One of the great things that I enjoy about living in Long Branch is that, for the most part, people never leave here or venture too far away, which I believe really speaks volumes about both the city and the Jersey Shore in general. There’s one person I know of who brings old friends together again to Long Branch.
Greg Anderson, a 1982 graduate of Long Branch High School, works as a security manager by day, and by night, he’s the brainchild behind Friends Of Long Branch (FOLB), a regular party event geared specifically to bringing Long Branch High School alumni from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s back together every now and then.
FOLB started around five years ago as a planned, one-time event held at the My Way Café around Thanksgiving. The response by all those who attended was so great that Greg ran more events, culminating with a 5-year anniversary party this past December.
Greg deejays each event, while his long-time business partner of thirty-nine years and friend, Billy “B-Star” Barton, tackles the logistics and other details to run a smooth operation.
Greg’s entry into the world of deejaying pretty much mirrors a lot of club deejays working today, including myself when I spun records at the Bar Bombay in the early ‘80’s. Greg grew up listening to radio stations like KTU, 77WABC, KISS-FM, WBLS-FM and others and attended a lot of house parties in Long Branch while attending high school. After he graduated, he and “B-Star” started putting together house parties of their own for his fellow alumni, which eventually evolved into FOLB.
FOLB events are usually run every two months and have been featured at a variety of local settings. Greg’s philosophy about FOLB is “When you bring old friends together, they want to hear the old music that they grew up with.”
FOLB has been going through an expansion of sorts. In 1996, an Italian radio station came up with the idea of having local deejays send cassettes of their music sets for airplay to the station. Over the course of time, those same type radio stations in Europe all began streaming their stations’ signals over the Internet to get a larger audience.
Two years ago, Greg’s music mixes produced for FOLB were heard by the management of an Internet-based radio station, Africa's “Chillout Radio”, and he was solicited by them to submit those mixes for their station’s programming. After that, word spread about Greg, and his mixes can now be heard on Internet-based stations like London’s “Deep Vibes Radio” and France’s “House Nation Radio” (he stopped submitting mixes to “Punta Radio 96” in Italy a while ago). Just recently, a small New York radio station began playing Greg’s mix sets and streaming it worldwide as well.
Greg’s unofficial tag line for FOLB is “We are all Long Branch”. With that in mind, Greg just expanded the guest list for FOLB to include alumni of nearby Shore Regional High School for the next FOLB event. This looks to be a great fit for FOLB, since most people who attended Shore were born at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch (like myself) and are friends with many people who attended Long Branch High School.
Also, Greg picked up two days of deejaying during Happy Hour at the Cabana Club on Ocean Avenue. The party starts every Thursday and Friday at 5PM. For more information about Greg and FOLB, the best way to contact him is through Facebook, or you can go to the FOLB website at Anderson Enterprises
Keeping friends connected. . .what FOLB is all about.
(You can also follow Kevin Cieri's blog on his Facebook page, "Jersey Shore Retro" as well as on Twitter @jsretro).