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2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
 
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2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
 
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bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
 
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Multi-Part
 
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Philadelphia Doo Wop Mural Dedication
Trolley Car Diner, 7619 Germantown Ave.,
Philadelphia, PA, April 22, 2010

by Pamela and Charles Horner
(
Except where noted, all photos by Pamela & Charlie Horner)
 



 

The vocal groups The Tymes and Neighbor’s Complaint were celebrated and honored on April 22, 2010 with a mural at the Trolley Car Dinner, 7619 Germantown Avenue, in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia is the mural capitol of the world, with over 3000 murals citywide, painted on the sides of buildings.  While previous murals have honored some Gospel quartets like the Dixie Hummingbirds and Joyland Gospel Singers, this mural is the first to recognize the contributions of Philly's R&B and Doo Wop vocal groups.


"Doo Wop Diner" Mural
 

The Trolley Car Diner itself is a 1952 vintage diner from Wilkes Barre, Pa. that is decorated inside with 1950’s memorabilia.  In front of the diner is an old PTC (Philadelphia Transit Company) trolley car that functions as an ice cream shop.  The owner, Ken Weinstein is celebrating the diner’s tenth year in business.


The Trolley Car Diner, 7619 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA


Trolley Ice Cream Shop


Pam inside the Trolley Car Diner


Inside the Trolley Car Diner


Pam with Peggy Burnett (wife of Tymes' Norman Burnett)
 

Artist Jonathan Laidacker designed the mural and supervised it’s painting.  It was a "paint-by-number" technique that was painted by members of the community.  The artist used gray and black colors to portray large images of the groups as they were in the past.  He then superimposed life size color paintings of some group members as they are today, using trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) style techniques.


Doo Wop Diner Mural in its entirty



The Tymes section of the mural.
Painted contemporary figures from left to right are those of George Hilliard, Donald Banks
Norman Burnett, diner owner Ken Weinstein and Albert "Caesar" Berry.
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)


Center section of the mural.
Recreation of a fifties diner scene.
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)


Neighbors Complaint section of the mural.
Background photo shows Neighbors Complaint in the early 1980's.
(From left to right:  "Golden Voice Harry" Schmitt, "Fast Eddie" Whitfield,
Robert "Big Murph" Murphy, Jim "The Baron" Tschanz Jr., Robert "Bobski" Reilly
In front are the images of Kenny Luttrell and Bob Murphy
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)
 

The mural dedication began with diner owner Ken Weinstein talking about the ten year history of the diner and how the mural came about.  Neighbors Complaint sang at the diner when they first opened.


Trolley Car Diner Ken Weinstein addressing the crowd


Next, mural artist Jonathan Laidacker talked about how the mural was created.


Artist Jonathan Laidacker


The Tymes were asked to come forward and address the gathering.  Tymes' Norman Burnett spoke to the audience about how honored the group felt to be a part of a Philadelphia mural and the recognition was a long time coming.  Lafayette Gamble led the group in a live rendition of the song that reached Number 1 on the Pop Charts in 1963, “So Much in Love”.  Past and present members of the Tymes were there.


The Tymes singing "So In Love"
Left to right:  Norman Burnett, George Hilliard,
Donald Banks, Caesar Berry and Lafayette Gamble.
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)
 

Up next, Neighbors Complaint came to the podium.   The group's lead, Big Murph (Robert Murphy), told about his singing career with Neighbor’s Complaint.  He spoke about groups that influenced him, including the Orioles and Five Keys.  His inspiration to sing was encouraged by hearing about The Teenagers success and their trip to England.  Yes, like the Tymes, Neighbor’s Complaint is still together and still singing.  The group sang “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”.


(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)

 


 

Classic Urban Harmony's Charlie Horner, who back in the day acted as one of the group's unofficial managers, wore his honorary Neighbors Complaint jacket.  In the 1980's, Neighbors Complaint presented Charlie with the jacket when they made him an honorary (non-singing) member of the group.
 

________________________________________________________________________________

Blast from the Past -  March 1982

1982 Photos of Charlie Horner and Don Leins becoming honorary members of Neighbors Complaint
Left to right: (a) Don Leins, Bob Murphy, Charlie Horner; (b) Don, Bob Reilly, Charlie

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

Neighbors Complaint and The Tymes joined together to sing a “duet”.  They sang The Five Satin’s song “In The Still of the Night” with a spoken bridge by Big Murph.


Neighbors Complaint & the Tymes singing "In The Still Of The Night"


After the official dedication of the mural, all the singers posed for photo opportunities and took times to catch up with old friends that in some cases they hadn't seen in years.


The Tymes in their classic "looking at their watches" pose.
From left to right:  George Hilliard, Caesar Berry, Donald Banks, Norman Burnett


Current and former members of Neighbors Complaint
From left to right:  L.A. Moore, Harry Schmitt (now with Cornerstone),
Bob Murphy, "Fast Eddie" Whitfield (now with Carl Gardner's Coasters),
Kenny Luttrell, Bob "Bobski" Reilly
 

Norman Burnett, Ken Weinstein, Caesar Berry


Artist Jonathan Laidacker with Charlie


Honorary member of Neighbors Complaint, Charlie Horner


Charlie & Pam at the mural


Pam with Tymes' Norman Burnett and Caesar Berry


Charlie with Tymes' Donald Banks


Pam with origional Tymes' Donald Banks and George Hilliard


Neighbors Complaint bass, Bob Reilly at the mural


Neighbors Complaint's Harry Schmitt (now with Cornerstone)
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)


Neighbors Complaint lead Bob Murphy with Charlie


Bob Murphy, Charlie Horner and Eddie Whitfield (now with the Coasters)


L.A. Moore, Big Murph and Fast Eddie
 

The dedication of the “Doo Wop Diner" mural ended with a vintage yellow Cadillac driving through the parking lot.  The car was the same model used for the mural.  There was much good will and it was about time Philadelphia honored its doo wop singers.




Pam Horner


The Tymes & Neighbors Complaint



Group Photo
(Photo courtesy of Kate Chesbro Photo)


For more info on the Trolley Car Diner see www.trolleycardiner.com
For artist Jonathan Laidacker's website see www.jjhdesigns.com/jonathanlaidacker/
For more on the Philadelphia Mural Program including mural trolley tours, see www.muralarts.org and www.phillytour.com

 

Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2010.  All Rights Reserved.