Over the past several posts, we’ve told you about many of the 28 artists, writers, musicians and performers who appear in our South Philadelphia window display. (And, yes, if you’re not familiar with our pre-election, anti-angst campaign, you can read about it here.)
Today, we’ll tell you about the remaining 8 artists overlooking South Philadelphia’s popular “singing fountain”….
The view on our second and third floors at East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Street….
….and the bottom line on our first floor.
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.
This year, we struggled with finding a new topic for our annual holiday window display.
We’d already displayed photos of our South Philadelphia neighbors and of local celebrities from the 1960s….
What was left? South Philadelphia restaurant owners? Current local celebrities? Favorite Philly athletes? (Way too controversial!)
But one topic kept intruding in our heads.
ELECTION STRESS DISORDER
Like many people, we’ve been beaten down by the soul-draining divisiveness in the country this year.
Violence. Name-calling. Corruption. Terrorism. Racial and religious divides. Following the news – particularly the election news – you’d think that the country and the entire human race were sliding down that greased pole to hell.
“Uhm, Dave, do you have the comics?”
And, yes, it even has a name: Election Stress Disorder, and everyone we knew had symptoms.
(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….
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)
(Back from vacation, Kate continues the story….)
Discovering that the mystery owner of our star-studded 1960s photo album was named Arthur Tavani and that he once worked for two South Philadelphia newspapers was pretty exciting….
(Art Tavani, with his trusty camera, joins the crush around singer Tony Bennett.
And, yes, the patterned carpet identifies this as Palumbo’s.)
Discovering that Art’s sister Virginia lived just 4 blocks from our house was….well, disconcerting. Continue reading