Arts & Entertainment

Williams Returns to "South Street," in Music Video About Growing Up in New Providence

de508b082fc1bf691baf_151058_174767579209773_2593153_n__2_.jpg
New Providence High graduate John E. Williams is working on his album "Abandoned and Heart Broken"
b40abbbf983d82fb0420_1507581_850113161675208_4907468259268588501_n.jpg
John E. Williams has written a song about "South Street" in New Providence
c6ac7f4365bbfdfbbf58_Old_band_pics_022.jpg
John E. Williams as a teenager 
6ae49d1dd1007e0a9b12_Old_band_pics_033.jpg
John E. Williams as a teenager with his band, which used to perform at the gazebo on South Street in New Providene
de508b082fc1bf691baf_151058_174767579209773_2593153_n__2_.jpg

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - John E. Williams hasn't lived in New Jersey for 20 years, but it wasn't hard for him to recall his teenage years growing up in New Providence and put them to song.

"I wanted to write a song about growing up and all the teenage angst," Williams said by phone from the Washington, D.C. area, where he now lives. "I had some rough teenage years. Like most kids, I was trying to figure out my own worth. I thought about how I felt then. I came back to shoot the video and it brought me home more than I realized."

The result was a music video called "South Street," which opens with a quick shot of "Friendly's" and hits spots on South Street that are well-known to New Providence residents.

Sign Up for E-News

Former resident John E. Williams sings about his teenage years growing up in New Providence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5_-m13cuDw

"I got up in the morning, went outside on my deck and it was done in 20 minutes," Williams said of song he wrote two years ago.

It's the first single of an album "Abandoned and Heartbroke" that is expected to be completed by the summer. There are five songs on the album so far, but none as personal to Williams as "South Street."

"I think that John Lennon wrote his best songs when he was in pain," Williams said. "Help! was written by Lennon when he was fat and miserable. There is a lot of truth in creating art that at least gets it out of your system. I was a bullied kid. I was skinny and I didn't have a lot of self-esteem. Now that I have it out of my system, I never have to sing about that part of my life again."

Williams' catharsis has led to fulfilling a longtime dream of producing an album. The graphic designer and cartoonist (he was a cartoonist for the New Providence High school paper) is well on his way to completing "Abandoned and Heartbroke. "Williams took "South Street" to his friend, David McKittrick, who wrote the guitar solo in the middle and is the co-author of the song.

"He wrote the middle part, which absolutely brought the song to another level," Williams, now 50, said. "It's the heart of the song. I tweaked the lyrics and slowed it down. The icing on the cake was when my friend Dave wrote the middle part."

The video has become more personal for Williams since one of the guys he grew up playing music with as a 15-year-old, Kenny Cadmus, passed away last May.

"He was the first guy I played music with," Williams said. "We were in our first band together when we were 15. He was a real character and loved by a lot of people in New Providence."

Since he wrote the song, Williams is amazed at how many people he runs into that are from New Providence, or nearby in Berkeley Heights.

At the end of the song, Williams asks: "Since you last saw South Street, who did you turn out to be?"

"I didn't want it to sound whiny, so I asked the question so it wouldn't just be about me," Williams said. "One person wondered why anyone would write a song about New Providence? It could be a song about anybody's hometown."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 24, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

New Providence High School Presents The Addams Family -Tickets are Now On Sale

The Addams Family, who first came to life in the 1960s television series, will come back to life and take the stage at New Providence High School in March in a comedic musical twist on the classic story and characters.  Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Grandma, Fester, and Lurch, along with new characters and a full cast of Addams Ancestors will bring the creepy, kooky, all together ooky ...

Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains Prepares Gift Bags for Purim

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Volunteers from the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains prepared gift bags with masks, noisemakers, treats and traditional hamentashen cookies on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The gift bags will be delivered to the entire congregation before the Jewish holiday of Purim. 

Sixth and seventh-grade students in Congregation Beth Israel’s Religious ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Sat, February 24, 8:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e7f53aa67b8e7cb310c5_vinyasaclass

Sat, February 24, 8:45 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Alignment based VInyasa

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_fc9553e9258ab1b1cc8b_paolo_zumba_teacher

Sat, February 24, 11:00 AM

New Providence

Zumba with Paola

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ebabe6d4e0eb6af7bda2_https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-40285364-230483587926-1-original

Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...