Bill Chinnock was born in Newark and grew up in East Orange and Millburn, but found his musical home on the Jersey shore, in the 1960s. A contemporary of Bruce Springsteen, he led bands that included various future E Streeters, including Vini Lopez, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici and David Sancious. He later lived in Maine and Nashville, but continued to record and tour, and could always draw crowds in Asbury Park.
In 2006, he was honored as one of the Creators of S.O.A.P. (The Sound of Asbury Park) on a monument installed on the Asbury boardwalk.
He suffered from lyme disease, late in his life, and died in 2007, at the age of 59. But here’s a good clip to remember him by: An intense performance of “The Boys on the Avenue” at the Big Man’s West nightclub (owned by Clarence Clemons) in Red Bank on 1982.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.
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Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of $20, or any other amount, to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.