The Legacy of Tony Mart Tony Mart Presents - Memory Lane - Tales of the Mart

Memory Lane
1944 thru 1952: The early years: origin and foundation
1952 thru 1959: The tavern becomes a swingin’ nightclub.
1960 thru 1964: The golden years
1965: From Conway Twitty to Bob Dylan
1966 and 1967: British Invasion and Flower Power
1968 & 1969: The first big soul bands, Psychedelia and “Heavy” rock
1970 Thru 1972: The first rock-n-roll revival: Ricky and the Rockets
1973 thru 1976: 18 year olds are legal-Anything Goes!
1977 thru 1980: Disco vs. Rock
1981 & 1982: Shotgun brings the first “New Wave” The Crusers Bring down the cutain
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What memories.  We were only 18-19 then and on summer weekends in the late 70's, we would arrive from Pa., check in at the Raleigh in OC(a dump, but cheap) then ate dinner. After that we would go to the Anchorage for the 7 for $7. After there for a while, it was on to the Rockbox to watch the Bonnie Parker Band. We then backtracked to Tony Mart's. By that time we were pretty well shot, BUT, we would then go to the Dunes until 6am. We left to go out in the daylight and came out of the Dunes as the sun was coming up. We would then sleep on the beach all day while avoiding the rent-a-cops checking for beach tags. This would be repeated again on Saturday afternoon and pretty much every summer weekend. Those days and places were so much fun and will never be forgotten. Thanks for the site in helping to keep these memories alive!

Doug Fusonie: During my summers off from medical school in early sixties, I bartended at Tony Marts. Great place to work. Enjoyed the people. Remember the family, young kid etc. Would like to see place again sometime.

Bruch Brown:
Hello & Congratulations on your celebration!  I am the actor who played the MC in "Eddie & The Cruisers" in your wonderful lounge all those years ago.  Best wishes,  Bruce Brown.

Donna Prendergast: I remember Tony Marts as a kid. I use to peek in but I was just a little kid. My uncle sometimes use to come to Tony Marts.

Daniel Fedeli: I was kid when the owner was a Chelsea Cola Driver , he delivered to Ferraro's in Atlantic City. When he opened all the family use to go here to dance. I went there in 1971 what a great place. My aunts would be in the dance contest! It was the Spring Break of it's time, better than Florida. The Jersey shore from Tony's to Margate bars to Atlantic City...watched the sunrise alot. Thanks for the memories.

Just was walking through memory lane myself and saw this web site, and remembered the day, Fast Cookies and The Band, as I was Dana's girlfriend for many, many years and tended bar there. We lived in Ocean City on 5th Street and the rock and roll days were brought back, thanks for the memories.

Mary Rosell: My prayers go out to you. I have a lot of happy memories of Tony Mart's. There will never be anything like it again. Love and prayers.

Don "Duke" Leisey: Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list.  Even though I live in California, I hope to attend an event sometime in the future. I worked the door and floor at Tony Mart's during the summer of 1959.  What a fun job!  I have many fond memories of working with some outstanding people, hearing great music, meeting new friends and having a wonderful summer.  Some of the guys I worked with were Jimmy Valentine, Bob Franz, and Johnie Tatarro. Thanks to those people who are keeping the Tony Mart's legacy alive.

Buddy George Watts:
I tended bar there 1965,  1966,  1967and 1968......what memories!! Soooo many stories:  partying w/ Levon and the Hawks; partying w/ The Four Reasons;  partying w/ Joey Powers and the New Demension. Playing drums w/ an "in-house" band of bartenders and bouncers whose name was "The Outhouses" !?  We were awful,  but,  it sure was fun.

Susan Rumer Peifer:
I was a beautician at the time and did hair for some of the cast of "Eddie & the Cruisers".
Frank D'Alonzo: I played at Tony Mart's in the spring and summer of 1973 with The Nace Benner Band, later to become Airport and the house band at Mother's. I played with a broken ankle for four weeks, standing on stage with a crutch or leaning on a chair, which did not make the boss too happy. I remember after our first audition, he rose up from his seat in the corner of the room and said, "You guys are good, but what I am I going to do with all that noise?". We turned down our amps, and he loved it. What a great memory.
Debbie Battles: Gosh,  Tony Marts was the cleanest, brightest, jumping club I enjoyed patronizing. It was just fun. They are many very happy memories. My friends and I would dance all night  to the greatest music ever. When I would walk in the door I was treated as family.  Oh to be young again!. Tony hired the best employees& bartenders, I felt safe but most of all I felt alive! Thank you for those younger days that was innocent and free.....Have fun at the reunion.

Rocky Pepino: I played there the summer of '70 in Mag 7 along with Ricky and the Rockets, great summer.  Also played several other dates for Tony , he always called us BUMS.  Played again the summer of '74 with Tangent, that's when
I met my darling wife Barb.

Jamie Kesdekian: I still think about Tony Marts. I am now 52. I started hanging there with my crowd from Marple-Newtown in the 70s, we all had summer homes in OC. We went every night in the summers until they closed. I loved the Bop Shoo Bops and Carlos the singer was so cute. Where is he now? Never went to Bay Shores, not as much fun. I have a couple pictures. I have to find them.

Jerry Contento: I am 49 years old and Tony Mart's was my home away from home.  I loved it. I wish I could have seen it in the mid '60s, my favorite period fro music and movies.

Danny Evans: I played drums at Tony Mart's bar with the Playboys (1957-58).  What a great place! I recall the continuous music - one band going off stage and another coming on. One of my most memorable moments is when we would leave the bar, while playing, and going across the street to the Bay Shores while continuing to play and drawing some of the Bay Shores crowd into Tony Mart's. Also recall playing there at the same time that the now famous Frankie Avalon was playing at Bay Shores. He was a trumpet player at the time. These were memorable times during my teenage years and I was saddened when I returned there years later to show my wife where I played only to find that Tony Mart's no longer existed. I enjoyed it while it lasted. If anyone who reads this story has pictures of our group I would appreciate hearing from them.

Paul Barkley: Was the greatest nite club ever. The music and the atmosphere was incredible. I just wish it could be rebuilt to it's original grandeur on the same exact site and get that ungodly building on the property removed. Tony Marts was an icon and always will be.

Tom Levin: TONY MART'S is a real South Jersey legend...I remember it fondly...I started going there when I turned 21 in you entered,  the music greeted you...then there were the lights...the people...the energy...the beat...the excitement...the drinks...Tony Mart (sitting at the bar "hosting" the festivities)...all made the experience UNFORGETTABLE... and UNFORGETTABLE is probably the best one-word description there is of this revered, truly one-of-kind, South Jersey institution !!!

John Shetron: Around 1979 or 1980, there was a band called, Fast Cookies? That played at the mart. the lead guitarist was black and left handed and did amazing covers of Jimi Hendrix. Do I have the name of the band correct? Does anyone else remember this band and the incredible guitar player?

Tony Marts Replied: Yes, I remember them very well and talk about them often.  In fact, my brother, Tony Mart Jr and I were just talking about that band.  The black guitar player was named Sid and there was another guitar player, Bobby Noble, and the bass player/leader Dana Nuccio. 
Tony and I agree with you.  They were an excellent rock band.  I'd like to talk with you about this more.  Try to come to a Tony Mart gig or a Somers Point Beach Concert, which we produce with a municipal committee.
You should definitely try to see Billy Walton who does phenomenal Hendrix guitar solos.  He's on the beach with his band on Friday, June 25th and at Sandi Pointe Bistro for a Tony Mart gig on Friday, July 23rd.

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