When Mural Arts Philadelphia announced it would retire “Sounds of Philadelphia”, its crumbling homage to South Philadelphia’s mid-century music legends at 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, the opposition was….well, spirited.
The painted clock is running down for Peter Pagast’s beloved 2005 mural honoring Fabian Forte, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Jerry Blavat, Al Martino and Eddie Fisher.
The building behind it had deteriorated, and developers planned a four-story structure in front of it.
The cost of re-creating it elsewhere was prohibitive, and there were hundreds of other mural projects already in line.
IT’S NOW OR NEVER
But some projects strike a community chord, and this one was definitely loud.
Within weeks, Mural Arts’ resourceful founder Jane Golden – who operates the program as a community partnership – announced a fund drive and a new location: the northwest corner of Broad and Tasker Streets, next to Green Valley Bank.
Rising stars: The new mural in progress on Monday, Oct. 10.
“South Philly Musicians Remix” – as the new mural is called – is rising this week and will be dedicated at a public block party on Saturday.
Designer and artist Eric Okdeh has completed over 80 public art commissions in Philadelphia since 1998, and has taught mural-making to children, teens, and inmates at SCI Graterford Prison.
Okdeh adds the finishing touches
And, yes, South Philadelphia’s famed “Golden Boys” are back, along with another beloved face…
The Golden Boys, left, are Fabian Forte, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon. James Darren is a new addition to the mural.
Okdeh has also added Philadelphia rock pioneer Charlie Gracie and a tribute to Dick Clark’s Bandstand…
Eddie Fisher croons for Fabian at top left, while Bandstand’s audience bops below. At right are South Philadelphia legends Jerry Blavat, Al Martino, Chubby Checker and Charlie Gracie.
Ready to celebrate South Philadelphia’s Bandstand-era music heritage?
Join Mural Arts Philadelphia this Saturday, Oct. 15, from 2 pm-4:30 pm at Broad and Tasker Streets for a free dedication ceremony and block party.
Alvin Tull adds the final touches to the mural’s base, which includes this depiction of Bobby Rydell’s hit single “Wild One”.
We’ll see you there!
Kate & Dave (Click here to see our mural dedication photos!)