Oldies But Goldies: Sonny Nevin Goes To Crystal Lake Ballroom

Written by | February 3, 2016 5:43 am | one response



(This is one of my favorite rock nyc stories, simply because it is so entirely unique. Emails between me and my good friend Robert Nevin, and his brother Sonny Nevin,  about a Connecticut Ballroom where all the greats played -IL)

Email from Robert Nevin to me:

Iman, this is not formatted as a post, so I don’t expect you to use it. I just wanted you to see the kind of acts that came to Crystal Lake Ballroom. I have no doubt that he saw each and every one of the acts listed here. He went to Crystal Lake far more than I did.

nd what a list! Check out #21 & 22! And yes, #31. I’m sure I was there.


EMail from Robert Nevin to his brother Sonny Nevin:

I distinctly remember seeing Gary Bonds and Chubby Checker there. I believe I also saw Jackie Wilson. I know I passed up a chance to see Stevie because I wanted to go over Gary Mattis’ house.
What do you remember about Crystal Lake? What shows did you see?

Email From Sonny to Robert

It’s funny that you bring this up.About 14 months ago I called the (SURDELL FAMILY).They owned the Crystal Lake ballroom where all of the shows took place.I wanted to speak to the father who still owned it . I spoke to the the grandson who was very nice.I asked him he if he could ask his Grandad if he had any knowledge of where the the flyers(which were the 8×10 b&w photos of the performers) could be found.He informed me that the Grandfather had alzheimer’s and wasn’t able to respond to questions.the Grandson was very nice and thanked me for asking and remembering his grandfather.
They were friends of Mom’s and we got in for free at all the shows.
I will list all of the perfomers that I saw there..

1)Gary Bonds-(Quarter to Three)

2)Chubby Checkers.(real name was Ernest Evans)(The Twist)

3)Little Eva (Locomotion)

4)Fats Domino(Blueberry Hill) Aunt Caroline took his watch off of his wrist and had him come to the
house on Brooklyn st.and gave it back.

5)The Coasters(Charlie Brown)

6)The O’jay’s(Love Train)

7)The Emotions(Best of my love)

8)Jay and the Americans(Come A Little Bit Closer )

9)Dion(Run around Sue)

10)Solomon Burke( Everybody needs somebody to love)

11) Little Stevie Wonder (Finger tips part1&2)He was14 @ the time,and so was I.

12)The Contours(Do ya’ love me?)

13)Major Lance(Monkey Time)

14)Mary Wells(One who really love you)She died of throat cancer.(how ironic)

15)Paul and Paula(Hey Paula)

16)The Dovells(The Bristo Stomp)

17)Roy Orbison(I’m cryin’)

18)Ruby and the Romantics) Our day will come)

19)the Orlons(South Street)

20)Sam and Dave(Hold on i’m comin”)Who started out as Don & juan i think,not sure

21)Patsy Cline(Crazy)

22)Brenda lee(I’m sorry)

23) Dodie Stevens(Pink Shoe laces)

24)Marvin Gaye(What’s goin’ on–Too may to list here)

25)Little Richard(Tutti Fruitti)

26)Gene Pitney(Town without pity)

27)Dick &Dee dee(The mountains High)

28)Screamin’ J. Hawkins(I put a spell on you)

29)The Moonglows(Your love is like a seesaw Baby)They played at Notheast School in Rockville and had a dance contest that I won.The prize was a paper 45 record with their autograph…big deal at the time!

30)Bobby Rydell(Volare)……Hated that song!

31)Jackie Wilson(Lonely Tear drops)

I could go on and on—–But it’s 2:40 am ,and I’m getting tired.

I hope this list helps bring back a flash of the good days when music had positve lyrics.And when life was still an adventure.

Take care Beebs,

Talk to ya’ soon,Luv’ ya’



One Response to “Oldies But Goldies: Sonny Nevin Goes To Crystal Lake Ballroom”


    Wow, I’d almost forgotten about this post! Good lord, those were the days!


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