entertainment

Patti Smith, writer, talks of learning to love books in Philly

Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic

Updated: Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 2:05 AM

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe at Coney Island. She writes of her friendship and love affair with the photographer Mapplethorpe in "Just Kids," which won the National Book Award. To this day, she says, "I see with his eyes."

When Patti Smith won the National Book Award last month for Just Kids, her tenderly evocative memoir of her friendship and love affair with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in late-'60s-early-'70s New York, the poet-rocker made an impassioned plea to the big shots of the publishing world.

Gil Scott-Heron, spoken-word pioneer, who died Friday, May 27, 2011, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry. Although not from the Philly-area originally, he spend formative years here as he attended Lincoln University. MISCHA RICHTER
Gil Scott-Heron, spoken-word pioneer, who died Friday, May 27, 2011, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry. Although not from the Philly-area originally, he spend formative years here as he attended Lincoln University.
Gil Scott-Heron, spoken-word pioneer, who died Friday, May 27, 2011, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry. Although not from the Philly-area originally, he spend formative years here as he attended Lincoln University. ALEX DAMASHEK
From The "Masters" series, "The Many Faces of Billie Holiday." Holiday was born in Philadelphia and became and became one of the hottest jazz singers in the country, having sung with Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington. (Courtesy: John W. Mosley Photographic Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries)
Singer Billie Holiday jokes backstage with Cornfield of the nationally known "Cornfield and Biscuit" comedy team. Holiday was born in Philadelphia and became and became one of the hottest jazz singers in the country, having sung with Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington. (Courtesy: John W. Mosley Photographic Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries)
Bill Haley, whom some call "the father of rock and roll," mixed country with R&Bat Gloucester City's Twin Bar. Haley was born in Michigan but moved to Philadelphia as a child. His song with The Comets, "Rock Around the Clock," was a worldwide hit.
Bill Haley and the Comets promotional shot 1956. Haley was born in Michigan but moved to Philadelphia as a child. His song "Rock Around the Clock" was a worldwide hit.
Buddy Greco was born in Philadelphia. He toured with Benny Goodman and had his biggest hit with "The Lady is a Tramp."
Chubby Checker was raised Ernest Evans in South Philadelphia and took part as a member of one of the many street corner harmony groups popular at the time. He met Dick Clark and eventually Checker introduced his version of "The Twist" in 1960. The song became a smash and the dance craze followed.
Courtesy of ABC. Chubby Checker returns to the Philly-based show that launched his career: "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark (right). Chubby Checker was raised Ernest Evans in South Philadelphia and took part as a member of one of the many street corner harmony groups popular at the time. He met Dick Clark and eventually Checker introduced his version of "The Twist" in 1960. The song became a smash and the dance craze followed.
Chubby Checker was raised Ernest Evans in South Philadelphia and took part as a member of one of the many street corner harmony groups popular at the time. He met Dick Clark and eventually Checker introduced his version of "The Twist" in 1960. The song became a smash and the dance craze followed. A fan twists with Checker at Dilworth Plaza in 1991. The singer returns today to the same plaza at City Hall.
Chester native Al Alberts had hits with the group The Four Aces, and recorded "On the Way to Cape May. He also hosted a longtime TV talent show host.
Chester native Al Alberts had hits with the group The Four Aces, and recorded "On the Way to Cape May. He also hosted a longtime TV talent show host.
Opera contralto Marian Anderson (left) and film actress Grace Kelly (right), two Philadelphia-born international stars, chat during an event in 1957. Courtesy: John W. Mosley Photographic Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries
Marian Anderson sings on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter 1939. In 1936, she had been prohibited from performing in Washington's Constitution Hall by its owners, the Daughters of the American Revolution. Associated Press
A portrait of Marian Anderson around the time of her Lincoln Memorial Concert in 1939. University of Pennsylvania
Before being introduced to the crowd, Marian Anderson was joined by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, who helped set up the Lincoln Memorial performance. Associated Press
Chester native Al Alberts had hits with the group The Four Aces, and recorded "On the Way to Cape May. He also hosted a longtime TV talent show host.
Philly teen idol Bobby Rydell (born Robert Ridarelli) had hits with "Volare" and "Wild One," then had a big role, as Hugo in "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), with Ann-Margret. He was also in "That Lady From Peking" (1975) and had assorted TV roles in the 1960s.
Philly teen idol Bobby Rydell (born Robert Ridarelli) had hits with "Volare" and "Wild One," then had a big role, as Hugo in "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), with Ann-Margret. He was also in "That Lady From Peking" (1975) and had assorted TV roles in the 1960s.
Bobby Rydell in the early 1960s. Philly teen idol Bobby Rydell (born Robert Ridarelli) had hits with "Volare" and "Wild One," then had a big role, as Hugo in "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), with Ann-Margret. He was also in "That Lady From Peking" (1975) and had assorted TV roles in the 1960s.
Philly teen idol Bobby Rydell (born Robert Ridarelli) had hits with "Volare" and "Wild One," then had a big role, as Hugo in "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963), with Ann-Margret. He was also in "That Lady From Peking" (1975) and had assorted TV roles in the 1960s.
Boyz II Men, shown in this March 1, 1995 photo, display their Grammy awards for Best R&B Album and for Best R&B Duo or Vocal Performance. From left are Shawn Stockman, Nate Morris, Wanya Morris and Michael S. McCary. The group had a string of hits in the 1990s. They originally met in the 1980s at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Boyz II Men members, from left, Wanya Morris, Nathan Vanderpool, Shawn Stockman and Mike McCary pose at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 25, 1993. The group had a string of hits in the 1990s. (AP Photo/Julie Markes)
David Bromberg was born in Philadelphia, though he grew up elsewhere. He is known for blending bluegrass, with blues, folk and rock. davidbromberg.net
The singer and rapper, Eve, was born in Philadelphia. Eve was featured (along with Erykah Badu) on the song "You Got Me" by The Roots, also from Philadelphia. (AP)
The singer and rapper, Eve, was born in Philadelphia. Eve was featured (along with Erykah Badu) on the song "You Got Me" by The Roots, also from Philadelphia. (AP)
Fabian Forte, South Philadelphia native, rehearses with his high school band The Crystals. Fabian was a teen idol in the 1950s.
Rock and roll stars, from left, Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell share a laugh at City Hall in Philadelphia, Penn., where they are presented with awards on April 17, 1985. All three are originally from South Philly. (AP Photo/David Fields) ASSOCIATED PRESS
Philly-born teen idol Frankie Avalon became a star in the 1960s on "American Bandstand." Avalon's film career took off with 1963's "Beach Party," costarring Annette Funicello. There followed the likes of "Beach Banket Bingo," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine."
In 1960, Philly-born teen idol Frankie Avalon (left) with Dick Clark, host of Philly-based TV show "American Bandstand." Avalon's film career took off with 1963's "Beach Party," costarring Annette Funicello. There followed the likes of "Beach Banket Bingo," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine."
Philly-born teen idol Frankie Avalon became a teen idol in the 1060s on "American Bandstand" and went on to star in 1963's "Beach Party," costarring Annette Funicello. There followed the likes of "Beach Banket Bingo," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine."
Society Hill's G. Love. Born Garrett Dutton III, G. Love attended Germantown Friends School and featured Jack Johnson on his 1999 album Philadelphonic.
Songwriters and producers Leon Huff (left) and Kenny Gamble were inducted into the Hall of Fame. (See "Philly Sound enshrined.") STEVEN A. HENRY / Getty Images
Philly's famed duo Leon Huff (left) and Kenny Gamble who are in the Hall of Fame. (See "Philly Sound enshrined.")
Though not born in Philadelphia, famed jazz musician Grover Washington made his name here. (Photo by Frank Schramm)
Grover Washington Jr. plays at the Super Concert in Fairmount Park in July 1985.
Daryl Hall and John Oates on stage at the Spectrum, Oct. 23, 2009. Hall & Oates were a pop/rock duo with a string of hits in the 70s and 80s. Hits included "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Fall in Philadelphia." They attended Temple University. ( David M Warren / Staff Photographer )
Hall & Oates were a pop/rock duo with a string of hits in the 70s and 80s. Hits included "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Fall in Philadelphia." They attended Temple University.
Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1978. In one song introduction, Hall calls Philadelphia the nation's "greatest music city." Hall & Oates were a pop/rock duo with a string of hits in the 70s and 80s. Hits included "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Fall in Philadelphia." They attended Temple University. Sony Music Entertainment Archives
Funny, lovable Pearl Bailey left William Penn High to pursue a singing career that took her from the clubs circuit to Broadway to fillm roles ("Porgy & Bess," "St. Louis Blues") to honors at the White House. President Ronald Reagan awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Above, President Richard Nixon at a dinner for governors offered to play "Home on the Range," to which Bailey, a Republican, responded: "I want to sing a song -- I don't want to ride a horse." UPI
Pearl Bailey appearing on the Dean Martin Show, October 14, 1965. Bailey got her start in Philadelphia's black nightclubs in the 1930s. By the 1940s, she had gained national fame.
by Pearl Bailey, with her photo. Bailey got her start in Philadelphia's black nightclubs in the 1930s. By the 1940s, she had gained national fame. A necklace once owned
Philadelphia-born teen idol James Darren made his biggest Hollywood splash as the surfer Moondoggie in 1959's "Gidget" and a couple of sequels. On TV, he had regular roles on "The Time Tunnel" and "T.J. Hooker."
Actor/singer James Darren visiting his old South Philadelphia neighborhood, signs autographs at the Greenwich Recreation Center, 4th and Shunk in 1958
James and Ingrid Croce, circa 1967. Jim Croce was a South Philadelphia native and attended Upper Darby High School and Villanova University where he performed at parties. He went onto collect a string of hits such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle." He died in a plane crash when he was 30.
Jim Croce was a South Philadelphia native and attended Upper Darby High School and Villanova University where he performed at parties. He went onto collect a string of hits such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle." He died in a plane crash when he was 30.
Jim Croce was a South Philadelphia native and attended Upper Darby High School and Villanova University where he performed at parties. He went onto collect a string of hits such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle." He died in a plane crash when he was 30.
Musician Joan Jett poses for a portrait during Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 23, 2010. Joan Jett was born at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood. Jett became known for a hard-driving brand of rock and roll, as well as part of The Runaways, one of the first all-female hard rock bands. [edit] (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)
Joan Jett performs at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010. Jett became known for a hard-driving brand of rock and roll, as well as part of The Runaways, one of the first all-female hard rock bands. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
John Coltrane playing during a jazz concert, c. 1960s. Though jazz great Coltrane was not born in Philadelphia, he spent formative years here in the 1050s and began collaborations with Miles Davis.
Though jazz great John Coltrane was not born in Philadelphia, he spent formative years here in the 1050s and began collaborations with Miles Davis.
Kevin Eubanks, longtime "Tonight Show" band leader, with his plaque on the Walk of Fame on South Broad Street. Eubanks was born in Philadelphia and went to school here. A jazz guitarist, he is also a composer and gained fame as leader of the Tonight Show Band with Jay Leno.
Eubanks was born in Philadelphia and went to school here. A jazz guitarist, he is also a composer and gained fame as leader of the Tonight Show Band with Jay Leno.
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, was a member of the R&B group TLC. She was born in Philadelphia. She died in a car crash in Honduras in 2002.
Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, was a member of the R&B group TLC. She was born in Philadelphia. She died in a car crash in Honduras in 2002. She's seen here with TLC. (AP)
Kenny Gamble, Patti LaBelle recording "I Am an American." LaBelle was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of Henry Holt, a railroad worker, and Bertha Robinson Holt, a housewife. She attended Bartram High School in Philadelphia. Though LaBelle had a long and successful career, her biggest hit was 1974's "Lady Marmalade." BOB LOTT / Teamwork Productions
Patti LaBelle in the 1970s.
Pink, born Alecia Beth Moore, grew up in Doylestown as a rebellious teen. She frequented the clubs in Philadelphia. Oddly enough, she recorded a cover of Philadelphian Patti Labelle's 1975 single "Lady Marmalade" with Christina Aguilera, rapper Lil' Kim, and Mýa.
Pink, born Alecia Beth Moore, grew up in Doylestown as a rebellious teen. She frequented the clubs in Philadelphia. Oddly enough, she recorded a cover of Philadelphian Patti Labelle's 1975 single "Lady Marmalade" with Christina Aguilera, rapper Lil' Kim, and Mýa.
Sun Ra in a publicity photograph from the early 1990s. Sun Ra was a musician, composer, entrepreneur, utopian thinker, and black-culture icon. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, was born in Alabama but moved to Philadelphia where he blossomed as a jazz composer. He claims to have come from outer space. He had a home in Germantown. He died in 1993.
The Sun Ra Arkestra. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, was born in Alabama but moved to Philadelphia where he blossomed as a jazz composer. He claims to have come from outer space. He had a home in Germantown. He died in 1993.
The Sun Ra Arkestra. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount, was born in Alabama but moved to Philadelphia where he blossomed as a jazz composer. He claims to have come from outer space. He had a home in Germantown. He died in 1993. Sun Ra Arkestra
A portrait photo of Teddy Pendergrass. Pendergrass was born in Philadelphia. He rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. In 1982, he was paralyzed in a car crash on Lincoln Drive, but continued performing. One of his most well-known hits was "Wake up Everybody." He died in 2010.
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass cd cover. A portrait photo of Teddy Pendergrass. Pendergrass was born in Philadelphia. He rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. In 1982, he was paralyzed in a car crash on Lincoln Drive, but continued performing. One of his most well-known hits was "Wake up Everybody." He died in 2010.
Photos from a 2008 Concert in Atlantic City last night for "The Sound of Philadelphia". Teddy Pendergrass was born in Philadelphia. He rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. In 1982, he was paralyzed in a car crash on Lincoln Drive, but continued performing. One of his most well-known hits was "Wake up Everybody." He died in 2010.
The Hooters in 2009. The core of The Hooters, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, met at Penn. They took their name from a nickname from a type of keyboard harmonica. The duo rose to fame when they wrote and arranged songs for the debt album of Cyndi Lauper, They then went on to record songs such as, "All You Zombies." DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Eric Bazilian is a founding member of the Hooters. The Hooters in 2009. The core of The Hooters, Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, met at Penn. They took their name from a nickname from a type of keyboard harmonica. The duo rose to fame when they wrote and arranged songs for the debt album of Cyndi Lauper, They then went on to record songs such as, "All You Zombies."
The Roots are from Philadelphia. The group's genesis stems from the joining of rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer Questlove (Ahmir Thompson) at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts in the late 1980s. Oddly enough, they are collaborating with John Legend for a cover of fellow-Philadelphia Teddy Pendergrass' 'Wake up Everybody." The Roots are the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The Roots backed the three remaining members of Wu-Tang as they went through a series of their own classics in a June show. The Roots are from Philadelphia. The group's genesis stems from the joining of rapper Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and drummer Questlove (Ahmir Thompson) at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts in the late 1980s. Oddly enough, they are collaborating with John Legend for a cover of fellow-Philadelphia Teddy Pendergrass' 'Wake up Everybody." The Roots are the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Photos by Tiffany Yoon/Phrequency.com Tiffany Yoon/Phrequency.com
Toni Basil, though perhaps a one hit wonder with her cheerleader anthem song "Mickey", was nevertheless born in Philadelphia. She was also an actress and had a role in Easy Rider.
Will Smith, right, holds the Grammy for Best Rap Solo for the song "Men In Black" as D.J. Jazzy Jeff looks on at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The two are friends from Philadelphia and, of course, Will Smith went onto achieve stardom in film. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Todd Rundgren, shown in 2004. Upper Darby's Tood Rundgren had his first hit with "Hello It's Me". His most recent hit was "Bang on the Drum all Day," which is still widely played at sporting events He produced Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album and Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band"
A Todd Rundgren solo at the Spectrum, Oct. 23, 2009. Todd Rundgren, shown in 2004. Upper Darby's Tood Rundgren had his first hit with "Hello It's Me". His most recent hit was "Bang on the Drum all Day," which is still widely played at sporting events He produced Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album and Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band"
Patti Smith was raised in Deptford, New Jersey and attended Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. She moved to New York where she became influential in the Punk Rock scene. She wrote "Because the Night" with fellow Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen and was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Patti Smith was raised in Deptford, New Jersey and attended Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. She moved to New York where she became influential in the Punk Rock scene. She wrote "Because the Night" with fellow Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen and was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Patti Smith was raised in Deptford, New Jersey and attended Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. She moved to New York where she became influential in the Punk Rock scene. She wrote "Because the Night" with fellow Jerseyan Bruce Springsteen and was eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Seen here, she is receiving an honorary doctorate of letters from Rowan University. AKIRA SUWA / Inquirer Staff Photographer
Renowned as opera tenor, Philadelphia's Mario Lanza became a movie idol, too, starring in "The Great Caruso" (1951) and a handful of other films. Here, promoting "That Midnight Kiss" in 1949, he poses with family outside his grandfather's home at 632 Christian Street.
Mario Lanza singing to Rafaella Fasano, a polio victim from NJ who was visiting his home in California. Renowned as opera tenor, Philadelphia's Mario Lanza became a movie idol, too, starring in "The Great Caruso" (1951) and a handful of other films.
Renowned as opera tenor, Philadelphia's Mario Lanza became a movie idol, too, starring in "The Great Caruso" (1951) and a handful of other films.
Robert Hazard, an area native, was best known for composing the smash hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for Cyndi Lauper. He also composed the New Wave hit "Escalator of Life." His band was known as Robert Hazard and the Heroes. Hazard attended Springfield High School. He died in 2008.
Robert Hazard, an area native, was best known for composing the smash hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for Cyndi Lauper. He also composed the New Wave hit "Escalator of Life." His band was known as Robert Hazard and the Heroes. Hazard attended Springfield High School. He died in 2008.
Al Martino with a very young Frankie Avalon. Born Alfred Cini, Al Martino worked at his father's construction company as a youth, but music was his passion. He recorded "Here in My Heart".and "Spanish Eyes." He was also an international recording artists. Martino played the role of Martino played the role of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather.
Remembering Philadelphia crooner Al Martino (on poster) are Bill Gioso (left), a 50-year friend and sometime booking agent, and John Murphy, who served on Iwo Jima, as did Martino. Al Martino with a very young Frankie Avalon. Born Alfred Cini, Al Martino worked at his father's construction company as a youth, but music was his passion. He recorded "Here in My Heart".and "Spanish Eyes." He was also an international recording artists. Martino played the role of Martino played the role of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Singer Al Martino, a South Philly native. Al Martino with a very young Frankie Avalon. Born Alfred Cini, Al Martino worked at his father's construction company as a youth, but music was his passion. He recorded "Here in My Heart".and "Spanish Eyes." He was also an international recording artists. Martino played the role of Martino played the role of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather. He died in 2009. (AP File Photo/Winfried Rothermel)
The Stylistics were one of Philadelphia's best known groups in the 1970s. Known for their smooth ballads, The Stylistics produced such hits as "You Make Me Feel Brand New" and "Betcha By Golly, Wow."
Pieces of a Dream were a Philadelphia-based jazz fusion band that started in the 1970s.
Though not a Philly native, singer Annie Haslam has called Bucks County her home for years. An opera-trained singer from England, she boasts a soaring voice as lead singer of the band Renaissance. "White Dove" and "Carpet of the Sun" were among their critically-acclaimed hits.
Though not a Philly native, singer Annie Haslam has called Bucks County her home for years. An opera-trained singer from England, she boasts a soaring voice as lead singer of the band Renaissance. "White Dove" and "Carpet of the Sun" were among their critically-acclaimed hits.
Cinderella was an 80s glam, or hair, band. They got their big break when Jon Bon Jovi saw them perform at the Empire Rock Club in Philadelphia and recommended them for a recording contract.
Britny Fox was another 80s Philly-based band specializing in pop-metal, cranked way up. This photo is from 2001. Shown left to right: Billy Childs, Tommy Paris, Johnny Dee and Michael Kelly Smith.
Philadelphia's Andrea McArdle was the first Annie, shown here in 1977. Though not a true recording artist, her voice nevertheless propelled her to Broadway where she still sings.
Philadelphia's Andrea McArdle was the first 'Annie' on Broadway in the 1970s. Though not a true recording artist, her voice nevertheless propelled her to Broadway where she still sings. She's shown here in 2006 as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun at the Prince Music Theatre. Also pictured is Jeffrey Coon.
Famed Philly twang-rocker Charlie Gracie Charlie Gracie was a rock and roll pioneer from Philadelphia. Gracie became influential to rockabilly aficionados like Van Morrison (with whom Gracie's toured) and the Beatles. He performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "American Bandstand." He also toured with Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, and Bo Diddley. and his close friend, Eddie Cochran. He was one of the first American rock acts to perform in Britain. Gracie was a South Philadelphia native and Drexel Hill resident whose "Butterfly" was a hit in 1957.
Famed Philly twang-rocker Charlie Gracie Charlie Gracie was a rock and roll pioneer from Philadelphia. Gracie became influential to rockabilly aficionados like Van Morrison (with whom Gracie's toured) and the Beatles. He performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "American Bandstand." He also toured with Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, and Bo Diddley. and his close friend, Eddie Cochran. He was one of the first American rock acts to perform in Britain. Gracie was a South Philadelphia native and Drexel Hill resident whose "Butterfly" was a hit in 1957.
Famed Philly twang-rocker Charlie Gracie Charlie Gracie was a rock and roll pioneer from Philadelphia. Gracie became influential to rockabilly aficionados like Van Morrison (with whom Gracie's toured) and the Beatles. He performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "American Bandstand." He also toured with Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, and Bo Diddley. and his close friend, Eddie Cochran. He was one of the first American rock acts to perform in Britain. Gracie was a South Philadelphia native and Drexel Hill resident whose "Butterfly" was a hit in 1957. Associated Press
The Delfonics in the late 1960s. The group met at Overbrook High School in the 1960s. Their first big hit was "La-La (Means I Love You)" in 1968 and it sold over one million copies.
Back in the day, this is what the Delfonics looked like (from left): Randy Cain, William Hart and Wilbert Hart. The group met at Overbrook High School in the 1960s. Their first big hit was "La-La (Means I Love You)" in 1968 and it sold over one million copies.
Rose Fiorani greeting Eddie Fisher at the opening of radio station WPTS in 1953. Philadelphia native Eddie Fisher was a huge star in the 1950s, boasting his own TV show and, eventually, marrying mega-stars Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens.
Philadelphia native Eddie Fisher was a huge star in the 1950s, boasting his own TV show and, eventually, marrying mega-stars Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens.
Sister Sledge formed in North Philadelphia in 1972, comprised of Kim, Debbie, Joni Sledge and Kathy Sledge. The group began by performing in churches. Their biggest success came in 1979 with the wildly popular "We Are Family."
Debbie Sledge, of Sister Sledge, at Glastonbury Festival in 2004. Sister Sledge formed in North Philadelphia in 1972, comprised of Kim, Debbie, Joni Sledge and Kathy Sledge. The group began by performing in churches. Their biggest success came in 1979 with the wildly popular "We Are Family." (AP Photo / Andy Butterton, PA)
Kathy Sledge from 2005. Sister Sledge formed in North Philadelphia in 1972, comprised of Kim, Debbie, Joni Sledge and Kathy Sledge. The group began by performing in churches. Their biggest success came in 1979 with the wildly popular "We Are Family."
The Delfonics, (from left): Randy Cain, William Hart and Wilbert Hart. The Delfonics were a soul group from Philadelphia, with its origins in the 1960s. But the group slit in the mid-70s. Possibly their biggest hit was "Ready or Not Here I Come." But the group continued to perform into 1980s and beyond.
Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers. From left: Christopher Day, Paul Slivka, Tommy Conwell, Rob Miller, Jim Hannum. Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers were from Philadelphia. They had a 1988 hit, "I'm Not Your Man."
The A's were a Philadelphia-based New Wave band that received a lot of local airplay from 1979 - 1982. They had a solid local hit with 'A Woman's Got the Power." The group consisted of singer Richard Bush, his songwriting partner Rocco Notte (keyboards), Rick DiFonzo (guitar), Terry Bortman (bass) and Mike Snyder (drums), according to a MySpace fan page.
The A's were a Philadelphia-based New Wave band that received a lot of local airplay from 1979 - 1982. They had a solid local hit with 'A Woman's Got the Power." The group consisted of singer Richard Bush, his songwriting partner Rocco Notte (keyboards), Rick DiFonzo (guitar), Terry Bortman (bass) and Mike Snyder (drums), according to a MySpace fan page. Read more: http://www.myspace.com/theasfanpage#ixzz0wIi6N0ER
Julie Gold won a Grammy in 1991 for "From a Distance" and was covered by Bette Midler and was popularized during the Gulf War. Gold is from Philadelphia and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1974.
Tammi Terrell was a Motown star, but hailed from Philadelphia. She performed duets with Marvin Gaye. But she died at a young age, 24, of a brain tumor.
Leopold Stokowski conducting a brass band at Reyburn Plaza during 1932. Though Stokowski was British-born, he nevertheless had his biggest success here after being named director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1912. Ever-innovative, he helped make the orchestra world-renowned, especially in his partnership with Disney for the film "Fantasia."
The American premiere of Mahler's "Symphony No. 8" on March 2, 1916, at the Academy of Music, Leopold Stokowski conducting the orchestra. Though Stokowski was British-born, he nevertheless had his biggest success here after being named director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1912. Ever-innovative, he helped make the orchestra world-renowned, especially in his partnership with Disney for the film "Fantasia."
Stephen Sondheim. Though Sondheim was born in New York, he came to Doylestown after his parents divorced. He attended the George School where he began writing musical scores. His most famous scores include "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Sweeney Todd." He also wrote lyrics for "West Side Story" and Gypsy." KEVIN WINTER / Getty Images
Stephen Sondheim. Though Sondheim was born in New York, he came to Doylestown after his parents divorced. He attended the George School where he began writing musical scores. His most famous scores include "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Sweeney Todd." He also wrote lyrics for "West Side Story" and Gypsy."
The Dovells came together at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia in the late 1050s. They had a hit with "The Bristol Stomp", and, then again, with the "Do the New Continental," and "You Can't Sit Down." Shown are Jerry Gross (left) and Mark Stevens of the Dovells.
The Dovells came together at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia in the late 1050s. They had a hit with "The Bristol Stomp", and, then again, with the "Do the New Continental," and "You Can't Sit Down." Shown are Jerry Gross (left) and Mark Stevens of the Dovells. STAFF
Jeanette MacDonald was born on Arch Street and rose to become a Broadway and film star. A soprano, she starred with Maurice Chevalier in several musical films, and was forever paired in many minds with Nelson Eddy, who also spent time developing his career in Philadelphia. Eddy often starred as a Canadian Mountie and the duo gained famed in that genre of film.
Jeanette MacDonald was born on Arch Street and rose to become a Broadway and film star. A soprano, she starred with Maurice Chevalier in several musical films, and was forever paired in many minds with Nelson Eddy, who also spent time developing his career in Philadelphia. Eddy often starred as a Canadian Mountie and the duo gained famed in that genre of film.
Philadelphia-born Eddie Lang was the son of an Italian immigrant who crafted violins. Eddie was so influential that he became known as the father of jazz guitar. He was in Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. He played guitar on "Georgia On My Mind" recorded with Hoagy Carmichael. He also played with Bing Crosby.
Philadelphia-born Eddie Lang was the son of an Italian immigrant who crafted violins. Eddie was so influential that he became known as the father of jazz guitar. He was in Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. He played guitar on "Georgia On My Mind" recorded with Hoagy Carmichael. He also played with Bing Crosby. Lang worked with Joe Venuti for much of his career. Venuti was also from Philadelphia and was known as the father of jazz violin. (Photo from jazz.com)
Mayor Michael Nutter, with his wife, Lisa, sings with Johnny Ingram from the band Mother Father Sister Brother (MFSB) at an inaugural celebration at the Navel Yard. MFSB was a group of studio musicians based at Philadelphia's famed Sigma Sound Studios that worked closely with Gamble and Huff. They recorded "The Sound of Philadelphia," also known as the Soul Train theme.
MFSB was a group of studio musicians based at Philadelphia's famed Sigma Sound Studios that worked closely with Gamble and Huff. They recorded "The Sound of Philadelphia," also known as the Soul Train theme.
Singer Billy Paul, born in Philadelphia, had a smash hit with "Me and Mrs. Jones. Paul attended Temple University.
The Trammps began in Philadelphia in 1972 featuring vocalist, Jimmy Ellis, Harold Doc Wade, Stanley Wade and Earl Young, according to the group's official website. The band traveled with as many as 11 members, many of whom came from Gamble and Huff's Philly International and Vince Montana's Salsoul Orchestra. The Trammps' first hit was "Hold Back The Night." But their biggest hit, "Disco Inferno" became emblamatic of an entire era and was included on the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.
The Trammps began in Philadelphia in 1972 featuring vocalist, Jimmy Ellis, Harold Doc Wade, Stanley Wade and Earl Young, according to the group's official website. The band traveled with as many as 11 members, many of whom came from Gamble and Huff's Philly International and Vince Montana's Salsoul Orchestra. The Trammps' first hit was "Hold Back The Night." But their biggest hit, "Disco Inferno" became emblamatic of an entire era and was included on the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.
Gene McFadden and John Whitehead in a 2002 picture when they performed on the Opray Winfrey Show. McFadden & Whitehead were a prolific hit-making team of writers. They worked out of Philly International Records, where they wrote hits such as "Back Stabbers," "I'll Always Love My Momma," "Bad Luck" and "Wake Up Everybody," Whitehead was killed in a shooting in back of his home in West Oak Lane in 2005. Inq Tobia
Left to right: John McFadden of McFadden & Whitehead, Leon Huff, Teddy Pendergrass, and Kenny Gamble. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Records. McFadden & Whitehead were a prolific hit-making team of writers. They worked out of Philly International Records, where they wrote hits such as "Back Stabbers," "I'll Always Love My Momma," "Bad Luck" and "Wake Up Everybody," Whitehead was killed in a shooting in back of his home in West Oak Lane in 2005.
The Dead Milkmen are punk rock band formed in 1983 in Philadelphia.
Solomon Burke, one of the pioneers of soul music, died at the age of 70 in 2010 in Amsterdam. Burke was born in Philadelphia. (AP File Photo / Kathy Willens)
Marian Anderson, a pioneering African American singer, is among the women featured in the exhibit. ERICH AUERBACH / Getty Images
The Dead Milkmen were originally from Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia: The punk rock band formed in 1983 in Philadelphia with vocalist and keyboardist Rodney Linderman ("Rodney Anonymous"), guitarist and vocalist Joe Genaro ("Joe Jack Talcum"), bassist Dave Schulthise ("Dave Blood") and drummer Dean Sabatino ("Dean Clean").
The Dead Milkmen were originally from Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia: The punk rock band formed in 1983 in Philadelphia with vocalist and keyboardist Rodney Linderman ("Rodney Anonymous"), guitarist and vocalist Joe Genaro ("Joe Jack Talcum"), bassist Dave Schulthise ("Dave Blood") and drummer Dean Sabatino ("Dean Clean").
Photo Gallery: History of Philly music

Recalling the years she spent working as a clerk at Scribner's bookstore in Manhattan, Smith said: "I dreamed of having a book of my own, or writing one that I could put on a shelf. Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don't abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book."

That plea "just came out," Smith, who will read from Just Kids at the Free Library on Wednesday, said of her unprepared remarks, speaking on the phone from her home in Manhattan last week.

"Being a recording artist, I've seen what's happened in the music business, with the death of vinyl, and we're moving towards the death of the CD. And I feel very protective of the book because I love books so much. . . . I can't imagine not being able to hold Moby-Dick in my hands."

Smith, who's 63, was born in Chicago, and lived in Germantown until she was about 10, when her parents moved to Deptford. She remembers first falling in love with books in the early 1950s, when her mother would take her to Leary's Book Store at Ninth and Market Streets in Center City.

"Old Mr. Leary, I would give him a quarter and he would give me a shopping bag and let me fill it with children's books," she says. "I still have some of those books."

In Just Kids, Smith writes of the transformative experience of a family bus trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art when she was 12. There she first laid eyes on "languorous Modiglianis" and "elegantly still subjects of Sargent and Thomas Eakins" and was taken aback by the "brutal confidence" of Picasso.

"I'm certain, as we filed down the great staircase, that I appeared the same as ever, a moping 12-year-old, all arms and legs," she writes in Just Kids, which is just out in paperback (Ecco, $16).

"But, secretly, I knew I had been transformed, moved by the revelation that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not."

Just Kids is peopled with fabulous personages, from playwright Sam Shepard to the eccentric folklorist Harry Smith (no relation), who, like Patti Smith and Mapplethorpe, lived at Manhattan's fabled Chelsea Hotel.

Allen Ginsberg mistakes her for a boy and tries to pick her up at a Horn & Hardart. And Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Grace Slick turn up at the El Quixote restaurant next door to the Chelsea.

But the book is focused on the coming-of-artistic-age relationship between Mapplethorpe and Smith. Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in 1989, was both celebrated and decried for his black-and-white portraits, often depicting gay men in sadomasochistic activity. Smith, the "godmother of punk," is also a poet, photographer, and visual artist.

Before she moved to New York in 1967 after attending Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) for a year, Smith says she was "practically a hick. I didn't know much about anything except books. I was naive about what was happening culturally.

"Because, you know, after leaving Philadelphia, I was brought up in South Jersey, which was not the cultural center of the world. I had a great high school experience, thanks to the great Philadelphia radio, with DJs like Georgie Woods and Jerry Blavat. I had a great musical education . . . I knew about Coltrane and Albert Ayler and Roland Kirk. But I wasn't really aware of the intense cultural revolution going on in our country. I had some catching up to do."

After meeting Mapplethorpe, who grew up on Long Island, the duo learned together.

The pair take the subway to Coney Island. They survive on Dinty Moore beef stew and lettuce soup, and when they can't afford two tickets to the museum, one goes in and tells the other what he or she saw.

"Nobody sees like us, Patti," Mapplethorpe tells Smith.

"He said that quite a bit," Smith said, a day after she flew back from Madrid where she attended a conference on Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño.

Still, she adds, "I see with his eyes, I see what work he would like. Especially when I'm doing a drawing or taking a photograph, and something is out of kilter. I can shift over to his point of view."

Mapplethorpe, whose many portraits of Smith include the iconic album cover of her 1975 debut, Horses, "knew I comprehended his work, so affirmation from either one of us to the other was even more valuable."

Smith says she has a similar relationship, musically, with her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye. "Robert and I weren't school art stars or anything. When you're isolated, young, and have no money, it was very valuable to our evolution to have each other. It was very inspirational and confidence building."

While she was living with her husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, in Detroit in the 1980s, and largely avoiding the music business, Smith wrote four unpublished books. "Everything from mystical travel to crime stories," she says. "Those books gave me the confidence to write this one." In 1989, she visited Mapplethorpe in New York, when he was near death, and asked if there was anything she could do for him.

"One of the things he asked me was to tell our story. He said, 'You have to.' And I said, 'All right, I will.' "

Smith started in the early 1990s, but her husband became ill and died in 1994. With two children to raise - son Jackson and daughter Jesse, now grown and both musicians - and bills to pay, she returned to touring and recording.

She struggled to find her prose voice while writing in fits and starts. "It was a difficult book to write. Because it was sad, but also because it felt difficult to write continually about myself. . . . I went back and forth with it until the last year or two. I knew it was time and wrestled it to the ground."

"The main purpose of the book," she says, "is to keep my promise to Robert. But the second is to give Robert to the people as a human being. Not simply as a controversial photographer who died of AIDS. He was that, but that's only a segment of who Robert is. So that was my duty: to give people Robert as a young man and an evolving artist."

Smith said she was completely surprised and "really, really happy" to win the National Book Award. She hopes to write a parallel book about the same time period, but not focused on Mapplethorpe. "Life is like cubism, you know?" she says. "While [her life with Mapplethorpe] was happening, a thousand other things were happening. So I could write about that time period in three different ways."

Now she has another intriguing project: a detective story. She's a serious fan of everything from Sherlock Holmes to Henning Mankell's Swedish detective Kurt Wallander to Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

She won't divulge details, but provides clues as to what kind of crime fiction Patti Smith might write. "I like the idea of a man of action who's also a genius at chess," she says. "Like, if you could imagine if Marcel Duchamp was also a prizefighter."

And never fear, the galvanic rock heroine hasn't gone entirely literary. She's been at work on new material, largely recorded in Europe where she spends about half of the year. "I'm an American, I love my country," she says, but is more accepted in Europe. "It doesn't bother them that I'm an artist and a writer and a performer. They actually understand that you can play rock-and-roll and have a fairly decent IQ."

Her first album since 2007's Twelve will feature her core band of Kaye, Jay Dee Dougherty on drums, and Tony Shanahan on bass, plus fellow South Jersey punk luminary Tom Verlaine on guitar. The album will be finished early next year, and out sometime in 2011.

"The book has waylaid the record," she says. "But that's OK. Many records waylaid the book."

Contact music critic Dan DeLuca at 215-854-5628 or ddeluca@phillynews.com. Read his blog, "In the Mix," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inthemix.

Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic

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