Rumsey Playfield, NY NY
Photos and article by Bill Kelly
The City Parks Foundation opened their summer program of free music, arts, dance and theater with the annual Gala held in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. Featuring a wide-ranging group of musicians, the well-heeled crowd was treated to an interesting cross section of the Beatles catalog.
According to Sin Hom-Gogolak, Assistant Director Public Relations and Marketing, the event raised over $1 million dollars, breaking all previous records. In typical New York fashion, a torrential downpour ended moments before showtime, crowning the Manhattan skyline with a promising rainbow.
The evening’s music was anchored by former SNL bandleader and consummate studio man GE Smith and and all-star band, and featured Willie Nile, Paula Cole, David Broza, Marshall Crenshaw, John Batiste, Teddy Thompson, Phillip Bailey and the always popular Southside Johnny. Each artist covered two Beatles tunes, some faithful to the original, some kicked around a bit. Twistin’ and shoutin’, the Manhattan blue bloods were out of their seats, joyously signing along with every tune. An old FM jock once told me that when you’re not sure what to play, drop a Beatle tune, you can never go wrong. The City Parks Foundation obviously got this one right, raising money for events that benefit and enrich the lives of all New Yorkers.
|GE Smith Band|
|Batiste gets air|
|Crenshaw and Nile|
|GE and Nile|