It became a home-away-from-home for America's "greatest generation."
"Coming to you live from Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook, Route 23, the Newark-Pompton Turnpike in Cedar Grove, New Jersey," said the announcer in those all-so-familiar radio broadcasts beamed at home and abroad.
This is where Frank Sinatra sang with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the age of swing and the big bands. Glenn Miller. Harry James. Kay Kyser. All played here, and more. It's time came and -- oh, so quickly -- went. In the 1960s, it made history again at a premiere dinner-theater in the round, drawing Van Johnson and scores of other headliners of the day.
Finally, it became a rock 'n' roll venue, drawing the likes of Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, and The Romantics, until one late evening its last DJ spun Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," not knowing it marked an eerie farewell to arguably America's greatest music venue of its time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Philip M. Read was born in Durham, N.C, the second son of Duke University alums. As a child, he relocated to his father's native New Jersey. He went on to graduate from Boston University and is a longtime New Jersey journalist whose portraits of life are often filled with nostalgia. He is the author of five pictorial histories, filled with lively antidotes, as well as rich collections of his feature stories, once published in the state's largest newspaper and now gathered for the first time in two volumes of "Montclair & Environs: 21st Century Chronicles." His latest book -- "Memories from the Meadowbrook, From big bands to dinner-theater to rock n' roll" -- is debuting this year.