Show marks 60th anniversary of the King’s first recording session
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Martin McQuade, a Bay Ridge crooner who has performed songs made famous by the likes of Bing Crosby and Dean Martin, is paying tribute to the King.
McQuade’s new dinner show, to be presented at Hunters Steak and Ale House at 9404 Fourth Ave. on July 17, will honor Elvis Presley.
“I will perform a show honoring the 60th anniversary of Elvis Presley's very first recording session (July 5, 1954) as well as his first live professional appearance (July 30, 1954),” McQuade wrote in an email to the Brooklyn Eagle.
Pianist Pete Sokolow will accompany McQuade as the singer celebrates the milestones of Presley’s early career.
Presley, who died in 1977 at the age of 42, had a Brooklyn connection.
On Sept. 22, 1958, Presley, who was then a private in the U.S. Army, left with his fellow members of the army’s Third Armored Division for Germany on a ship docked at the Brooklyn Army Terminal pier on First Avenue and 58th Street in Sunset Park.
Presley, who was drafted into the service that year, completed his basic training at Fort Hood in Texas. After basic training, he and his fellow soldiers were brought to Brooklyn, where they boarded a transport ship for the trip across the Atlantic to their base in Germany.
The website elvispresley.com.au reproduced a New York Times article with a Sept. 23, 1958 dateline describing the scene at the army terminal. Presley, dressed in his army uniform and carrying his own duffle bag, gave a press conference in which he informed the assembled media that if rock and roll music died out during his army stint, he would give up singing and concentrate on acting.
McQuade has dedicated much of his adult life to the study and singing of American popular music. He has been regularly performing at restaurants in Bay Ridge for more than 10 years.
McQuade is a graduate from New York University, where he earned a BA in Cinema Studies. His radio series, “Going Hollywood,” appeared on WNYE-FM for many years. In 2002, Martin served as guest curator for Hofstra University’s conference, “Bing! And American Culture.”
From 2003 – 2008 he worked for Bing Crosby’s widow, Kathryn Crosby, serving as her special events coordinator. McQuade assisted her with the organization of several tributes and retrospectives honoring her late husband. Among the tributes was a 2004 New York Public Library series, “Celebrating the Crosbys.” McQuade also arranged several visits that Kathryn Crosby made to Brooklyn, including two visits she paid to the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton in 2005 and 2006.
McQuade is currently a consultant for Bing Crosby Enterprises. He has written liner notes on albums and served as production assistant for the company's recent CD and DVD releases. He is also a correspondent for Bing Magazine, published by the International Club Crosby.
Martin is writing the liner notes for a forthcoming deluxe Crosby jazz collection due to be released this fall.
Martin has also just completed a promotional campaign for a major Dean Martin exhibition held in New York in June.
For dinner reservations, call Hunter’s Steak and Ale House at 718-238-8899.