The band played against a backdrop of an American flag, alongside a pair of first responder boots, suspended high in the air on a city fire truck. Craine led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, honoring those who put their lives on the line every day.
“It’s a beautiful night to gather here in Brighton Park to honor our first responders,” said James Sarkos, Chief, Atlantic City Police Department. “They don’t ask for recognition for the job that they do, but they earn our appreciation every single day.”
“As we approach the anniversary of September 11th, we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom,” said Chief Scott K. Evans, Atlantic City Fire Department. “We salute those who continue to rise to the challenge every day on the streets of Atlantic City. Together, we’re transforming tragedy into hope.”
The band filled the beachside park with enthusiastic renditions of oldies, standards, swing, and jazz. The audience swayed, sang, and danced to La Bomba, Twist and Shout, Sweet Caroline, and others. Craine paid a tribute to the late Jimmy Buffet with his rendition of Margaritaville. Everyone stood for the final song, a riveting rendition of America the Beautiful.
Craine is an Atlantic City icon, a singer, comedian, impressionist, and music shop owner. His 25 years with the Atlantic City Beach Patrol earned him the “Singing Lifeguard” nickname. Born and raised in Atlantic City, Crain got his start in show business working behind the scenes at Steel Pier, where he got to meet stars such as Duke Ellington and Michael Jackson. His band of All Stars has been entertaining crowds for nearly 50 years. They include Tony Deluca on keyboard, Rich Kurtz on bass, Stan Richards on guitar, and Ray Nunzi on drums.
The nonprofit 501(c)3 Schultz-Hill Foundation supports the arts, history, and education throughout South Jersey. Programs include the Dina Scholarships, Senior Music Series, Summer Theater Program with the Atlantic City Theater Summer Youth Camps, and an Arts Outreach collaborative with the Bay Atlantic Symphony and students in the Atlantic City region. For additional information, please contact the Schultz-Hill Foundation or visit www.schultz-hill.org.