Leslie Odom Jr., the Broadway star and an original cast member of “Hamilton,” was on South Broad Street Thursday along with a crowd of about 100 others to see the new inductees in Philadelphia’s Walk of Fame.
Odom got his star, but said the real star of the day was Patty Jackson, the popular midday DJ on WDAS who also received a plaque.
“I know they’re all here for Patty Jackson,” said Odom. “But I am honored to be here on the same day as Miss Jackson and these other wonderful nominees.
“I was already coming for Patty,” he joked. “Then they added me to the list and I was like, ‘Oh! Amazing!”
Fans of Jackson passed out paper fans with her face on them, and Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson presented a bouquet of red flowers “to a young lady born and raised in South Philadelphia, a young lady who’s the voice here in the city of Philadelphia.”
The six honorees were added to the sidewalk by the Philadelphia Music Alliance. In addition to Jackson and Odom, honorees included Kevin and Michael Bacon, i.e. The Bacon Brothers; WMGK DJ John DeBella; members of The Tymes, the soul vocal group who had hits in the 1960s: and the deceased classical conductor James DePriest.
The event also honored former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and his wife, federal Judge Marjorie Rendell, with a special Founders Award recognizing their efforts to build the Kimmel Center and create the Avenue of the Arts.
“It’s strange, because I always associate this with movie stars, not politicians,” Rendell said. “It’s a great honor. We didn’t do it alone. I mean, there were 8,000 Philadelphians who pitched in.”
Rendell recalled that during the capital fundraising to build the Kimmel Center, over 8,000 small- and medium-sized donations came from the individual residents of Philadelphia.
The induction ceremony was the first since 2019, as the pandemic paused the annual tradition that started 36 years ago.
“I am grateful beyond words that the events of the recent past did not impede the Philadelphia Music Alliance from continuing to fill its two main objectives,” said Alan Rubens, the board chair of the Philadelphia Music Alliance. “The first being keeping alive for posterity the contributions to every form of music made by those who are either native Philadelphians or Philadelphians by choice.”
“The second is the creation of support — from financial and educational standpoints — the programs that will help ensure there will be future Walk of Fame honorees for years and decades to come,” he said.
Kevin Bacon, the movie star who grew up in Philadelphia as the son of former city planner Ed Bacon, has been writing and performing songs with his brother Michael for decades. He coined a phrase to describe the music of The Bacon Brothers: FoRoSoCo, a mash-up of folk, rock, soul, and country. They used it as the title of their first album in 1997.
“When I left Philadelphia, I just assumed that every town had the kind of musical diversity that this one does,” he said. “That every town was pumping with the same kind of sounds and beat and feel. But that’s just not the case. Philadelphia is singularly a music mecca. To be a part of it and be here on Broad Street, Avenue of the Arts: super cool.”
The plaque ceremony will be followed in the evening by a gala celebration at the nearby event space Vie, which will include Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie paying tribute to his Philadelphia heroes Jerry Blavat, Thom Bell, Charlie Gracie, and Bobby Rydell.