The Doc Pomus Project

July 21, 2007

Celebrate Brooklyn is a summer performing arts festival held at the Bandshell in Prospect Park. Tonight the festival featured Hal Willner’s Doc Pomus Project, a tribute to the words and music of the late songwriter.

Doc Pomus was the pen name of Brooklyn native Jerome Felder, who created some of the greatest sounds of the 1950s and 1960s. His songs have been recorded by many stars including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Jerry Garcia and Ray Charles.

While his name isn’t a household word, Pomus is a legend in the music industry. The evening was organized by music producer Hal Willner and featured Ben E. King, Laurie Anderson, Sharon Jones, Lou Reed, Eric Mingus, Shannon McNally, Jenni Muldaur, Howard Tate, Joel Dorn, Peter Guralnick and more of Pomus’s friends and associates.

The singers relished the chance to present their favorite Pomus numbers: There Must Be a Better World Somewhere was sung by Lou Reed, Hushabye by Shannon McNally, Teenager in Love by Jenni Muldaur, Turn Me Loose by Sharon Jones, Lonely Avenue by Howard Tate, Viva Las Vegas by Joseph Arthur and This Magic Moment by Ben E. King.

In addition to the music, the Project included moments of humor, sweetness and pathos. Pomus contracted polio as a child and afterward depended upon leg braces and crutches. Laurie Anderson read his moving account of the girls who rejected him as a teenaged “cripple” and how the effects of the disease tormented him for the rest of his life.

Despite his personal pain, Doc Pomus was responsible for some of the best and most influential pop songs ever written. His honors include the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award.

Hal Willner
Hal Willner

Lou Reed
Lou Reed

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Sharon Jones

Peter Guralnick at Doc Pomus Project
Peter Guralnick

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Shannon McNally

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Ben E. King

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Joseph Arthur
Joseph Arthur

Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson

Howard Tate
Howard Tate

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Joel Dorn

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Duet

Kenny Wollesen
Kenny Wollesen

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Jenni Muldaur

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Eric Mingus

Robin Holcomb at Doc Pomus Project
Robin Holcomb

Ben E. King & Jenni Muldaur
Ben E. King & Jenni Muldaur

Viva Las Vegas
The Finale: Viva Las Vegas

Celebrate Brooklyn
Celebrate Brooklyn Schedule
Doc Pomus
Songwriters Hall of Fame: Doc Pomus
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Doc Pomus
Rhythm & Blues Foundation: Pioneer Award Honorees
Wikipedia: Hal Wilner
Lou Reed
Laurie Anderson
Shannon McNally
Jenni Muldaur
DapTone Records: Sharon Jones
Howard Tate
Eric Mingus
Robin Holcomb
Joseph Arthur
The Ben E. King Stand By Me Foundation
Mocean Worker
Joel Dorn
Wikipedia: Peter Guralnick
Raoul Felder (brother)

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