When NJ is slipping into the void, NJians cry out for Uncle Floyd (Opinion)
Jim Gearhart takes a break from politics and COVID-19 to welcome special guest Uncle Floyd in his latest weekly Jim Gearhart podcast and Facebook Live show, presented every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Facebook.com/NJ1015.
“When New Jersey is slipping into the void, New Jerseyans cry out for Uncle Floyd,” Jim says, recalling the days when Jim's morning show on New Jersey 101.5 played Floyd's songs.
“To me you’re the quintessential Jersey person," Jim tells Floyd. "You hear the phrase 'Jersey Guy.' And if you say ‘what is a Jersey Guy?’ I would think of you because here’s a guy who spent his entire life and career devoted to New Jersey and its people. It might be a little rough with the proverbial heart gold and passion."
Uncle Floyd, aka Floyd Vivino, says he has raised over $2 million for charities and says is in the Guinness Book of World Records for his effort to raise money for a sick child.
“It was a boy with cystic fibrosis. In a 24-hour period we raised $46,000 in cash. In cash. In buckets,” Floyd said. “People said ‘How can you play the piano that long? It was 24 hours and 16 minutes.’ I said ‘That was easy. Getting somebody to listen to that (was harder.'”
Floyd said showbiz ran in his family. His brothers pursed it as their careers but tried to give their children choices.
“We didn’t know anything else, me and my brothers. But our kids went to college and they had choices,” Floyd.
Jim remembered that when Floyd was a child, he tapdanced in Atlantic City.
“Tony Brandt’s Stars of Tomorrow on the Steel Pier,” Floyd said, remembering he'd share the stage with Tony the Wonder Horse, who would jump off a ladder into a wooden bucket of water.
No one ever seemed to bring up any concerns about animal abuse, and “on top of that everyone in the Steel Pier theater was smoking. There was cigarette smoke everywhere. All the kids would be on the stage tap dancing and coughing. That’s how it was,” Floyd said.
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That's just part of what Jim and Bob Williams interview talked with Uncle Floyd about in the latest installment of his show, also available as a podcast. Check out the full episode to hear the rest.
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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Jim Gearhart. Any opinions expressed are Jim's own.
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