Philadelphia Music Alliance

Philadelphia Music Alliance

PMA Gala Recap

Press Releases

December 21, 2016
PAIR OF SOUL GIANTS ON PHILADELPHIA MUSIC WALK OF FAME RECEIVE MUSIC'S HIGHEST HONOR: THE RECORDING ACADEMY® 2017 SPECIAL MERIT AWARD
Nina Simone and Thom Bell

Nina Simone honored with Lifetime Achievement; Thom Bell honored with Trustees Award

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 21, 2016) - Two giants of soul enshrined with bronze plaques on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame have been awarded the music industry's highest honor, with the announcement by the Recording Academy® this week that Nina Simone and Thom Bell are among the 2017 Special Merit Award recipients.

Simone, known as the High Priestess of Soul, is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Bell, a cornerstone of the Philadelphia Soul legacy in creating the Sound of Philadelphia with his "Mighty Three" partners Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as a producer/arranger/songwriter, is receiving the Trustees Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award honors contributions in areas other than performance. The recipients are determined by vote of The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees.

"The Philadelphia Music Alliance has been honoring the city's music legends for 30 years on our Walk of Fame," said Alan Rubens, the PMA's Chairman of the Board. "And to see two of our inductees recognized together with music's highest honor on such an esteemed national stage is incredible validation to the caliber of talent which continues to emanate from the City of Brotherly Love. Congratulations to two of our city's finest."

Nina Simone, inducted into the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 1994, was a child prodigy whose dreams of becoming a classical musician were deferred by the color of her skin. Her fearlessness and deep commitment to the civil rights movement gave birth to such classics as "Mississippi Goddam," "Four Women," and "To Be Young, Gifted, And Black." Her approach to music was so versatile she labeled her style black classical. From R&B and rock to jazz, gospel, blues, folk, and Broadway, Simone brought her unique style to each genre. Her interpretations of "Feeling Good" and "Sinnerman" are classics that fans around the world still enjoy. Her version of "I Loves You, Porgy" became a Top 20 single in 1959. Her rendition was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 2000. She died in 2003.

Thom Bell, inducted into the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame a year earlier than Simone, partnered with Gamble & Huff to help create the quintessential Sound of Philadelphia. Gamble & Huff, also inducted into Philadelphia Walk of Fame, received the Trustees Award from the Recording Academy in 1999.

Bell was a prime architect in the development of a '70s soul sound that moved beyond the grit of Southern soul and the effervescence of Motown by building complex and sophisticated arrangements around smooth strings, elegant horns and a driving rhythm that anticipated the rise of disco. With the Delfonics, the Stylistics, the Spinners and others, Bell established his trademark sound with sweet strings and muted brass led by the French horn. Hits such as "I'll Be Around" and "Betcha By Golly, Wow" cemented his stature as one of the all-time great songwriter/producers. In October, with significant help from the Philadelphia Music Alliance, Bell was inducted into The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ in Nashville with the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section and Sigma Sound founder Joe Tarsia, all of whom are on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
Established in 1986, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Philadelphia's rich musical legacy by increasing awareness of the city's great musical tradition and supporting the current music scene. For more information, visit www.philadelphiamusicalliance.org.

October 19, 2016
FROM WALK OF FAME TO HALL OF FAME, PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE EXTENDS OCTOBER INDUCTIONS PRESENCE TO NASHVILLE
Clockwise from Top Left: Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Bob Perkins, Jaco Pastorius, and Christian McBride

Left to right: Thom Bell, Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section, Joe Tarsia

Thom Bell, Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section, Joe Tarsia, to be Inducted into Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ with Garth Brooks & the G-Men, Don Felder, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Reed, and More During Induction Ceremony and Concert, Oct. 27 at Historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Concert to feature Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section with Brooks, Skaggs, Felder, Bruce Hornsby, Peter Frampton, plus Salute to 'Sound of Philadelphia' Co-Creator Thom Bell by Russell Thompkins JR & the New Stylistics

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 19, 2016) - One week from today's induction ceremony on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, the Philadelphia Music Alliance will have a major induction presence of a difference sort in Nashville, as it oversees the inductions of "Sound of Philadelphia" co-creator Thom Bell, the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section, and Sigma Sound founder Joe Tarsia, into The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™.

Thom Bell, the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section, and Joe Tarsia, will be inducted Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. CST in Nashville with Garth Brooks & the G-Men, Don Felder, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Reed, producer Allen Reynolds, and engineers Lou Bradley, Mark Miller, and Ron "Snake" Reynolds in a Ceremony and Concert at the Historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium, home to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and GRAMMY Museum Gallery™ at Musicians Hall of Fame.

The Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section will be featured in the concert with Brooks, Skaggs, Felder, Bruce Hornsby, Peter Frampton, and Russell Thompkins JR & the New Stylistics. Thompkins and his group will be performing a three-song Stylistics medley with the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section in honor of Thom Bell for his heralded career as a musician and pioneering producer of numerous "Sound of Philadelphia" classics with TSOP co-creators and partners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Tickets for the 2016 Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert are available through Ticketmaster.

"The PMA has worked very closely with the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™ over the past year to make sure these great Philadelphia talents are recognized on such a national stage and placed alongside so many great musicians responsible for so much great music," said Alan Rubens, chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance. "This is an especially proud moment for the City of Philadelphia, because it celebrates the actual musicians who created the Philly Sound, lovingly embraced for over 40 years by 'people all over the world.'"

Bell's work with the Delfonics ("La La Means I Love You," "Didn't I Blow Your Mind"), the Stylistics ("You Make Me Feel Brand New," "Betcha By Golly, Wow") and the Spinners ("I'll Be Around," "Rubberband Man") as part of the Sound of Philadelphia became immediately recognizable for its shimmering beauty and exquisite sweetness. Bell's impeccable arrangements can be heard on a series of classic hits that also included "Love Train," and "For the Love of Money." Bell also contributed a pair of No. 1 Elton John hits to the Philly Sound - "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Mama Can't Buy You Love." He was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Hall of Fame in 1993.

The Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section created a genre of soul music with funk influences, often with sweeping strings and piercing horns, which sets the unique "Sound of Philadelphia" apart. These musicians have added their talents to dozens of hits, such as "Back Stabbers" by The O'Jays, "La La Means I Love You" by the Delfonics, and "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Members to be inducted include Ronnie Baker (posthumously, guitar), Thom Bell (keyboards), Roland Chambers (posthumously, guitar) Charles Collins (drums), Bobby Eli (guitar), Dennis Harris (guitar), Norman Harris (posthumously, guitar), Vince Montana (posthumously, vibes), TJ Tindall (posthumously, guitar), Larry Washington (posthumously, congas), Jimmy Williams (bass), Lenny Pakula (keyboards), and Earl Young, the drummer credited with inventing the disco style of rock drumming.

All members of the Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section were inducted into the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 2013 with a trio of bronze plaques for their contributions to MFSB, the Salsoul Orchestra and John Davis & the Monster Orchestra - most in more than one of those units. The musicians, string, horn, rhythm players and voices who originally performed the music were men and women, young and old and from all backgrounds who collectively captured a moment with their talents to make that sound world-famous in the 1970s. Tarsia, chairman emeritus on the Board of the Philadelphia Music Alliance, was inducted into the Walk of Fame in 1995. He will be among those receiving the Engineering Award from the The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum™.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
Established in 1986, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Philadelphia's rich musical legacy by increasing awareness of the city's great musical tradition and supporting the current music scene. For more information, visit www.philadelphiamusicalliance.org.

About Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
From Jimi Hendrix to Hank Williams, the Musicians Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of musicians from virtually every decade since the golden era of studio recording, starting in the 1950s, and from every corner of the country. With education being paramount, each section of the museum focuses on an important city in the history of American music - including but not limited to Detroit, Los Angeles, Muscle Shoals, Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville, and explores each area's contributions. The museum focuses on the session musicians who may not be well known to the public, but played on thousands of iconic recordings. The Induction Ceremony and Concert honors new members, nominated by the American Federation of Musicians and other music industry professionals, and ensures the continued growth of the Musicians Hall of Fame. The GRAMMY Museum Gallery™ is an interactive music space, which permanently opened at the Musicians Hall of Fame in April 2016. For additional information, please call (615) 244-3263 or visit www.musicianshalloffame.com.

October 6, 2016
Jazz Takes Center Stage As Philadelphia Music Alliance Welcomes Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Christian McBride, Jaco Pastorius, and WRTI's Bob Perkins To Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame 30th Anniversary Class of 2016
Clockwise from Top Left: Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Bob Perkins, Jaco Pastorius, and Christian McBride

(Clockwise from Top Left: Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Bob Perkins, Jaco Pastorius, and Christian McBride)

First All-Jazz Induction in Walk of Fame History to be Held Oct. 19, 2016; Honorees to be Celebrated with Two Days of Live Music, Oct. 19 & 20

Ceremony to Include Early 2016 Inductee Anthony Checchia

PHILADELPHIA (October 6, 2016) - For the first time in its 30-year history, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) will go "All Jazz" with the additions this month of Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Christian McBride, Jaco Pastorius, and WRTI air personality Bob Perkins to the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as members of its Class of 2016.

The new honorees will be formally inducted together Wednesday, October 19, 2016 during afternoon ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts, highlighted by the unveiling of their freshly installed bronze plaques. Anthony Checchia, founding artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, whose induction was announced in March, also will see his plaque unveiled as part of the ceremony. The Walk of Fame induction, which starts at noon and will be preceded by an 11 a.m. press conference, will launch a two-day live music celebration in the city and suburbs, beginning that evening.

In the city, the Oct. 19 evening ceremony recognizing the recipients at University of the Arts - also along the Avenue of the Arts in the Terra Building, 211 S.Broad St. - will feature a reception and short performances by new inductee Joey DeFrancesco and the award-winning University of the Arts 'Z' Big Band, directed by Matt Gallagher.

The following night (Oct. 20), Pastorius, the late bass player who rose to fame as a member of Weather Report and solo artist, will be saluted with an all-star concert at the Bridgeport Ribhouse in Bridgeport, PA.

The PMA once again is working in conjunction with Avenue of the Arts, Inc., to make its fall events extra special. The annual "Making the Stars Shine" plaque cleaning event, in association with I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8 along the Avenue of the Arts, will take place the morning of the induction ceremony.

This year's honorees join such Philadelphia jazz giants as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Stanley Clarke, Gerry Mulligan, and Grover Washington Jr., and many others, along the Music Walk of Fame.

The Alliance is very excited to be able to specifically honor jazz this year as an extension of Philadelphia's essential ties to this unique American art form's rich legacy," said PMA Board chairman Alan Rubens. "It's important to be reminded of the global impact and influence that Philadelphia has continued to bring to the jazz world, since the Roaring '20s. Jazz doesn't always get its due these days, even though it's current as ever. Jazz is today, and it's very much got a thriving pulse in our great city."

Joey DeFrancesco emerged in the 1980s to become the new-age proponent of jazz organ, an instrument that had been pushed aside in favor of the growing technology. Quoted as the Master of the Jazz organ, the three-time Grammy® nominee now takes his place with Fats Waller, Wild Bill Davis and Jimmy Smith in the lineage of Jazz Organ.

Benny Golson has played tenor saxophone in the world famous bands of world famous Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey. The only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire, Golson boasts of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term "jazz," and which he continues to maintain today at 87.

Christian McBride is the most in-demand bassist of his generation. He consistently combines his deft musicianship with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience - whether he's leading his own bands; sharing the stage with jazz legends like Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock or Pat Metheny; accompanying pop giants like James Brown, Sting or The Roots; or collaborating with classical masters like Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer or the Shanghai Quartet. McBride was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival, one of the oldest and most respected jazz festivals in the world.

Jaco Pastorius was called "the Jimi Hendrix of the bass," revolutionizing how bass guitar is played and who was, for many, the best and most influential bass guitarist ever. Best known for his work in Weather Report, with whom he helped define the jazz-fusion sound, the master of the fretless electric bass was a meteor who blazed on to the scene in the 1970s, only to flame out in the 1980s and die tragically at the age of 35.

Bob Perkins, also known as "BP with the GM," (translation: "Bob Perkins with the Good Music"), has been in the broadcasting industry for more than four decades, and with WRTI (90.1) FM since 1997. commonly referred to as a Philadelphia jazz radio legend. The evening radio host also spent time in Philly radio at WDAS and WHYY, is the voice behind WRTI's Great Migration series, and writes numerous jazz columns and commentaries.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. The recent inclusion of radio personalities with each induction furthers the renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction. This agenda to recognize more local music greats in all genres is part of the community based, non-profit organization's overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music, and the foundation of a renewed commitment to schedule induction ceremonies each year.

For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org.

January 27, 2016
Philadelphia Music Alliance Mourns The Loss of 'One of Our Own,' 'Sound of Philadelphia' Musician T.J. Tindall
T.J. Tindall

'King of Soul' Guitar Twice Inducted into Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as Member of MFSB and Salsoul Orchestra

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 27, 2016) — The Philadelphia Music Alliance is heartbroken to report the passing last night of guitarist Thomas Joshua "T.J." Tindall, who was inducted twice into the PMA's Walk of Fame during 2013 ceremonies as a member of MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra.

T.J. Tindall

"He was a vital member of MFSB's famed rhythm section, which laid the foundation for the Sound of Philadelphia," said PMA Board Chairman Alan Rubens. "You can hear his guitar on so many great hits out of Philadelphia from the '70s and '80s, from 'Disco Inferno' to 'You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.' We truly lost one of our own."

Tindall played on over 30 gold and platinum hits produced by legendary "Sound of Philadelphia" architects Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (Gamble & Huff) for artists such as the O'Jays, the Trammps, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Intruders, and the Three Degrees. He also played and recorded with Bonnie Raitt, the Chambers Brothers, the Jacksons, Robert Palmer, the Temptations, and many others. Most recently, the Trenton, NJ, native was brought out of retirement to play and record with In the Pocket, the all-star Philly tribute collective led by drummer David Uosikkinen of platinum Philly recording artists The Hooters.

"We just lost one of the greats," said Uosikkinen. "He was the King of Soul Guitar, the northern version of Steve Cropper. No one played like TJ."

Tindall's roots were in the well-regarded Trenton music scene of the 1970s, primarily as guitarist of local legends Duke Williams and the Extremes. Drummer Charles Collins, who played and toured with Tindall in both Duke Williams and the Extremes as well as MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra, was shocked to hear of the loss of his musical "brother," who he said "had a natural feel for the music." Collins, now based in Texas, would always make a point to visit Tindall at the lighting shophe owned in Princeton "just to hang out" every time he returned to the area.

"We definitely had a brotherhood," said Collins. "With TJ, the glass was always half full, not half empty. He always had a smile, always had something positive to say. And if you were feeling sad, he could always say something to take you out of it,. When you spoke to TJ, you felt like you were the most important person in the room, because he listened thoroughly."

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance

The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. Holiday's induction furthers the renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction. This agenda to recognize more local music greats in all genres is part of the community based, non-profit organization's overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music, and the foundation of a renewed commitment to schedule induction ceremonies each year.

For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org.

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

Top: TJ Tindall displays his personal Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame plaques for his vital contributions to MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra at the 2013 induction ceremonies.

Bottom: TJ Tindall in concert recently with In the Pocket, the all-star Philly tribute band led by drummer David Uosikkinen of The Hooters.

October 22, 2015
JIMMY FALLON TO INDUCT THE ROOTS INTO PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE WALK OF FAME

'Tonight Show' Host to Make Special Appearance as Guest Presenter During 2015 Walk of Fame Gala

Monday, Oct. 26 at the New Fillmore Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (October 22, 2015) — In an unprecedented show of support for the Philadelphia Music Alliance, Tonight Show host JIMMY FALLON will be making a special guest appearance at the 2015 Walk of Fame Gala next week to personally induct his house band, THE ROOTS, into the Class of 2015 with a permanent position among its hometown music legends along the famed Avenue of the Arts.

Special arrangements have been made to enable Fallon to arrive at the Gala on Monday, Oct. 26, direct from a Tonight Show taping at his New York studios earlier that evening. He is scheduled to hit the stage just in time to formally induct The Roots — one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business — and present the band with their ceremonial plaque.

With Questlove serving as the show's musical director, The Roots has been the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since its launch last year. The four-time Grammy-winning ensemble served in the same capacity for Fallon the previous five years on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The Roots' induction extends a unique Tonight Show connection with the Philadelphia Walk of Fame that began in 1989, when Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's longtime sidekick, was inducted. In 2010, fellow Philadelphia native Kevin Eubanks, Jay Leno's Tonight Show music director for 18 years, also was immortalized with a bronze plaque on the Walk of Fame.

Named one of the greatest live bands around by Rolling Stone magazine, The Roots will be honored by Fallon with fellow Class of 2015 members Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Billie Holiday, Cinderella, The Trammps, Andrea McArdle, and WOGL air personality Harvey Holiday at the new Fillmore Philadelphia, frequently hailed as "the most beautiful club in America."

With 16 Grammy Awards and a Tony Award nomination among the new honorees, spanning the musical gamut from Jazz, Country, Disco, Hip Hop/Neo Soul, Rock, Broadway and radio, the long-awaited return of the evening Gala considerably amplifies the vital significance of the Philadelphia Music Alliance and Walk of Fame as its 30th anniversary approaches in 2016.

In other new Gala announcements:

  • Andrea McArdle will be singing "Tomorrow" her signature song as Broadway's original "Annie," which rocketed her to stardom as the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony® Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
  • Sara James & The Hess Brothers, a five-piece teen band from South Jersey, will be performing a tribute to Cinderella, also rooted in South Jersey. Sara James created a Foundation to provide professional music lessons to inspire and educate children who can't afford music instruction.

A 30-year reunion of the original surviving members of The Trammps will be another highlight among the array of live performances, which also includes American Idol alum Haley Reinhart, and the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Choir. The world-renowned Urban Guerilla Orchestra will be the house band for the evening.

Saturday Night Live alum Joe Piscopo is hosting the grand evening Gala, with additional special guest appearances by Dionne Warwick, Mayor Michael Nutter, Broadway's "Annie" creator Martin Charnin; WMMR's Jacky Bam Bam, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Famer Sonny Hill, local oldies radio personality "The Geator" Jerry Blavat, and more surprises to be announced.

Afternoon ceremonies inducting the Walk of Fame's Class of 2015 and unveiling its plaques will be held the same day along the Avenue of the Arts in front of the Kimmel Center, with live music by the Philly Pops Brass Band.

Frank Giordano will be honored with the Platinum Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Philadelphia Music Community. The Platinum Award is given to an individual, organization or company that has been a leader and champion in supporting the music making community in a significant way. Mr. Giordano's significant contributions to Philadelphia's music community include his work as President and CEO of The Philly Pops and past Chairman of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

The PMA also is honoring the CAPA Foundation, with the Educational Award, a financial donation for Outstanding Excellence in Arts and Music. The CAPA Foundation is an independent non-profit organization providing sustained support to CAPA High School students by engaging CAPA alumni and parents, the Philadelphia arts community, corporate partners and foundations focused on arts education. The CAPA Foundation was formed in response to a $1.1 million cut in the operating budget of The Roots' alma mater as a result of the School District of Philadelphia budget crisis.

The sold-out event, with catering by Wolfgang Puck, will include a charity auction with high profile items including:

  • Two (2) Floor tickets to the Billboard Music Awards 2016
  • A veranda cabin for two (2) on StarVista Live's "Flower Power" Cruise starring Blood, Sweat and Tears feat. Bo Bice, Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Jefferson Starship, The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, The Guess Who, and more
  • Four (4) tickets to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Major sponsors include Live Nation, Hotel Monaco Stratus Lounge, Great Lakes Brewery, Philadelphia Distilling, ESM Productions, Blank Rome, LLP, O'Donnell & Naccarato Inc, The Clayman Foundation, Martell Cognac, Replica Creative, and Vinedrea Wines.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. The Philadelphia Music Alliance is a community-based, non-profit (501c3) organization, with an overall mission to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction, and to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music.

For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org.

October 16, 2015
STARS COME OUT TO CELEBRATE PHILLY MUSIC HISTORY AS PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE & AVENUE OF THE ARTS PRESENT 2015 WALK OF FAME GALA & INDUCTION CEREMONY

The Roots, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Billie Holiday, Cinderella, The Trammps, Andrea McArdle, WOGL's Harvey Holiday To Be Honored in Style at First Evening Gala in Over 20 Years

Monday, Oct. 26 at the New Fillmore Philadelphia

Hosted by SNL's Joe Piscopo with Special Guest Appearances by Dionne Warwick, Mayor Michael Nutter, Broadway's "Annie" creator Martin Charnin, WMMR's Jacky Bam Bam, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Famer Sonny Hill, American Idol Alum Haley Reinhart, "The Geator" Jerry Blavat, and More!

Original Members of The Trammps to Reunite for First Performance in 30 Years

Additional Live Performances by 'American Idol's' Haley Reinhart, School of Rock, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts Choir, Urban Guerrilla Orchestra

Charity Auction to Include Billboard Music Awards Tickets, 'Flower Power' Cruise, 'Tonight Show' Tickets, and More High Profile Items

PHILADELPHIA (October 16, 2015) – For the first time in more than two decades, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) will be hosting a stellar evening gala to celebrate its newest group of inductees on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame.

The PMA and the Avenue of the Arts, Inc., proudly present the 2015 WALK OF FAME GALA on Monday, Oct. 26, honoring The Roots, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Billie Holiday, Cinderella, The Trammps, Andrea McArdle, and WOGL air personality Harvey Holiday at the new Fillmore Philadelphia, frequently hailed as "the most beautiful club in America."

Afternoon ceremonies inducting the Walk of Fame's Class of 2015 will be held the same day along the Avenue of the Arts in front of the Kimmel Center, with live music by the Philly Pops Brass Band.

Saturday Night Live alum Joe Piscopo will be hosting the grand evening gala, with special guest appearances by Dionne Warwick, Mayor Michael Nutter, Broadway's "Annie" creator Martin Charnin; WMMR's Jacky Bam Bam, Philadelphia Sports Hall of Famer Sonny Hill, "The Geator" Jerry Blavat, and more surprises to be announced. A 30-year reunion of the original surviving members of The Trammps will highlight an array of live performances by American Idol alum Haley Reinhart, the School of Rock, and the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Choir. The world-renowned Urban Guerilla Orchestra will be the house band for the evening.

The sold-out event, with catering by Wolfgang Puck, will include a charity auction with high profile items including:

  • Two (2) Floor tickets to the Billboard Music Awards 2016
  • A veranda cabin for two (2) on StarVista Live's "Flower Power" Cruise starring Blood, Sweat and Tears feat. Bo Bice, Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Jefferson Starship, The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, The Guess Who, and more
  • Four (4) tickets to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

With 16 Grammy Awards and a Tony Award nomination among the new honorees, spanning the musical gamut from Jazz, Country, Disco, Hip Hop/Neo Soul, Rock, Broadway and radio, the long-awaited return of the evening gala considerably amplifies the vital significance of the Philadelphia Music Alliance and Walk of Fame as its 30th anniversary approaches in 2016.

"Celebrating this tremendous array of legendary talent during a gala event at the prestigious new Fillmore is a major step in reiterating our level of importance to the music and business communities of Philadelphia," says PMA Board Chairman Alan Rubens. "This enables us to enhance our mission of honoring and helping to support the future of the vast musical talent that continues to come out of our city."

The PMA also is honoring the CAPA Foundation, with the Educational Award, a financial donation for Outstanding Excellence in Arts and Music. The CAPA Foundation is an independent non-profit organization providing sustained support to CAPA High School students by engaging CAPA alumni and parents, the Philadelphia arts community, corporate partners and foundations focused on arts education. The CAPA Foundation was formed in response to a $1.1 million cut in the operating budget of The Roots' alma mater as a result of the School District of Philadelphia budget crisis.

Frank Giordano will be honored with the Platinum Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Philadelphia Music Community. The Platinum Award is given to an individual, organization or company that has been a leader and champion in supporting the music making community in a significant way. Mr. Giordano's significant contributions to Philadelphia's music community include his work with The Philly Pops, and the Philly Youth Orchestra.

Major sponsors include Live Nation, Hotel Monaco Stratus Lounge, Great Lakes Brewery, Philadelphia Distilling, ESM Productions, Blank Rome, LLP, O'Donnell & Naccarato Inc, The Clayman Foundation, Martell Cognac, Replica Creative, and Vinedrea Wines.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance

The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. The Philadelphia Music Alliance is a community-based, non-profit (501c3) organization, with an overall mission to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction, and to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music.

For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org.

May 28, 2015
PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE WELCOMES THE ROOTS, RAY BENSON OF ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL, BILLIE HOLIDAY, CINDERELLA, THE TRAMMPS, ANDREA McARDLE, AND WOGL'S HARVEY HOLIDAY AS INDUCTEES TO THE PHILADELPHIA MUSIC WALK OF FAME, CLASS OF 2015
Class of 2015

Honorees To Be Inducted and Celebrated Oct. 26, 2015 With Afternoon Ceremony and Evening Grand Gala

PHILADELPHIA (MAY 28, 2015) - The Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) today announced that The Roots, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, Cinderella, The Trammps, Andrea McArdle, and WOGL air personality Harvey Holiday will be added to the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as members of its Class of 2015. The new honorees - along with previously announced Billie Holiday - have 16 Grammy Awards and a Tony Award nomination among them. They will be formally inducted together October 26, 2015 during afternoon ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts and celebrated that evening with a special grand gala event. The PMA will be working in conjunction with Avenue of the Arts, Inc., to make all of its fall events extra special.

"This year we are able to illustrate, through our musically diverse honorees, why Philadelphia has been and continues to be the number one city for extraordinary and award winning talent," said PMA Board Chairman Alan Rubens. "Our inductees, this year, span the musical gamut - from Jazz, Country, Disco, Hip Hop/Neo Soul, Rock, Broadway and radio."

  • The Roots, named one of the greatest live bands by Rolling Stone magazine, has become one of the best known and most respected hip-hop acts in the business, winning four Grammys. The legendary Roots Crew now serves as the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
  • Billie Holiday was considered one of the best and most influential jazz singers of all time. Her autobiography was made into the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues. In 2000, Billie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Ray Benson has been the front man, founder and driving force behind the world-renowned Asleep at the Wheel for over 40 years and has overseen the release of 25 albums and has won nine GRAMMY™ Awards.
  • Cinderella, a glam metal and hard rock band, had a series of multi-platinum albums and hit singles in the mid-‘80s and sold over 15 million records worldwide. Their music videos were in regular rotation on MTV.
  • The Trammps, Disco's most soulful vocal group, recorded one of the true anthems of the time and that genre of music "Disco Inferno." Their album of the same name went gold, and the single earned a Grammy for the multi-platinum Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
  • Andrea McArdle is a Broadway star who rocketed to fame in 1977 as Broadway's original "Annie," for which she was the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony® Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She won both the Theatre World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance.
  • Harvey Holiday, the legendary midday personality on 98.1 WOGL, is celebrating his 50th anniversary behind the microphone. His passion for the music he plays makes him an icon for us all to treasure.

In addition, the PMA is honoring the CAPA Foundation with the Educational Award, a financial donation, for Outstanding Excellence in Arts and Music. The CAPA Foundation is an independent non-profit organization providing sustained support to CAPA High School students by engaging CAPA alumni and parents, the Philadelphia arts community, corporate partners and foundations focused on arts education. The CAPA Foundation was formed in response to a $1.1 million cut in the school's operating budget as a result of the School District of Philadelphia budget crisis.

The PMA also is honoring Frank Giordano with the Platinum Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Philadelphia Music Community. The Platinum Award is given to an individual, organization or company that has been a leader and champion in supporting the music making community in a significant way. Mr. Giordano's contributions to Philadelphia's music community have been significant, including his work with The Philly Pops, and the Philly Youth Orchestra.

The announcements were made during a press reception hosted by the Stratus Rooftop Lounge atop the Hotel Monaco and Live Nation - two of this year's major sponsors.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. Holiday's induction furthers the renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction. This agenda to recognize more local music greats in all genres is part of the community based, non-profit organization's overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music, and the foundation of a renewed commitment to schedule induction ceremonies each year.

For more information, visit www.pmawalk.org.

April 7, 2015
Billie Holiday to be Inducted on Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame as 100th Birthday Gift from Philadelphia Music Alliance
Billie Holiday

PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE TO CELEBRATE BILLIE HOLIDAY CENTENNIAL AS 1st 2015 INDUCTEE ON PHILADELPHIA MUSIC WALK OF FAME

PHILADELPHIA (April 7, 2015) – As a special birthday gift to the woman widely considered to be one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century, The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is proud to welcome BILLIE HOLIDAY as its newest inductee today on the 100th anniversary of her birth in the City of Brotherly Love.

Billie Holiday, aka "Lady Day," is only the first of this year's inductees to be announced. The Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) will hold a press reception in late May to announce the rest of the Walk of Fame's Class of 2015. Holiday and the rest of the new honorees will be formally inducted together in October during ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts.

"The Philadelphia Music Alliance wanted to present what we think is a 'perfect' birthday gift to an extraordinary vocalist, Billie Holiday, and announce her induction on her 100th birthday," said Alan Rubens, Chairman of the Philadelphia Music Alliance. "It will be an absolute pleasure to be able to walk down Broad Street and see her name where it rightfully belongs, on the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, with other homegrown jazz giants like John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, and Grover Washington Jr."

Billie Holiday was born Elinore Harris on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia General Hospital on Curie Boulevard in West Philadelphia. As the official marker on Lombard Street west of Broad Street from the Pennsylvania Historical Museum and Commission says, "[S]he was called the greatest jazz vocalist of her time. Starting in 1933, she recorded with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and others. Notable songs include 'Lover Man,' 'Strange Fruit.'"

Holiday's voice was limited in size and range, but the emotional breadth of her singing - her ability to transmit desire and despair with utter clarity, and without sentimentality - was astonishing. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made Holiday a superstar of her time. Today, she's remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity, as many of her songs are as well known today as they were decades ago. Holiday's poignant voice is still considered to be one of the greatest jazz voices of all time. Though she had numerous outside influences, notably Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, Holiday built her reputation through her inner passion and a vocal style that was at once emotive and rugged. A vast array of singers have taken inspiration from Holiday's music and style including Diana Ross – who played her in the 1972 film "Lady Sings the Blues" – to Annie Lennox and the late Amy Winehouse.

As Philly's own Jill Scott tells Vanity Fair: "Billie Holiday is guts. She is guts, and pain, and challenges. She is the sweetest pain…. Her voice gave me permission to have pain on a record. To convey the heart's heart. To be able to sing songs about what is happening in society, as well. She did all this with a lot of freedom. There wasn't a bunch of production. It was just Billie Holiday, being herself. All the miseries and all the wounds, and then reporting it, basically, to society. That is an artist. There is a difference between being an entertainer and an artist, and Billie Holiday is a true artist."

The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame is a living tribute to Philadelphia's rich music history and a vital force unifying the city's diverse cultural communities along the Avenue of the Arts. Holiday's induction furthers the renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music past, present and future as a major tourist attraction. This agenda to recognize more local music greats in all genres is part of the community based, non-profit organization's overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music, and the foundation of a renewed commitment to schedule multiple induction ceremonies each year.

November 19, 2014
Philadelphia Music Alliance Mourns the Passing of Walk of Fame Inductee and Pop Music Pioneer Dave Appell

Cameo/Parkway Records writer/producer/arranger helped score hits for Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Rydell, the Dovells, the Orlons, many others; also produced No. 1 hits for Tony Orlando and Dawn

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA), the non-profit organization which creates and maintains the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, mourns the passing of Walk of Fame inductee DAVE APPELL, best known as a pioneering producer, co-writer and arranger at the legendary Cameo/Parkway Records for the likes of Chubby Checker, the Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, the Orlons, Bobby Rydell, and Charlie Gracie, and later, producing a trio of #1 hits for Tony Orlando and Dawn on Bell Records.

"With Dave's passing, we've lost one of the true pioneers of Philadelphia's pop music scene," said PMA Chairman Alan Rubens. "He was very much a part of the Philly pop explosion in the late '50s and early '60s, due to his work with Chubby Checker, the Dovells, Bobby Rydell, the Orlons, and many more through the Cameo/Parkway record label. And as a member of the Walk of Fame, he continued to support the Philadelphia Music Alliance, and show up at our events even into his 90s. Dave also mentored another legend on our Walk, board member Joe Tarsia, the great Sigma Sound Studios founder and Sound of Philadelphia engineer. Our condolences go out to the Appell family. He was a treasure, and will be sorely missed."

Relatives and friends are invited Friday, beginning 10:30 a.m. EST, to Platt Memorial Chapels, Inc., 2001 Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ, where funeral services will begin promptly at 11 a.m. EST. Internment is at Crescent Memorial Park, Pennsauken, NJ. Shiva will be observed at the home of Roslyn Appell Purdy and Robert Purdy.

Contributions may be made to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org), or MusiCares (www.grammy.org/musicares).

WIKIPEDIA BIO:
Appell (pronounced "AP-el") is associated mainly with the Cameo-Parkway record label, in whose history he played a substantial part. He started working as an arranger for several United States Navy big bands in the mid-1940s during his service in World War II, including Jimmie Lunceford's black orchestra. He later arranged for dance orchestras, including Benny Carter and Earl "Fatha" Hines. He recorded for a while on Decca Records as the Dave Appell Four, until Paul Cohen of Decca suggested he change the group name to the Applejacks. Appell also became a publisher, joining ASCAP in 1955, collaborating with Max Freedman.

He appeared prominently in the 1956 Alan Freed film, Don't Knock the Rock, and worked for a while as the studio band and music director on the Ernie Kovacs TV and radio shows in Philadelphia. Next Appell and the Applejacks were playing in Las Vegas, but they soon began to pine for their hometown and returned to Philadelphia, where they started working for Cameo Records, a label founded by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe.

Appell became a jack-of-all-trades at Cameo, doing background vocals, session work as a guitarist, engineering, arranging, and producing. The first hit artist on the Cameo label was Charlie Gracie, the singing guitarist who hit Number One nationally with "Butterfly." Appell and his band backed Gracie on that million-seller in 1957, and on the singer's subsequent hits, "Fabulous" and "Ninety-Nine Ways" and "Wanderin' Eyes." In 1958 Appell and his group backed John Zacherle on his Top 10 novelty hit "Dinner With Drac."

In the summer of 1958, Appell got an idea for a song from the Philadelphia String Band of a marching-type song with a dance beat. He wrote an instrumental song called "The Mexican Hat Rock," a jumped-up version of the old "Mexican Hat Dance," that he had his studio band record. The song was released under their own name on Cameo that fall and became a big dance hit on American Bandstand, reaching # 16 on the charts. The Applejacks also charted with "Rocka-Conga" (# 38) later in the year.

Appell went on to become the leader of Cameo-Parkway's house band, backing such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp, and The Orlons. Their records Appell also arranged and, in many cases, produced, and even co-wrote with Kal Mann, like "Let's Twist Again," "Bristol Stomp," "Mashed Potato Time," and "South Street." These were the years of the twist and other dance crazes, in the launching of which Appell played a vital role. Appell left Cameo in 1964.

In the 1970s he had success with his productions for Tony Orlando and Dawn, including the # 1 hits "Knock Three Times" (1970) and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" (1973), on Bell Records in New York. Appell's co-producer was Hank Medress, a founding member of The Tokens musical group.

ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE
Established in 1986, the Philadelphia Music Alliance is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Philadelphia's rich musical legacy by increasing awareness of the city's great musical tradition and supporting the current music scene. As Philadelphia's music authority, The Philadelphia Music Alliance promotes the vast contributions of Philadelphians to all music genres, and encourages emerging artists and students toward achieving musical excellence. In addition, The Alliance creates, supports and sponsors programs and events that enrich and strengthen Philadelphia's musical community. Our best-known creation is the Walk of Fame, a must-see tourist attraction on Philadelphia's dazzling Avenue of the Arts.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cameo/Parkway Records Producer/Writer/Arranger Dave Appell, right, at a 2004 Philadelphia Music Alliance event with legendary oldies DJ Jerry Blavat, left, and Al Martino.

High-Res Images

September 18, 2014
PHILADELPHIA MUSIC ALLIANCE, AVENUE OF THE ARTS, INC., AND I.A.T.S.E. UNION LOCAL 8 “MAKE THE STARS SHINE” ON PHILADELPHIA WALK OF FAME

Celebrities and Local Volunteers Polish the Plaques on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (September 18, 2014) - As an official welcome to the fall arts season in the city, the Philadelphia Music Alliance, Avenue of the Arts, Inc. and the I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8 are proud to announce MAKING THE STARS SHINE, on Philadelphia's Walk of Fame, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 8:00 AM - Noon.

MAKING THE STARS SHINE will highlight the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia as volunteers from I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8, Philadelphia's music community including Walk of Fame Honorees Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, Charlie Gracie, Jerry Blavat, Jerry Ross, and more; and the Friends of the Avenue of the Arts clean and polish the bronze plaques along the esteemed Walk of Fame. The Walk of Fame honors Philadelphia's rich musical culture and history through 121 bronze plaques, spanning the Avenue of the Arts from Walnut Street to Spruce Street.

The event will provide a spotlight for The Avenue of the Arts' fall event schedule, and will include an appearance by the Philly POPS. Music by various Philadelphia Music Alliance honorees will be the soundtrack to the event, through sound systems provided by CLEAR SOUND.

Additional sponsors and supporters of the Walk of Fame beautification project include: Center City District, University of the Arts, The Wilma Theater, Opera Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadanco!, and The Capital Grille. And a special thanks to Starbucks Coffee and the Garces Group. The proud Stage Hands of Philadelphia's I.A.T.S.E. Local 8 will step out from behind the scenes of these grand theater organizations and help "make the stars shine"!

President of IATSE Local 8, Michael Barnes is proud that members of the Local 8 Community Outreach Committee took the initiative to suggest this project to the Philadelphia Music Alliance.

"We always are looking for ways to give back to our Community," says Barnes. "The Avenue of the Arts and the Walk of Fame represent the ongoing history of great artists and culture right here in Philadelphia."

About I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) was founded in 1893. I.A.T.S.E. is the largest union representing workers in the entertainment industry. For more information, visit www.iatse8.com.

About the Philadelphia Music Alliance
Established in 1986, the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA) is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Philadelphia's rich musical legacy by increasing awareness of the city's great musical tradition and supporting the current music scene. For more information, visit www.philadelphiamusicalliance.org.

About The Avenue of the Arts, Inc.
The Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) is the entertainment heart and soul of Philadelphia. The AAI's mission is to support growth and development along the Avenue of the Arts. For more information, visit www.avenueofthearts.org.

****************

MAKING THE STARS SHINE SCHEDULE

WHAT: As an official welcome to the fall arts season in the city, the Philadelphia Music Alliance, Avenue of the Arts, Inc. and the I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8 are proud to announce MAKING THE STARS SHINE, on Philadelphia's Walk of Fame, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 8:00 AM - Noon.

WHERE: Philadelphia Walk of Fame

Broad Street between Walnut and Spruce Streets

WHO: Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, Charlie Gracie, Jerry Blavat, Jerry Ross, and other Walk of Fame honorees to be announced.

Volunteers from the Philadelphia Music Community, Stage Hands of I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 8, Friends of the Avenue of the Arts, and the Philadelphia Music Alliance.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
8:00 AM - NOON

8:00 AM.: Shining of the Walk of Fame begins along both sides of South Broad Street. Various arts organizations stroll along, handing out information about their upcoming performance seasons.

9:30 AM: Merriam Theater Lobby- Representatives of the Avenue of the Arts and the Philadelphia Music Alliance will welcome the public and formally kick off the event. Participating organizations, and the "stars" of the Walk of Fame, will be available for interviews and comments.

10:00 AM-Noon: Plaque cleaning continues and concludes.

*PLEASE NOTE: In the event of rain, the event will be moved to the following day on Wednesday, September 24 from 8am - Noon.

Philadelphia Music Alliance

Randy Alexander

President & CEO
906 Jonathan Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.596.1410

High-Res Images