"Last Three

Lakewood Hotel Musicians"

 

This is a most historic photo because seated at Charlie Brown's of Lakewood, N. J. are the last three Lakewood hotel musicians!

 

This photo was taken on August 5, 2014! Seated {L to R}

Martin E. Silverman, Esq. is a "world-class" musician. Martin plays the entire reed section! As well as being a "world-class" musician, Martin is an attorney specializing in Real Estate and Wills and his office is in Lakewood!

Jimmy Givens, drums and percussion is the last, because he is the youngest. Jimmy comes from a show business family, Givens & Sweetie, who performed in all the hotels in Lakewood, the Catskills, Miami Beach and all points in between. Jimmy was the house drummer at the Post Capitol Hotel in Lakewood for approximately seven years, under the musical direction of Phil Shilling! If you would like to know more about Jimmy Givens, his parents, LAKEWOOD and the Catskills, visit his website: http://www.jimmygivens.com/ 

Paul Hoffman, is a "world-class" musician and a Lakewood icon! Paul plays the entire reed section and was the leader at the New Irvington Hotel here in Lakewood for many years! 

Comedian Gabe Kaplan

Comedian Gabe Kaplan

a. k. a. 

Bell Hop Gabe Kaplan

 

Stewart Wolpin, son of "Mr. Lakewood" Sheldon Wolpin, made an inquiry to comedian Gabe Kaplan as to his show business roots in the hotels in Lakewood, NJ.

 

 

Stewart Wolpin's inquiry to Gabe Kaplan

 

"My name is Stewart Wolpin, a long-time technology writer and reporter. While toiling away this afternoon, I was watching an episode of Poker After Dark {you just bluffed Patrick Antonius out of a huge pot with just a pair of 3's} and decided to see what you were up to lately {assuming this PAD episode is old}. On your web page I saw you were a bellboy at a hotel in Lakewood, NJ, my home town.

 

My late father, Sheldon Wolpin, a life-long resident of Lakewood, was the town historian and was instrumental in putting together the town's museum, now named for him. http://www.lakewoodnjhistoricalsociety.org/ 

I was wondering what hotel in Lakewood you were a bellboy at, if you actually performed any standup in Lakewood {perhaps making Lakewood the site of your first gig} and if you had any memorabilia - old photos of yourself in the hotel, etc. or any memories to share about Lakewood that would add to the museum's collection.

There's more about the museum here {page 60}:

http://www.lakewoodshopper.com/

 

I'm not really involved in the museum - my mom and brother are carrying on - but neither is very e-mail savvy so I figured I'd ask you first, then let them know if anything came of this missive.

 

Thanks in  advance!

Stewart

 

Gabe Kaplan's Reply

 

Stewart, thank you for contacting me. My Lakewood history is interesting. I worked in the Laurel-In-The-Pines from October '63 - January '64. I had been a baseball player and became a comic in early 1963. I worked in strip clubs {when I could get a job}. I had gone to them with the other ball players and the comedians fascinated me. I just took all their old dirty jokes and declared myself "a comedian". I got one week in Dallas and wound up staying for two months. The gig at the club was only a week but I got into a poker game and just played cards and dated strippers. I met all the local characters, including Jack Ruby.

 

I returned to NY for a summer but worked very little. There was no place in the mountains {Catskills} for my kind of comedy. I took the job at the LITP because the supertendent of service, Ben Faber, told me I would make lot of money as a bellhop and I could do a few shows and work on clean material. I did make good money, both as a bellhop and playing poker with the other bellhoops but I didn't get to perform too much. I did get to watch all the comics that came there and it gave me a new outlook on what comedy really was. I quit in January. I had a little nest-egg and was anxious to get back to comedy. Those three months at LITP were very instrumental in shaping my life.

When Ruby shot Oswald, I told everybody "I know that guy". Not too many people believed me.

 

Gabe