I guess I always thought there was a Jersey Shore sound, but I did not know it was official. But I saw that it is on Wikipedia, so it is official.

To me that sound was bar bands doing covers of pre-Beatles rock and roll, some rhythm and blues and a few original tunes. Wikipedia says it was the sound at the Jersey Shore from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s. Some say it never went out of style.

Don’t be thrown off by the “shore” part of the sound. This ain’t The Beach Boys. There is some Philly and a bit of some other nearby states mixed in there too. It is said to have a thick slice of Italian-American influence and some of that certainly comes from artists like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons through Bruce Springsteen.

Let’s run down some Jersey Shore music qualities: urban, rock and Roots rock, working class, on the side of the underdog

Wikipedia says the accordion (Italian style) plays a part and though there are examples of that, I’d say chunky guitar lines (“that echo American V-8 engines”) are closer to what you hear.

Springsteen has obviously been the big name, but I can’t say that his piano, Hammond organ, and glockenspiel elements are commonly heard along the shore. (“Bruce Springsteen has said the keyboard parts are an extension of the calliope sounds heard on the carousels located on Jersey Shore boardwalks.”)

There is a longer list in the main Wikipedia article but some the bands and artists in this regional genre are (in no particular order):


Jersey Shore Brothers in Arms: From left, Billy Walton, Billy Hector, Paul Whistler, Tony Amato, Vini Lopez, Lance Larson and Bobby Bandieri at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park Photo by Frank Veronsky

The Shore wasn’t always burning up with incestuous original rock bands and the venues that showcased them, and it’s still not the hotbed it was in the 1970s, when Springsteen and Southside were breaking through nationally. “In the 1990s it was forgotten, believe me,” says Hector. “But now people are starting to look at Asbury as a shrine again. There are places to play where you can actually earn a living, not just in Asbury but all around the Jersey Shore.”
photo and full story at http://njmonthly.com/articles/jerseyshore/still-rockin-sound-of-the-shore.html