Greetings from Asbury Park © Patrick Morisson/Alamy
The uncharacteristically warm waters of the Atlantic and a long stretch of sand bring thousands of visitors, but Asbury Park also draws waves of art, culture, and music that shine brightly in the summer months. Bruce Springsteen has played here regularly since the 1970s, performing everywhere from the Stone Pony, an iconic music venue, to a benefit show at Asbury Lanes, a bowling alley that was in dire need of sprucing up. Springsteen, who grew up near this stretch of the Jersey Shore, clearly finds Asbury Park special—the name of his 1973 album inspired our title for today’s homepage image. But the seaside resort’s rich musical history predates the Boss—a building boom in the 1920s brought sounds of jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues to the many clubs here. Musicians Arthur Pryor, Count Basie, and many others developed strong ties to Asbury Park and helped establish its reputation as a showcase for great American music.