The Legacy of Tony Mart Tony Mart Presents - Memory Lane - Tales of the Mart

Memory Lane
1944 thru 1952: The early years: origin and foundation
1952 thru 1959: The tavern becomes a swingin’ nightclub.
1960 thru 1964: The golden years
1965: From Conway Twitty to Bob Dylan
1966 and 1967: British Invasion and Flower Power
1968 & 1969: The first big soul bands, Psychedelia and “Heavy” rock
1970 Thru 1972: The first rock-n-roll revival: Ricky and the Rockets
1973 thru 1976: 18 year olds are legal-Anything Goes!
1977 thru 1980: Disco vs. Rock
1981 & 1982: Shotgun brings the first “New Wave” The Crusers Bring down the cutain
Tales from the Mart
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Tony Mart's early 1950sEvolving from a small bayside tavern, The Tony Mart Cafe became the legendary rock n’ roll club of the Jersey shore for almost 40 years.

Tony Mart’s was a window into the evolutionary popular music from late Swing through the golden years of rock n’ roll in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s; And on to the new wave sounds of the early 80’s, and ultimately, the classic cult movie, “Eddie and the Cruisers” which immortalized Tony Mart’s as a rock n’ roll institution.

Depending on your era from 1945 until it’s close in 1982, Tony Mart’s was known by many monikers.

  “Showplace of the World”
  “Where friends Meet”
  “The Mart”
  “Smiling Tony’s”
The owner and founder, Anthony Marotta Sr., described it as “not just a’s an institution!”
Anthony Marotta Sr. Was an enterprising Sicilian American immigrant who bought “ Schick’s Tavern” On Bay Avenue in Somers Point in 1944. He enlarged and remodeled it and grew the establishment into one of the most famous, exciting and historically important rock n’ roll nightclubs on the east coast of the United States. From Post World War II Roots as a tavern and piano bar, it became a place for local combos and friendly entertainment with drinks and sandwiches served by “Smiling Tony”. Through the late swing era and the inception of rock n’ roll, it enjoyed wildly popular years into its golden era (1960-1965) with national celebrities such as Conway Twitty, Bill Haley and the Comets, Duane Eddy and Del Shannon; then evolving with the music through the British Invasion, Soul, psychedelic rock, disco, funk, new wave, punk, and several rock n’roll revivals. Tony Mart’s provided South Jersey with an amazing picture window into the evolution of American pop music. it was one of the most legendary and acclaimed rock n’ roll nightclubs of our lifetime.
Among other events in its illustrious 38 year history, Tony Mart’s enshrined
it’s place in rock n’ roll history when Bob Dylan “discovered” “Levon and The Hawks in 1965 beginning the recording career of THE BAND.
In May 1982, the popular rock n’ roll cult classic movie, “ Eddie and the Cruisers” was filmed in the final year of this rock n’ roll mecca.
Recently we have intensified the production of Tony Mart events including classic rock tributes and blues concerts, celebrations and reunions reviving the legacy of the South Jersey rock n’ roll institution and providing parties
for guests, patrons, friends and employees to share their reminiscences together while we lead the production of the increasingly famous Concerts on the Beach in Somers Point.
We sincerely invite you to indulge in and add to the memories on this website and join us at one of our future gatherings to savor our stories and recollections and help us keep the spirit of Tony Mart’s alive.

Entertainers in Tony Mart history

"Entertainers in Tony Mart history" is a chronological list of 130 groups and entertainers who performed in Tony Mart's from 1945 until 1982.

It was essentially taken from newspaper clippings, advertisements, Glossy photos and basic information known to the Tony Mart family and friends.

It is meant to be a living and breathing skeleton of the Tony Mart legacy and we invite people to review it and make comments by email at or share their thoughts.

We would especially like to hear from other entertainers or musicians on the list who would like to be a part of the website and the book, "The Legend of Tony Mart.

View List of Entertainers In Tony Mart History

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