Philly’s Black Music History Map, Year 2: What’d we miss last time?

Let’s find out.

Right: Billy Penn's Black History Music Map. Left: Musicians who've made Philly proud. Clockwise from the bottom left corner: Chubby Checker, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Eve.

Right: Billy Penn's Black History Music Map. Left: Musicians who've made Philly proud. Clockwise from the bottom left corner: Chubby Checker, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Eve.

Billy Penn, Google Maps, Elvert Barnes on Flickr, Tabernil on Flickr, Dave Rosenblum on Flickr, Eva Rinaldi on Flickr
Cassie Owens, Reporter/Curator

How many locations in Philadelphia are significant to the history of black music? And is there a limit?

Let’s find out.

Last year, we listed and mapped 28 locations 1 . We corresponded with radio vet Wynne Alexander about OG WDAS. The Lisa Lopes Foundation (honoring Lefteye, for those who don’t know her government name) actually told us her childhood address. We included venues like the Royal and the Dunbar. It was fun. And thennnnn we started to hear feedback about what we omitted. And reasonably so: With Philly’s storied musical legacy, there were plenty more spots that could have merited inclusion.

So, we’re doing it again this year. We’ll be adding a second round of locations to our map, and this time, we’re opening the list for submissions. If you’d like to tell us about a location that deserves inclusion, email cassie@billypenn.com. In your email, share the name of the place, the address and why it matters. Tell us about what you’re listening to these days if you like too; we’ll respond in kind.

If you need a quick refresher, here are the locations we’ve mapped already:

  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe House
  • Phily Joe Jones’ childhood home
  • Sun Ra Arkestra House
  • Standard Theater
  • Dunbar Theater
  • Philadelphia International
  • WDAS (West Philly location)
  • Patti LaBelle’s childhood home
  • Solomon Burke’s birthplace
  • Schooly D’s childhood home
  • Lisa “Lefteye” Lopes’ childhood home
  • Lee Andrews and Questlove’s former house
  • Dell Music Center
  • Uptown Theater
  • Sigma Sound
  • Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Five Spot
  • Metropolitan Opera House
  • Word-Up Records
  • Marian Anderson Residence Museum
  • Tindley Temple United Methodist Church
  • Paramount Records
  • Settlement Music School
  • Paul Robeson House
  • Royal Theater
  • Pop Art Records
  • Blue Note Club (yep, Philly had one)
  • John Coltrane House

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