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?
Last week, we told you about the planned dedication for the new “South Philly Musicians Remix” mural by Mural Arts Philadelphia.
There’s a new crew hanging out at Broad and Tasker Streets.
And, yes, it features local luminaries (from left) Eddie Fisher, Fabian Forte, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Jerry Blavat, Al Martino, Chubby Checker, Charlie Gracie and James Darren, along with tributes to Bob Horn’s and Dick Clark’s Bandstand shows. (Click here to see our close-up photos of the mural.)
PAINT AROUND THE CLOCK
But Philadelphia mural artist Eric Okdeh had another surprise up his paint-covered sleeve last week when he revealed the final honoree….
Guitar virtuoso Danny Cedrone
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.
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….
(“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.
(Native sons Al Martino & Fabian Forte)