cousin Brucie“ Morrow isn’t just any fairgoer. He’ll bring some pretty significant guests with him, Buy Adidas Stan Smith S80026 Unisex White Blue Online musical fixtures in their own right: Ronnie Spector. Neil Sedaka. Lesley Gore.
And they won’t be there to ride the Ferris wheel. Saturday night, the fair will also host a tribute to Palisades Amusement Park, which shuttered its gates more than 40 years ago.
To those who remember going there, hearing those words is like reuniting with an old friend, one who could do no wrong.
In the 1960s, Bruce ‚Cousin Brucie‘ Morrow hosted shows at Palisades Amusement Park.
In the days of Palisades Park, Morrow was a DJ but also hosted live shows there. He was one in a group of presenters (including Hal Jackson and Clay Cole) who flocked to the park, perched over the Hudson on the New Jersey Palisades in Fort Lee and Nike Air Zoom 12 Men Dark Blue White Ireland Cliffside Park.
It was the site of the original Jet Star roller coaster, a huge saltwater pool and penny arcade.
Now, all that’s there are apartment buildings.
Spector, Gore and Sedaka will perform at his „First Annual Palisades Park Reunion“ Saturday, also featuring Newark’s Bobby Lewis (1961’s „Tossin‘ and Turnin'“) and doo wop from the Crests, Vito Picone the Elegants and Randy the Rainbows. as part of the „Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Party“ show on SiriusXM satellite radio’s „’60s on 6“ channel.
In the ’60s, Morrow could be seen striding Palisades‘ wooden stage in his leopard skin suit to introduce acts, Adidas Nmd City Pack Argentina S79159 Unisex Grey Black Blue Sale Ireland among them, Gore (1963’s „It’s My Party“). Now 67, she was then just „a child of 15 or 16,“ says Morrow.
Though Palisades Amusement Park is long gone born before the turn of the 20th century, it closed in 1971 the thought of the place still brings joy, he says. Stories. Memories, even when they aren’t fond. Like the time when Tony Bennett played the park.
Morrow had tried on multiple occasions to bring the crooner to the Palisades stage, but Bennett didn’t like the idea of lip syncing. Far removed from the type of scorn heaped upon Beyonce at the very suggestion, performing to a track was just the practice of the era, Morrow says, and completely acceptable if nerve wracking.
„We’d pray,“ he says. That nothing would go wrong . like when Bennett visited.
Morrow finally managed to get Bennett on the park stage. Needle touched vinyl as he started with „I Left My Heart in San Francisco.“ Then the worst possible thing happened.
„That record skipped,“ says Morrow. „He turned Buy Adidas Stan Smith S80026 Unisex White Blue Online. . he has not trusted me to this day.“ The disc jockey has a photo with Bennett from the date of the performance. Despite the incident, Bennett agreed to sign the picture.
„Cousin Brucie,“ he wrote, „Please do not ever play my records again. Love, Tony.“
Many talents passed through Morrow’s tenure at Palisades, and he’s far from the only one with memories. „We had thousands of people there every single week,“ says Morrow. „All their heroes came to life on that stage.“
A collective reminiscing does not get billing at the reunion, but will inevitably color the night, says Morrow. „We don’t want to live in the past, but we like to think about the good old days,“ he says.
Vince Gargiulo has one. He recalls when Gore, that „cutie pie from Tenafly,“ snagged the heel of her shoe in a hollowed out wooden knot onstage. She had no choice but to remain there for the duration of the performance. A place where they let their children frolic, because safety wasn’t an issue.
„It really was Disneyland in our backyard,“ he says.
Gargiulo also remembers when Morrow emceed a similarly named „reunion“ event in 1989, at the Brendan Byrne Arena, though Morrow says the 2013 version is different because it’s set at an amusement park. „If I did this indoors, it wouldn’t be honest,“ he says.
The State Fair reunion, flanked by carnival rides, is „almost bringing back Palisades for the day,“ says Gargiulo.
Michele Tartaglione who runs State Fair Meadowlands alongside her brother, Al Dorso went to Palisades as a child and saw its owners at industry events.
Ronnie Spector is scheduled to perform as part of Cousin Brucie’s Palisades Park Reunion Saturday at State Fair Meadowlands. Tim Farrell/Star Ledger file photo