The show “Steve and Eydie: Memories of My Mom and Dad” will make its debut on PBS Dec. 2.
By WILLIAM CLARK
TJ Lubinsky started his career in television at the Jersey Shore. The Bradley Beach native wanted desperately to share his passion through the visual medium. He then moved to South Florida, but ended up back in Monmouth County, striking out on his own at a young age all in the pursuit of his dream.
The competitive entertainment industry in the 70’s had an opening and he took it at TV34 in Wall Township.
“I remember looking through the Asbury Park Press one night, hoping to find a TV job anywhere,” he recalled.
Now living in Pittsburgh, the veteran producer is ready for his passion project, about Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, to make its debut on PBS on Dec. 2. In addition to the tribute show, a box set of CDs will also be released.
Lubinsky’s love of the oldies centers around Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.
For years, Lubinsky has wanted to create a show centered around the duo and their performances. Recently, he had the chance when Lawrence’s son David gave his blessing.
After getting the runaround from Lawrence’s former manager, Lubinsky thought the day would never come to work with one of his favorite artists.
“It was really a cool thing and it all kind of stems from that Jersey hustle where no just means tell me more,” he said. “I’m a hustler. You’re not going to stop me.”
Lubinsky said that his fascination with the duo started while he was serving in Dave’s Ice Cream Shop in Ocean Grove.
“The only cassette they had was the best of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme,” he said.
“I heard it over and over. I eventually sang along and liked it.”
But it was the chemistry the two shared that impacted Lubinsky.
“They had an amazing kind of schtick, a banter between them you just don’t see anymore,” he said.
After a stint at a PBS station in South Florida, Lubinsky ended up in Pittsburgh. He tried to convince management that oldies could work when it came time to raise money for the station. They gave him the opportunity for one night to prove that Doo-wop music could bring in the money and he took it.
He exceeded expectations and raised $120,000.
Since then, he has been responsible for raising over $2 billion from viewers like you.
Now that his dream of creating a tribute to Lawrence and Gorme has been attained, Lubinsky reflected back on how lucky he has been to work with so many luminaries of the music industry. He’s worked with some of the top acts in Motown and Folk, including Aretha Franklin. But Lawrence and Gorme were the last names on his list.
“This was the one group that got away,” he said. “After this is done, I’ll go back to making malts and egg creams.”