Billy Joel is 'perplexed' by the mayor of Allentown,...

Jan. 21, 1983
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NEW YORK -- Billy Joel is 'perplexed' by the mayor of Allentown, Pa., who has asked the rock star to set up a special scholarship with royalties from his song called 'Allentown,' a spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman, Howard Bloom, said Joel has not heard from Mayor Joseph Daddona.

'We're perplexed,' Bloom said. 'The mayor hasn't contacted Billy, but he has apparently mailed a letter to 50 radio stations.'

'Billy doesn't reside at a radio station,' Bloom said.

He said Joel would like to hear from Daddona, who on Thursday held a news conference to call on the rock star to set up a scholarship fund for aspiring artists with a percentage of the royalties from Joel's record 'Allentown,' a ballad about high unemployment and hard times.

Bloom said 'its relevant to note that when Billy has a request for charitable contributions, he refers people to an organization called Charity Begins at Home.'

Joel, who lives in Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y. on Long Island, co-founded Charity Begins at Home, which by its charter is restricted to charitable activity on Long Island, Bloom said.

He said net proceeds from Joel's recent Nassau County Coliseum Concert were distributed through the organization to seven Long Island charities, several of which used the funds to keep on staff whose jobs were threatened by federal spending cuts.

Bloom said he did not know the amount of the net proceeds, but that they were 'substantial.'

Although Charity Begins at Home is limited to working on Long Island, Bloom said 'we could talk about' Daddona's request.

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