Palomino Club Closes
by Whitey Murphy
For sixteen years, from July 1979 through July 1995, the Palomino Club in Wallington, New Jersey, hosted the tops in Country Music, dancing and entertainment shows sponsored by the top radio station, WYNY 103.5FM. There were also frequent special events much to theenjoyment of the club's many steady patrons and fans. The club's owners, Mack & Dottie Sullivan, were married in 1976, and three years later they opened the club. From the first day until the last, many of the patrons dressed in full western attire, looking and acting like cowboys and cowgirls just off the range out for a real western shindig in their finest western regalia.
Mack was a steel guitarist, and also played fiddle, lead guitar, trumpet and drums in addition to being a vocalist who sang and entertained in some of Jersey's top night spots since his arrival in New Jersey from Broken Bow, Oklahoma, in 1950. The Copa Club in Secaucus, owned by Shorty & Smokey Warren, was one of the many places that Mack appeared in the late fifties and early sixties. Some other clubs he appeared at were:
Coral Bar in E. Paterson; New Hurricane Bar in Newark, and Roc'sHut in Jackson. He also performed at The Village Barn. New Market, which was his personal favorite, from 1953, to 1957, with Kay Dillion as his featured vocalist. From 1966 to 1974, Mack owned Rainbow's End in Woodridge.
In the fifties. Mack could be heard on WAAT and could be seen on Channel 13's Garden State Jamboree with Shorty & Smokey Warren. Mack was also inducted into the New Jersey Country Music Hall of Fame.
I met Mack at WMGM Studios at a recording session for Wordolf Music Hall Records, backing Rosalie Alien & Tex Fletcher in September 1956. While Mack played steel, I played rhythm guitar at these sessions. Mack also hosted shows at the (Rainbow's End with such yeats as Eiton Britt, Les Paul, Carl Smith, Tex Ritter, Eddie Rabbitt and Willie Nelson with disc jockeys Bob Lockwood & Lee Arnold from WJRZ plus the top local bands and personalities from around the area.
For over eight of the sixteen years. Mack & Dottle's music was provided mainly by Mack's band, Night Ride, consisting of Mack on lead guitar, fiddle and vocals, Tommy Marden on drums, Richie Howard on lead guitar (until his untimely death in March, 1994), Johnny Troy on bass and Betty Dempsey on vocals. Many other of the area's top local bands, singers, and musicians graced the bandstand throughout the sixteen year period. There is no "pot of gold" at the end of the Palomino's trail, but Mack intends to keep his band working, and keep pickin' and grinnin' for his many Country Music fans throughout the area.
Editor's Note: Mack Sullivan, having had the roll of musician, entertainer, bandleader and two-time club owner, has given much to the Country Music Community throughout the last 45 years, since he left Oklahoma and came to make his home in New Jersey. However, it's far from over. Mack will still be available for bookings and he can be reached at:
Web site: http://www.oocities.com/macksullivan/band.html
To Mack & Dottie, thanks for the memories, and the
very best of luck in all your future endeavors from your
fans and from all of us here at CMN.