If you’ve followed the story on our blog, you know that a friend gave us a fabulous housewarming gift: a 12-pound photo album from the 1960s, packed with images from nightspots in and around South Philadelphia.
You also know that we’ve been on a grand hunt to identify the hundreds of entertainers, sports figures, business people, politicians and “just plain folks” cavorting on its pages, with the goal of donating them to Temple University’s Urban Archives for safe-keeping.
WHO ARE THEY?
The photos were collected by South Philadelphia newspaper columnist Arthur Tavani, and many are already on our website, along with whatever identifications we have.
In September, 2015, we added our first section of “Who Are We?” photos, asking for help in identifying the many unknown women in them. Today, we published 27 new photos on our website, all showing at least one person we can’t identify.
Some photos include famous Philadelphians….
Yes, that’s South Philadelphia singer Al Martino second from right, with columnist Art Tavani (far left) and Philadelphia council president Paul D’Ortona (far right). But who’s the man with the flower in his lapel?
This past year, we’ve told you the continuing story of a magical 1960s photo album compiled by South Philadelphia nightlife writer and photographer Arthur Tavani.
And we’ve shared dozens of Art’s celebrity photos on our Unexpected Philadelphia website.
BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
Today, we’re publishing a new set of images showing mid-century business owners and government officials from right here in the neighborhood – and we need your help identifying everyone.
Art Tavani shakes hands with local photographer Carl Verna. Mildred Trombetta was the editor and publisher of the South Philadelphia American newspaper, for which Art was a columnist. Louis Esposito (right) still reigns as a second-generation owner of Esposito’s Meats in the Italian Market.
(Continued from Thursday, May 26. Click here to see Part 1, or here to see Part 2….)
It was 1964, and still-shy Linda Ferrino (now Linda Hoffman) had just been appointed Bobby Rydell’s National Fan Club President.
(Linda Ferrino Hoffman and Bobby Rydell in 2014)
So when Bobby was invited to appear on the nationally syndicated Mike Douglas Show, she did what any responsible chief executive would do: She had her mom call school and say she’d be out sick that day.
(Continued from Tuesday, May 24. Click here to see Part 1….)
It was Easter weekend, 1960, and young Linda Ferrino was pouting – big time.
She and her young-at-heart mom had both been smitten by Bobby Rydell when he sang “Kissin’ Time” on American Bandstand. It had even been her mom’s idea to watch.
Now her mom was insisting that they couldn’t attend Bobby’s Steel Pier show, because they were expecting Easter guests at their Jersey shore house.
(Atlantic City’s Steel Pier flaunts its star power on an undated postcard. That’s Mr. Peanut tipping his hat at the far left.)
You can’t make this stuff up….
Last June, we told you about a magical, 12-pound photo album that a friend gave us as a housewarming gift when we moved to East Passyunk Avenue.
Inside were over 200 photos of local and national celebrities, politicians and “just plain folks” from the mid-1960s, collected by South Philadelphia columnist and photographer Arthur Tavani.
(Art Tavani’s magical photo album. Click here to see a sample of what it contains.)
WOW – CHECK THIS OUT….
Among the instantly recognizable faces, of course, were three photos of South Philadelphia heart-throb Bobby Rydell…
(Singer Bobby Rydell with Art Tavani, left, and Philadelphia-based TV host Mike Douglas, center, around 1964.)
(Continued from Monday, March 14. Click here to see Part 1…)
When word got around that South Philadelphia nightclub musician John Valente, Sr. had a local barbershop, visiting stars began dropping in.
(John the Barber, Jr. reflected in a shop mirror below photos of his –
and his dad’s – famous customers.)
Soon John, Sr. and John, Jr. (who joined his dad full-time after graduating from St. John Newmann High School in 1959) began cutting the hair of South Philadelphia celebrities like singers Bobby Rydell and Al Martino; comedians Guy Marks, Al Fisher and Lou Marks….
When I first shared Arthur Tavani’s fabulous mid-1960s photo album, there were local faces that every South Philadelphian recognized: Singers Bobby Rydell, Fabian and Al Martino; boxer Joey Giardello; comedian Guy Marks.
“So who’s the guy in the white coat standing next to your brother and Jerry Vale? A doctor? A dentist?” I asked Virginia Tavani Romano, Art’s sister.
“That’s John the Barber!” she immediately replied.
(From left: South Philadelphia nightlife writer Art Tavani, singer Jerry Vale, John the
Barber, and Phillies relief pitcher Jack Baldschun in John’s shop around 1964.)