‘Stronger Than The Storm’ Contest Winners Say Song Was Composed Night Sandy Struck
But six musicians who live near the Jersey Shore have won the Jersey Shore Soundoff competition with an original song that organizers hope to become New Jersey’s summer anthem.
After the Reign bested more than 235 entries in the contest that was created by the “Stronger than the Storm” campaign that’s trying to drive visitors to the shore after Superstorm Sandy devastated many beach areas.
Members of the group live in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township in Monmouth County, and said the music and lyrics to “Jersey Strong” were composed the night Sandy struck.
“I have a house down south that got 4 foot of water through the front door,” John Strevens, who wrote the song, told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan. “Busted it up.”
The group will perform it live with the Spin Doctors at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Sept. 7.
While contestants were required to be New Jersey residents, people around the country voted online in the competition. A celebrity panel of judges also joined in the voting process.
“We really wanted to create a unique moment for the state of New Jersey that really captured what it was feeling and what work needs to be done,” Shannon Eis, a contest organizer and spokeswoman for the campaign, said about theme song earlier this month.
After the Reign has helped raise thousands of dollars for Sandy victims.
But in a state that has produced rockers such as Springsteen and Bon Jovi, some residents said they would have preferred a winning song that was less country.
“I guess maybe something more rockish,” said Justin Lubranicki, who was on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.
However, Leonardo Gracie, a boardwalk construction worker, said “Jersey Strong” captures the Jersey Shore’s struggle after Sandy.
“It’s a great song. It doesn’t matter what type of band they are.” he said. “They hit it on the nose.”
While the band might be country, it has performed with Springsteen himself, said bassist Dave Burlette.
“He found out that we were musicians, and he asked if we would play his Christmas party,” Burlette said. “And while we were playing the Christmas party, Bruce actually came up to us and said, ‘Would you mind if I played a few songs?’ “
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