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350 Jersey Songs: ‘Hackensack,’ Thelonious Monk

For a city with a not exactly pretty-sounding name, Hackensack has made it into a lot of musical compositions. There’s Fountains of Wayne’s 2003 ballad, “Hackensack.” And Billy Joel’s 1977 hit, “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” boasts the famous line, “Who needs a house out in Hackensack?” And then there’s Thelonious Monk’s 1954 instrumental “Hackensack,” named for the city where it was recorded. At the time, recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder was running a leading jazz studio out of his parents’ Hackensack home; in 1959, he moved it to Englewood Cliffs, and had even more success. Continue Reading →

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