The Rich Musical History of Philadelphia

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Randy Alexander, Board member of the Philadelphia Music Alliance, to discuss Philadelphia's rich musical history celebrated by its Walk of Fame.

5/9/18 #2141







"We're pleased to welcome Randy Alexander, Executive Board Member, Philadelphia Music Alliance and President and CEO Randex Communications. How you doing Randy? I'm doing great Steve. How are you? I'm doing great, the Philadelphia Music Alliance created in June of '86 is? Philadelphia Music Alliance is basically the umbrella organization for what's known as the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, which is on Broad Street, which now has 140 brass plaques laid into the cement on both sides of Broad Street, stretching a couple blocks bigger than that. It's really a non-profit organization, a community-based organization, that's about two things, one, perpetuating the phenomenal music legacy of Philadelphia, and two, perpetuating the future and nurturing the future of musicians that keep coming out of Philadelphia. Listen, before we take a look at some of the folks... Nina Simone and others on the Walk of Fame, Philly sound? Well the Philly sound was really something that came out of the 70s and it's really based in... another way of saying it is "The Sound of Philadelphia" which is something that came through Philadelphia International Records, which was helmed by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, aka Gamble and Huff, who are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, who are architects of a special sound. Is it a big R&B sound? Huge. Huge. And Gamble and Huff have a lot to do with that. You know, what's interesting, when I first started understanding a little bit about Philadelphia and that whole Philly sound, one of our friends over at WBGO, Felix Hernandez... Yeah. The Rhythm Review on Saturday morning, it's like... yeah , it's the Philly sound, and we did a whole show on the Philly sound, and I go, "What? The... what?" There is a whole history there right? There's a massive history. There's a massive history of not only the Philly sound, but just Philadelphia music in general, and... Dick Clark a part of that? Dick Clark is absolutely a part of that. Make that Dick Clark connection. Well you go... you really... if you... He was in American Bandstand? He was in American Bandstand. Shot in Philadelphia? American Bandstand started in Philadelphia. Wow. It was called Bandstand before it syndicated nationally and became American Bandstand. So local Bandstand? 46th and Market Street. Wow... no! Yeah the studio is still there. There he is, Dick Clark right there? He's in the Philadelphia Walk of Fame? He came, he... we inducted him back in the 80s and he posed, he came, he's... he was very supportive, he was really supportive of what we did. By the way, Georgette, do me a favor, put up some of the shots and we'll set this up, Nina Simone? Well you know, here you got Nina Simone, now..."