The Light of Day WinterFest 2024 has announced the Asbury Angels class of 2024 and inductees include Sammy Boyd, Sr., Ray Dahrouge, Phil DeAngelo and Guardian Angel, Holly Cara Price.
The inductees will be recognized Fri., Jan. 19 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park by Eileen Chapman, Jean Mikle and Tony Pallagrosi.
The mission of the Asbury Angels is to honor and memorialize the lives and history of members of the Asbury Park musical community, including but not limited to, musicians, tech support persons, DJs, journalists, club owners, record company personnel, managers and promoters. The inductees must have been deceased for at least a year before they can be inducted.
So far, more than 50 plaques honoring Asbury Angels have been installed on benches on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
Sammy Boyd grew up in Newark singing doo wop. In the 1960s he worked as an usher at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, and by the 1970s, he was a booking agent for the biggest cover bands in New Jersey, including Holme, Crystal Ship, Yasgur’s Farm, the Nerds and Backstreets. Sammy also owned and operated a series of nightclubs, including Park Place in Asbury Park, City Lights and Close Encounters in South Amboy, and JJ Rockers and the Yakety Yak Cafe in Seaside Heights. Sammy entered the real estate business in the early 2000s, becoming a leading agent at the John C. Conover Agency in Asbury. He became one of the most successful agents in the area, and began promoting concerts again, this time as benefits for organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Interfaith Neighbors and Light of Day Foundation.
He brought dozens of acts to Asbury Park and Red Bank, including Darlene Love, Peter Asher, Liza Minelli, Tony Bennett, Ben E. King, Felix Cavaliere, Lesley Gore, Livingston Taylor and the Happy Together Tour, which he co-produced with Tony Pallagrosi. Winner of the 2015 “Living Legend” award at the Asbury Music Awards, Boyd was one of the founders of Asbury Park’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2014. He later partnered with Domenic Maruca to bring pizza to Asbury Park’s boardwalk, when Maruca’s Tomato Pies opened in 2019.
Dahrouge started out singing doo wop with Ray and The Darchaes, eventually transitioning to R&B, soul and rock as musical tastes changed. After parting ways with the Darchaes in 1965, Dahrouge went on to write and produce songs for Jeffrey Osbourne, Engelbert Humperdinck, Helen Reddy, the Manhattans, Garry Tallent of the E Street Band, Ray, Goodman and Brown, Lenny Welch, and the Street People.
Dahrouge had a local hit in 2015 with “Christmas at the Jersey Shore,” and reunited with the Darchaes in 2012, releasing an EP and a compilation of songs recorded from 1961 to 2012.
Born in Passaic, DeAngelo grew up in East Paterson, where he was an altar boy. He settled in Kinnelon and became heavily involved in youth sports, forming the very successful Kinnelon All-Stars youth baseball team. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, DeAngelo owned a series of nightclubs, including one in Asbury Park that was known briefly as Hotel California and Hitsville South, but best known as the Fast Lane. Acquiring the club in 1979, DeAngelo hired Jim Giantonio to book national acts there.
At the time the nearby Stone Pony was booking mainly local and cover bands, and the Fast Lane soon became the place to go at the Shore to see national acts. A young Jon Bon Jovi got his start there playing in the cover band Atlantic City Expressway, and then in his own original bands, Jon Bon Jovi and the Wild Ones and The Rest. Artists like Sam and Dave, Joe Jackson, the Psychedelic Furs, Ian Hunter, Steve Forbert, The Stray Cats and Cyndi Lauper took the Fast Lane stage, along with a young Irish band, U2, which played its first two New Jersey concerts at the club.
A rock n’ roll disciple from an early age, Holly Cara Price published “Voice of America,” a Little Steven fanzine, in the 1980s. Later she was hired by Steven to design his first website, and joined him as an assistant on the E Street Band’s Reunion Tour in 1999 and 2000. She would work for Steven, and also Soozie Tyrell, on several E Street Band tours. A writer and editor, she also worked for Wicked Cool Records and Underground Garage, and wrote on topics including books, music, photography and health for publications including The Huffington Post and Backstreets.com.
She also did archival work for Getty Images and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and wrote a diary about her lengthy fight with cancer that was published by Huffington Post.