Updated: Aug 16
Gregg Bouie has earned many names throughout his singing and DJ career - "Toogie,” "The Boogie Man," and "The Boogie Man Toogie" are only a few of them. Gregg Bouie was born in Neptune, NJ, but was raised in Asbury Park until his family returned to Neptune after his 11th grade of High School. He resided in a collection of buildings called “The Village,” which he loved living in because everyone knew each other and got along well.
Bouie fostered his love for music during his childhood, with him reminiscing about frequenting Al's Record Shop on Springwood Avenue, which happened to be conveniently next to a candy store which he also frequented. While Bouie would later become famous for his singing and DJing skills, the only musical instruments he played as a child were percussion instruments. In fact, Bouie said it wasn’t until he joined the army that he discovered his love for singing.
After joining the army, Mr. Bouie started a band called Perpetual Motion, where he tried singing seriously for the first time - he then realized that he had a talent for singing! While touring with the band, he also found an interest in DJing, something that would continue even after he left the army. After leaving the army, Bouie would form another band calling it "Toogie and the Gang," inspired by the famous Kool and the Gang. Playing popular songs, initially, the band would mostly practice in Mr. Bouie's aunt's garage. The band soon became a hit, winning many talent shows. This success propelled the band to play at many large venues in the Asbury Park area and beyond, including the famed Turf Club on Springwood Avenue. In fact, Toogie and the Gang became a mainstay at the Turf Club, playing all weekend long for years.
Mr. Bouie recalls loving his time performing at various venues on the West Side of Asbury Park, but also mentions that during his time, there was little integration of bands across Asbury Park - they largely kept to playing at clubs and lounges on the West Side of Asbury park. On occasion however, he did have opportunities later during his DJing career to perform at places like the Stone Pony, located on the east side of Asbury Park.
While Toogie and the Gang might not be performing anymore, Mr. Bouie still sings and performs as a DJ, MC'ing AP-AMP's Turf Jam in August 2022, just like he did with the Bouie Brothers at the Turf Club all those years ago. Gregg DJ’d AP-AMP’s Old School Dance Party in Springwood Park as part of the North 2 Shore Festival in June and will host AP-AMP’s Turf Jam again on August 8, 2023!
— written by Ahan Iyer
About the Author
Hi! I’m Ahan Iyer, a high school student from Holmdel, New Jersey. My interests include playing the oboe, jazz and chess. I’m a classically trained oboist, but have become interested in exploring various aspects of jazz, including jazz history and jazz composition for the oboe. Apart from exploring the jazz oboe, I play and teach chess. I’m currently working on a research project where I analyze data sets to find patterns that help us understand the wider influences that jazz has globally.