South Philly Celebrity Windows Are Up!

Bobby Rydell,  Fabian,  Al Martino,  Buddy Greco….Ed Hurst,  Cozy Morley,  Len Barry….Phil Jaye,  Guy Marks,  Al Fisher and Lou Marks….Joey Giardello,  the Day Brothers….

16_01_04 1 Bobby Ryell_3632
(“Wildwood Days” and East Passyunk nights: It must be Bobby Rydell…)

Fifty years ago,  you couldn’t walk down a South Philadelphia street – or enter a club – without encountering one or several of them.

And now,  for the month of January,  they’ll be smiling back down on the neighborhood.

16_01_04 2 Al Martino & Fabian_3710(Native sons Al Martino & Fabian Forte)


From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve,  our South Philadelphia holiday windows glowed with photos of the many great neighbors we’ve met since moving here in 2012.

And now,  through January 31,  we’re heading back to “South Philly Past” with portraits of local 1960s celebrities.

16_01_04 3 1960s Tasker Windows(The stars shine again on Tasker Street.)

So,  if you’re dining or playing on Passyunk Avenue’s famed restaurant row this month,  we hope you’ll check out our 1960s celebrity windows at East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street,  across from the Singing Fountain.


As we’ve described in past blog posts,  the photos came from a magical mid-century album compiled by Arthur Tavani,  a writer and photographer for the long-gone South Phila.  American and Philadelphia Exclusive newspapers.

For the past three years,  we’ve attempted to identify the hundreds of entertainers,  sports figures,  local dignitaries and “just plain folks” in its pages,  with the idea of donating it to Temple University’s Urban Archives.

16_01_04 4  Len Barry & Guy Marks &  Buddy Greco_3729
(That’s “Bristol Stomp” and “1-2-3” singer Len Barry at left.   South Phila.’s Buddy Greco is at right,  with two other natives – singer Palma Jo Solari and comedian Guy Marks – at center.)


Want to see dozens more celebrity photos?  Check out the “South Philadelphia Past” section of Unexpected Philadelphia, our new website, and let us know if you recognize anyone we haven’t identified…

16_01_04 5 Website Overview(Just some of the people waiting for you at “Unexpected Philadelphia”.)

And, yes, we’ll be adding many more photos in coming months.

16_01_04 6Cozy Morley & Al Alberts_3719(Comedian and musician Cozy Morley of Wildwood’s Club Avalon,  left,  with the long-time TV host of “Al Albert’s Showcase”.)


Interested in keeping up with our blog by email?  Just click on the black “Follow” button at right,  near the top of the blog,  and you’ll receive an email every time we post an entry.

And,  no,  we do not accept or send ads,  and we’ve never received an unwanted email from WordPress,  our blog platform.

16_01_04 7 Celebrity Christmas Tree_3750

(Even our Christmas tree is loaded with stars – the South Philly kind…)


…and we hope to see you on the avenue!

Kate & Dave


21 thoughts on “South Philly Celebrity Windows Are Up!

  1. Good stuff. As a grandson of Gaetano and Angelina Sciolla and a Son of now deceased, Frank Sciolla Sr., founders and employees of a small grocery store that became one of Philadelphia’s first licensed “Beer Gardens,” after Prohibition in 1933, then a Supper and Night Club thru the 1940s – 1970s, hosting hometown boys, Al Martino, Bobby Rydell, James Darren, Fischer and Marks, Chubby Checker and so many other talented musicians, comics and singers from other cities and towns in America. I’m proud to be part of the tradition. Their music and nightclub and after hours stories will always “live on,” and like so many other clubs in Philadelphia/NJ like Palumbo’s, The Latin Casino, Genes on The Blvd., The BR Club, etc.., “it’s a good story,” perhaps, Clubs like these deserve a Star on The Avenue of The Arts.

    It was folks like our parents and those of us before them too, who were young, ambitious and risk-taking entrepreneurs, born in villages outside America, that helped promote and bring to many of us the entertainment that we enjoyed. Those acts and performers later showed up in our living rooms on TV, entertainers we listened to on WIBG, WFIL, or WDAS, and danced to and laughed with, and watched on weekends on venues like The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand, The Dean Martin Show, The Jerry Blavat Show, Ed Hurst’s Steel Pier, The Lloyd Thaxton Show, Johnny Carson’s The Tonite Show, locally, Mike Douglas, and later, SoulTrain. The list goes on — all which keeps us dancing and hopefully, passing down legacy!

    Perhaps it’s time to make a Movie about it all, and why not! Oh, and beyond my “Italian-American brethren,” just look at the Stars sometime when walking down Broad Street near The University of The Arts area, and you’ll see that on both sides of the Street, “Philly” was and still is — rich in artistic talent!



    • Thanks, Arthur! As you may have read on our blog post, we were given a giant photo album from (mostly) South Phila in the 1960s, and we’re trying to identify as many people as possible in the photos before we donate it to Temple University’s Urban Archives. We’re especially having a hard time identifying many of the women, for some reason. Please check out the “Who Am I?” section on our website, if you have time, and see if there’s anyone there you recognize, including Dawn. It’s at:!/portfolio/C0000rHrgY0AD8Kw/G0000PyTldRMG958

      There’s also three other sections of singers, actors, athletes, etc., and we’ll be adding a new section of photos in the next month.

      Hope you enjoy it! Kate & Dave


  2. We would like to see Drum Legend Carl Matolla up on there….he influenced many drummers internationally. He was Bobby Rydells drummer for sometime and he’s from South Philadelphia


    • Hi, Ricardo —

      Thanks for the tip — my dad was born here, but we’re just now learning our South Phila. history… Our photos currently all come from a single 1960s photo album that someone gave us as a housewarming gift in 2011. We’re still trying to identify and honor the people in the album, but it’s obvious that we’ll have to expand our search for South Phila. celebrities in the future….!



    • Thanks for reading! We’re having so much fun with this — our 1960s photo album has been a wonderful introduction to our new neighborhood… (I was a NE Philly/St. Hubert’s girl, but my dad grew up in South Phila.)



  3. Lived in South Philly around the corner before it was Resturant row back in the 50s 60s 70s remember all of them saw them at the greatPalumbos and watched the best Joey Gisselle spar every day at his gym.Fond memories love going downtown and talk to my children about the past ,how it was. Now,we go to there shows Thanks for the Memories


      • Great! That gym building is now home to Stogie Joe’s, our favorite pizza restaurant. That’s also where we met a friend of Lou Franco, the son of comedian Lou Marks. You may have seen our interview with Lou, Jr. on our blog at

        They say that everyone’s connected within six degrees of separation, but I think it’s a lot closer in South Philadelphia….!



      • Just read your blog brought back great memories about down town that I have been telling my children all there lives.Keep up the great info ,cannot wait to see photos of thesports and political individuals


      • Thanks, Tony! If you go to our “Unexpected Philadelphia” website and look in the “South Philadelphia Past” section, you’ll see four different tabs of photos listed on the left, including one called “Sports Figures”. Here’s the direct link: Unexpected Philadelphia Sports Figures.

        If you click on one of the small photos there, you can page through big versions of all the photos with the arrows at the bottom of the screen. You will also see a caption for each photo if you are on a “non-mobile device” (don’t I sound techie?) like a laptop or a desktop computer.

        We’ll be adding more photos in the coming months, including ’60s politicians, judges, business people, and at least one more “Who Am I?” section. Let us know if you recognize anyone we don’t know!



  4. Happy New Year…..Greetings from Asbury Park. I love that I find your blog posts from Bobby Rydell’s Facebook page!!!! I was so happy my daughter had a month long show at a coffee house two blocks from you this Christmas, so I was able to see your neighbor installation in person. I was so excited. It is such a small world. We will always be grateful for the leftover trims you gave us before your move. My daughter and I are still using them in projects. The green pom pom trim decorates her room. Hope to see you in person some day. Love your windows and following you on your blog.


    • Hi, Geralyn —

      It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I’m glad you’re still having fun with my leftover stash. I didn’t realize that you were a Bobby Rydell fan. (Just don’t let the Bruce troops find out in Asbury Park…!) Am glad you got to see the windows, but I’m sad we didn’t get to see you. Please ring the bell the next time you’re in town and we’ll catch up….!



    • Be still, my heart! And, yes, my pulse just doubled — and that was just Dave (grin)

      Thanks so much for making South Phila. a magical place…we’re really enjoying our new life here. The comments on our windows have been amazing, but that’s because the people in them are….!

      Kate & Dave


  5. So fantastic!! A labor of love from Kate & Dave in keeping the great Philly legends alive!! Thank you!!

    Lou Franco
    (Son of comedian Lou Marks)


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