Written by radio personality and producer Jeffrey C. Williams, this large, hard-cover volume traces the history and life of the Ritz through historic newspaper articles, photographs, artifacts & shared stories by both local residents & big band luminaries. Les Brown, Jr., who now leads his dad’s legendary “Band of Renown,” has written the book’s foreword.
Williams has been beating the big band drum for the Ritz since he started his Sunday night “Ritz Ballroom Hour” radio broadcasts in September of 1997 on WICC 600AM. Guests on the popular weekly show have included Les Brown, Artie Shaw, Connie Haines, Billy May, Frankie Carle, Frankie Laine as well as local residents eager to share their Ritz memories. Coupled with first-hand recollections of former Casa Ritz bandleader Joey Zelle and Adele Barry Chappel, daughter of Ritz co-founder Joseph Barry, Williams has put in print many of the stories and facts he has learned. In the process, he has rekindled significant & heartfelt memories for some of the hundreds of thousands of “happy dancers” who, like his own parents, may have even met their eventual spouse at the historic Black Rock venue.
Home of Happy Dancers has over 100 pages of text, photos & illustrations, including a special color section. Transcending itself to reflect an era as well as a Park City dance hall, the book will be of special interest to lovers of the Great American Songbook as well as historians of the period when jazz was new and blossomed into the big band and swing music that kept people dancing from the roaring twenties to the pre-Beatles rock-n-roll early sixties. Ritz founders and managers George S. McCormack and Joseph R. Barry enjoyed their roles as impresarios of one of New England’s foremost dance venues where every name band played on Sunday evenings, and local house, country, Latin and Polish bands played throughout the week.
Williams’ book has several pages dedicated for readers to insert or write in their own individual memories, modifying the book into a personal family heirloom to pass down to future generations. It reflects a time long ago and a place, similar to many other such places across the country, where people gathered for good times, friendly social fun and to escape from the cares and troubles a of a depression and several wars. Those interested in Jeff’s efforts to celebrate Bridgeport’s 176th anniversary this year may also wish to visit www.bridgeportbythesea.com where several items are available. These include CDs of both the updated and original versions of Henry Bruell’s 1936 Centennial song, Bridgeport By The Sea; CDs of Jeff’s entire set of nostalgic Bridgeport By The Sea radio talk shows with guests including Kaye Williams, Anne Brignolo, former Bridgeport Mayor Len Paoletta and Morgan Kaolian; and archival copies of his six editions of the Bridgeport By The Sea color postcard calendars. Jeff is now taking a hiatus after his 17th year of broadcasting his radio show, now called At the Ritz!, on WVOF 88.5 FM. His recovery is going well after his mild stroke in June 2014. For several summers his "Bridgeport By The Sea" radio show ran as a summer replacement show for the Ritz program. If your group or organization would like to have Jeff do a presentation on any or all of his various Bridgeport, Ritz, and radio show pursuits, call (203) 726-7348 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOME of HAPPY DANCERS
The Story of Bridgeport, Connecticut's
- RITZ BALLROOM -
Rare & Nostalgic Photos & Illustrations (View Sneak Preview Below!)
Enjoy the Memories of Such Celebrities as Artie
Shaw, Frankie Carle, Frankie Laine & Joey Zelle
Along With Personal Remembrances of
Many Park City Residents
Foreward Written by Les Brown, Jr.
A Perfect Anniversary, Birthday,
Holiday or Anytime Gift!
Very Limited Edition!
Now Only $15 Each + $5 Shipping!
Buy Two or More and Shipping is Free!
Author JEFFREY C. WILLIAMS
is also Producer of Ritz Ballroom Dinner Dances, Ritz Supper Club Cabaret Shows & Host of the At The Ritz! Radio Program
Anniversary of the
Ritz Closing was on December 31, 2011.
Thanks for visiting HOME OF HAPPY DANCERS!
HERE ARE SOME SAMPLES OF PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS INCLUDED IN
"HOME OF HAPPY DANCERS."
WE HOPE THEY EVOKE SPECIAL MEMORIES
FOR THOSE WHO REMEMBER!
BOOK & RITZ TALKS
Jeff is avaiable to speak to your
club, group or organization about
his book and celebrity experiences
producing and hosting his
popular weekly radio show,
"At The Ritz!"
Call him anytime at
To read about a previous book talk by Jeff, click on "THE RITZ" link at the top of this page.
Jeff's visit to the Fairfield University Bookstore.