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February 21, 2023

Leslie Odom Jr., Bacon Brothers among artists heading to Philly's Walk of Fame

The Philadelphia Music Alliance will also present a special award to Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell on April 20

The Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame, a collection of more than 100 bronze plaques lining the Avenue of the Arts and honoring the city's most beloved artists, is preparing to add seven more musicians to its illustrious list this spring, the Philadelphia Music Alliance announced on Tuesday. 

This year's inductees include Leslie Odom Jr., radio personality Patty Jackson and The Bacon Brothers. The organization, which has paused operations since its 2019 Walk of Fame ceremony, will also present a special award to Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell for "the Sound of Philadelphia," the Philly-based soul music the composers are credited with developing. Each of the composers was added to the Walk of Fame in 1993.

"The Walk of Fame is the city's most impressive public monument to the people who have made Philadelphia a great music city," said Mark Schulz, managing director for the Philadelphia Music Alliance. "Our 2023 inductees have deeply influenced how music is experienced, not only in Philadelphia but around the world." 

Those inductees include Odom Jr, an East Oak Lane native, who began his career as a solo artist, releasing his self-titled debut album two years before taking on his Tony-winning role as Aaron Burr in "Hamilton." He also portrayed Sam Cooke in Amazon's "One Night in Miami," took a supporting role in "The Sopranos" prequel "The Many Saints of Newark" and most recently joined the star-studded cast of Rian Johnson's "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery." His first children's book, "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," will be released on March 28. 

Actor Kevin Bacon and his brother, film score composer Michael Bacon, formed The Bacon Brothers in 1994 as a way to explore their shared love of American roots music. Their signature sound, called "forosoco," is a blend of folk, rock, soul and country music, has taken the brothers across the country to perform on iconic stages including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. The band's latest release, a five-song EP entitled "Erato," continues to eclectically blend musical styles, American Songwriter reported. 

John DeBella, host of a popular morning show on Classic Rock 102.9 WMGK, boasts a career in radio and entertainment spanning more than 47 years. He previously worked as a stand-up comedian and television host, and created comedy for the "National Lampoon Radio Hour" starring John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. Each year, DeBella sponsors a Dog Walk in Montgomery County and the Turkey Drop with WMGK and CityTeam Philadelphia in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. 

Originally named The Latineers, The Tymes began an illustrious career in 1963 with "So Much In Love," which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two of its three members have been there since the beginning — Albert "Caesar" Berry and Norman E. Burnett. They added John Stone as lead vocalist following the death of George Williams in 2004, and now tour as the Original Tymes.

Radio personality and podcast host Patty Jackson got her start in broadcasting in Camden before moving to Philly, where she worked at WXTU and Power 99 before arriving at her current station, WDAS, where she hosts a mid-day show in addition to her popular YouTube channelIn 2021, the 2300 block of Ellsworth Street in South Philadelphia was renamed "Patty Jackson Way" in honor of her contributions to local culture, the Philadelphia Tribune reported. 

James DePreist, Marian Anderson's nephew, established the first National Jazz Fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania and worked as an assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic alongside Leonard BernsteinHis decades-long career included work with the Oregon Symphony, Boston Symphony, National Symphony in Washington, D.C., the Juilliard School and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. DePreist authored two poetry books and was awarded 13 honorary doctorates before his death in 2013. 

The Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame will also honor Ed Rendell, who served two terms as Philadelphia's mayor and Pennsylvania's governor before focusing his energy on green and alternative energy. During his time as mayor in the early 1990s, Rendell helped to spearhead the creation of the Avenue of the Arts, which spans Broad Street from Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia to Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia. 

The honorees will have their bronze plaques added to the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame during a day-long ceremony on the Avenue of the Arts on April 20. The celebration concludes with an evening gala, which will be held at Vie by Cescaphe in Spring Garden. 

The Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame is open to the public, with plaques honoring musicians, composers and other famous names in the industry including Dick Clark, Bobby Rydell, Jerry Blavat, Hall & Oates, Nina Simone, Boyz II Men, Joan Jett, DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Roots, Patti LaBelle, Sister Sledge, Jill Scott and the Philadelphia Orchestra.