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Honoring a Philadelphia Music Legend: Frankie Beverly’s Street Naming Ceremony

This spring, the City of Philadelphia is set to honor a musical icon whose journey began on its streets. Frankie Beverly, whose illustrious career started with the Butlers and evolved into the soulful ensemble known as Frankie Beverly and Maze, will be celebrated in a monumental way. 

In recognition of his contributions to music and culture, the community of North Norwood Street in East Germantown, the very neighborhood where Beverly was raised, will be renamed in his honor. This significant event, spearheaded by Councilperson Cindy Bass and the Philadelphia City Council in collaboration with Maze Management, is a testament to the community’s pride in Beverly’s lasting legacy.

The street renaming ceremony, scheduled for May 18th, 2024, at 12 noon, is not just a city event but a cultural celebration with the backing of the Black Promoters Collective. This coalition, a 100% Black-owned business comprising six of the nation’s top independent concert promotion and event production companies, champions the cause of delivering culturally relevant live entertainment experiences. Their involvement underscores the impact of Beverly’s music, which transcends mere performance to become a vibrant expression of Black culture.

Frankie Beverly’s music, with hits like “Joy & Pain,” “We Are One,” and the summertime anthem “Before I Let Go,” has been the soundtrack to countless memories and celebrations. As Beverly plans to retire from touring this summer, the street naming is a timely homage to his contributions to music and the community that raised him.

Notable Philadelphia media veterans Dyana Williams and Patty Jackson will shepherd the celebration. They will serve as spokespersons and avid champions of Beverly’s musical legacy. Their statements will highlight the deep respect and admiration Beverly commands, not just in Philadelphia but globally, as a symbol of the joy and pain encapsulated in the Black experience through music.

Frankie Beverly’s musical odyssey commenced in the 1960s with The Blenders and later, The Butlers, before evolving into Raw Soul and ultimately Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Their music, a blend of soul, funk, and R&B, carved a unique niche that resonated deeply with audiences, earning them a devoted following and a distinguished place in music history.

Frankie Beverly and Maze’s influence remains undiminished despite the shifts in musical trends. This street renaming honors Beverly’s past contributions. It cements his enduring influence on the fabric of cultural and musical landscapes, resonating with audiences worldwide.

As Philadelphia prepares to rename a piece of its history in honor of Frankie Beverly, it’s a reminder of the power of music to unite, inspire, and celebrate the richness of cultural heritage. This event is not just a local celebration but a global acknowledgment of Beverly’s role as a musical ambassador, whose work continues to inspire and resonate with generations, a living testament to the enduring power of soul that we all can respect and cherish.

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Fharnell M.

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