Dennis Township Old School House Museum & History Center
Belleplain, Clermont, Dennisville, South Dennis, North West Dennis, Eldora, South Seaville, Ocean View
Belleplain - Tom Champion DT Museum Logo Belleplain - Hands Mill

Dennis Township Old School House Museum & History Center
Accent image Musician's and Area Musical History - Page 1 Accent image

Accent Image  Musical Hsitory  Accent Image

Musician's and those people and places related to music in and around Dennis Township

Accent Image  Musician's and Area Musical History Page 1  Accent Image

Musician's and the general history of music in Dennis Township and the local area has largely been ignored. This collection of articles written by local musicians and recording artists will help to bring out the stories of not only the local musician's that lived in the villages of Dennis Township but those that also lived close by and played in a variety of places both in and out of Dennis Township. I am going to try and cover mainly Dennis Township but will include anything from Atlantic City to Cape May. Let's leave Bruce Springsteen out because he is so well known already! I am looking for those small local musician's and bands that played the local bars, VFW's and other local venues that have been lost to history.

Accent Image  Names of Local Musician's & Music Related People & Places  Accent Image

  • Al DiCicco - Guitarist & Singer

  • Sonny Purugganan - Guitarist & Singer

  • Jan & John Haigis - Singers, Bowed Psaltery, Mountian Dulcimer

  • The Repici's Band from Belleplain - The Wrong Side

  • Daniel Batchelor - Guitarist, rhythm & lead Belleplain (recently killed in motorcycle accident 2015)

  • Gordon Hoffman - South Seaville

  • Joe Robinson "Nebraska Joe" and his son Mike Robinson - South Seaville

  • Tikki and Smokey Craver - Drummers South Seaville

  • Dan Keen - Avalon/South Dennis Bass, Keys, Recording & Producing

  • Bud Terry - Bass, Guitar, Drums and Keys Tuckahoe

  • Norman Spurgeon - Guitarist South Dennis

  • Glenn Kuhns - Bass South Seaville

  • Daniel Laughlin - Recording Engineer for Channel 12 WHYY recorded many live shows in Cape May

  • Thomas Laughlin - Mobile Audio Recording by Power Of Production Studio/THL Audio Productions

  • Atlantic City - The Steel Pier - Al Hurt's Steel Pier Dance Show - American Bandstand. All of the well known entertainers came to Atlantic City to vacation and perform. One's career was launched after you played Steel Pier. From big bands to rock-n-roll, the music shook the Pier, more than waves striking the pilings.

  • Wildwood - DooWop and Rock-N-Roll

Accent Image  Al DiCicco - Guitarist & Singer  Accent Image

Local musician and singer Al DiCicco from South Dennis. Al is a member of The Lighthouse Splinter Group that has played at "David's Tent" in Washington, DC. He recorded on 05/26/2017 12 songs on location at the Dennis Township Museum & History Center, the CD is titled "Live At The Museum". Al performs in local church's and for senior citizens care centers.

Local musician and singer Al DiCicco from South Dennis & Sonny Purugganan. Al & Sonny are members of The Lighthouse Splinter Group that has played at "David's Tent" in Washington, DC. They recorded on 06/16/2017 14 songs on location at the Dennis Township Museum & History Center, the CD is titled "Grace For The Humble".

AL DiCicco - Live At The Museum CD Front Cover AL DICIcco CD Back Cover

Accent Image  Al DiCicco & Sonny Purugganan- Guitarists & Singers  Accent Image

Local musician and singer Al DiCicco from South Dennis & Sonny Purugganan. Al & Sonny are members of The Lighthouse Splinter Group that has played at "David's Tent" in Washington, DC. They recorded on 06/16/2017 14 songs on location at the Dennis Township Museum & History Center, the CD is titled "Grace For The Humble".

AL DiCicco & Sonny Purugganan - Grace For The Humble CD

Accent Image  Jan & John Haigis - Singers, Bowed Psaltery, Mountain Dulcimer  Accent Image

10/22/2017 - Recorded live on location at The Dennis Township Museum & History Center 25 tracks performed by Jan & John Haigis. Jan performs vocals, both solo and with John. John performs vocals in solo and with Jan, plays bowed Psaltery and the Mountain Dulcimer. Jan & John purchased an Historic just 2 doors down from the musuem.

John & Jan Haigis

Accent Image  Dan Keen - Everybody Was A Musician  Accent Image

When I was in high school in the late 1960s, it seemed like every teenager had a rock band. I recall at least a dozen at the time just around the Middle Township area. There was "The Lost Souls", made up of Jim Prash, Fred Neff and several other members. I believe Jim's parents owned the marina at about 80th Street in Stone Harbor, and I remember recording one of their practice sessions in the marina’s big steel building. Then there was "The Wrong Side", with Mike Lloyd and the Repicis: Mike, Dave, Steve and Frank, all excellent musicians who later played professionally. And there was my own band, "The 3/5ths". We weren't very good, but we played a lot a fun gigs. In Avalon and Stone Harbor, we often played on people's docks along the bay for various private parties and for boat parades. Around 1972, we played for the lifeguards' annual party in the Marine Ballroom atop the Avalon movie theater. It's interesting that my father and uncle had a big band when they were in high school, and they too played in the Marine Ballroom for the annual lifeguard party in 1947! They grew up in Avalon, and as adults they continued to have a jazz quartet and played well into the late 1980s, when I played bass with them.

I had several bands from the late 1960s through the '80s, and some of the people I played with became excellent musicians. I remember having a band with Glenn Kuhns of South Seaville, who played bass. In the early 1970s, being always interested in recording, I made a demo tape for a high school guitarist named Geno White. Now 40 years later, Geno has become a well-respected jazz musician who can be seen often playing at various venues around Cape May County ( There are a lot of great musicians that have come from our local towns, though they may never have made it a profession.

As a social comment, it seems to me that many kids today do not have hobbies or the passions we all had as teenagers. Even though we were lousy musicians, there was a lot of fun playing in bands, and we made a few bucks besides, which of course, was always put back into buying more musical equipment!

Though I no longer play live, the joy of making music is still a wonderful hobby, and I have a small music production studio in my home in South Dennis. Along with a few friends including lead guitarist Mike Repici of Belleplain and a wonderful singer, Liz Heaton of Woodbine, we produce some great recordings strictly for our own enjoyment. With today’s technology, home studios can produce some very high quality recordings.

Whatever your age, if you don't play a musical instrument, I encourage you to pick one and take some lessons! You don't have to good at it to reap great joy and satisfaction from it. For beginning guitarist or drummers, I recommend a great teacher, Robert Gummel, in Ocean City (609-781-7225).

Accent Image  Daniel Laughlin - WHYY Channel 12 Recording Engineer  Accent Image

Dan recorded many talented acts at the WHYY Studios in Philadelphia during his 30+ year career, now retired he enjoys sailing, listening to music and his family.

Dan also recorded many remote live sessions in the Cape May, NJ areas during his career.

Accent Image  Thomas Laughlin - Power Of Production Studio Web Site Development & THL Audio Productions  Accent Image

I was born and raised in North West Dennis and developed a love of music at a very early age. I worked at Crafts Flower Farm to earn enough money to buy my first transistor radio at the early age of 9. Later, after playing guitar for a number of years I owned and operated a live sound company with over $20,000 of Peavey live sound equipment, more than enough for small and large concert level sound reproduction. Then developing an interest in recording I switched from live sound to recording as the technology became affordable for the average home user. I currently develop web sites and offer audio related services for web sites and mobile recording of local artists. I may be contacted at (609) 861-1478 or visit my web site at and for THL Audio Productions.

Accent Image  Norman Spurgeon Professional Guitarist  Accent Image

Norman lives in South Dennis and is a professional guitarist. He stills plays around the area and teaches guitar lessons. He traveled the world with the USO playing guitar. Contact him at (609) 861-2795