The Great Photo Album Adventure (Part 9): The Stars Shine on Philly

Over the past 9 months,  we’ve introduced you to a magical 1960s photo album….and told you some of the stories behind it.

Back around 1964,  South Philadelphia nightlife columnist and photographer Arthur Tavani collected over 200 photos of himself with nationally and locally famous singers,  comedians,  athletes,  politicians,  judges,  business people and more.

16_02_28 1 Art Tavani Album(Art Tavani greets South Philadelphia’s Al Martino,  bottom right.  Not all the stars
were locally grown:  That’s Art with Tony Bennett,  top,  and Bob Hope,  bottom left.)

Many of the best-known entertainers – ranging from Bobby Rydell and Fabian,  to Al Martino and Guy Marks – were South Philly natives.  Today,  we’ll show you Art’s photos with famous out-of-towners…

16_02_28 2  Johnny Mathis(Art Tavani,  right,  with Latin Casino favorite Johnny Mathis around 1964.  That’s South
Philadelphia’s Joe “Poe” Viola,  left,  who also helped promote Liberace’s visit there.)


Philadelphia was a national star magnet in the 1960s,  with television draws like “The Mike Douglas Show” and “Ed Hurst’s Aquarama”,  and thriving performance venues like Palumbo’s,  the Latin Casino (which relocated to Cherry Hill, NJ),  Sciolla’s Supper Club,  and even the Order of Brotherly Love Italian social club.

16_02_28 3 Pat Cooper(Comedian Pat Cooper,  center,  takes a turn at the Order of Brotherly Love social
club at 1726 S. Broad Street.  That’s his assistant,  Gabriel “Spanky” DiFeliciantonio
of South Philadelphia at right.)


In some cases,  we can almost guess at the reason for a star’s visit:  The carpet in the Tony Bennett photo confirms the location as South Philadelphia’s famed Palumbo’s restaurant and nightclub, 824 Catharine Street.

And Bob Hope may have been here for his April 14, 1964 appearance on “The Mike Douglas Show”:

16_02_28 4 Bob Hope(“Thanks for the memory…”  Art meets comedian Bob Hope,  most likely at Philadelphia
International Airport in the days when you could step out on the tarmac.)

But where did Art meet tough-guy actor Robert Mitchum?

16_02_28 5 Robert Mitchum(Yes,  that’s “film noir” movie star Robert Mitchum, 
but what was the occasion?)

And where did he pose with visiting singers Frank Sinatra,  Jr. and Trini Lopez,  comedians Frank Fontaine and George Kirby,  actor-singer Vaughn Monroe,  and more?


Check out our  Unexpected Philadelphia  website to see our new photo section on “Visiting 1960s Stars”,  and don’t miss the other great photos from Art’s album.

And please send us an email if you remember any details about those star-studded visits.

16_02_28 6 Frank Sinatra Jr(“Oh,  wait – Isn’t that….?”)


As always,  you can click on any photo on our website to page through larger versions of all the photos in that tab.  And you can read the caption associated with each photo if you are on a non-mobile device like a laptop or PC.

You can also click here to read our past blog posts about the photo album and its fascinating subjects.


Kate & Dave

2 thoughts on “The Great Photo Album Adventure (Part 9): The Stars Shine on Philly

  1. Frank Sinatra, Jr. #10 of 17. The train station looks familiar. Maybe Chestnut Hill or Overbrook. Both neighborhoods had Italian enclaves and social clubs. Venetian Social Club in Chestnut Hill and The Overbrook IAC in Overbrook. Ask Joel to look at the station.



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