|Left to right: Joey Stamile III, Mike Gallo, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr.|
WILDWOOD – Concert goers attending events at Fox Park’s amphitheater will not only be treated to music for their ears, they will also be treated to a feast for their eyes. The city unveiled a mural honoring Wildwood’s late, legendary impresario, Joe Stamile Jr. The Oct. 18 unveiling took place between acts during Wildwood’s Fabulous ‘50s Weekend.
Thousands of music lovers watched as the blue cover was removed and the colorful wall made its debut. On hand to help unveil Wildwood’s newest piece of public art was the late Stamile’s son, Joey Stamile III.
According to Joey Stamile, his father passed away in 1982, but his legacy in the City of Wildwood is long lasting. He said his father was born in Philadelphia, but came to Wildwood at a young age. From then on, the elder Stamile helped the city become a performance hot spot for musical talent.
For almost a century Wildwood’s music scene was one of the hottest in the nation. And, according to Mayor Ernie Troiano, during the 60s, 70s and 80s, Stamile was instrumental in bringing many of those acts to the city.
“Joe was very well-respected,” said the mayor. “He owned several nightclubs that booked big acts and he helped negotiate deals to have several movies shot here.”
The new mural, painted by artist Mike Gallo, on the rear wall of the amphitheater stage, offers performers a colorful backdrop. Stamile’s portrait, along with more than 20 local marquees, is included in the mural.
“They represent the history and flavor of the nightclub scene and entertainment in Wildwood,” explained Troiano.