Flowers for the Philly Sound
Laurel Hill West Conservatory
The lives and music of Laurel Hill West permanent residents Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, and Grover Washington, Jr. are the inspiration for this public discussion about the cultural and historical importance of Philly soul music. Join us to learn more about these artists and the famous Philadelphia Sound that shaped generations of genres and local and national artists to come.
Speakers include Bill Jolly, former music director for Teddy Pendergrass; longtime radio personality and the ‘Mother of Black Music Month,’ Dyana Williams; Victor Jackson, an artist and Black Music City grantee; and Max Ochester, co-founder of the Philadelphia Sound Preservation Project and owner of Brewerytown Beats record shop.
The event will include cocktails and a DJ set of soul classics with John Morrison, a writer, DJ, sample-flipper and host of Culture Cypher Radio, a hip-hop radio show on NPR member station WXPN.
- $20/General Admission (Ages 13 and up)
- $18/Seniors (Ages 65+) and Students with ID
- $15/Members of the Friends of Laurel Hill
- $10/Youth (Ages 6-12)
A staple in radio since the 1970s, beloved on-air personality Dyana Williams is a broadcast leader, media strategist for Grammy-winning artists, and renowned music advocate. Often called “The Mother of Black Music Month” for establishing June as national Black Music Month along with Kenny Gamble and Ed Wright, she serves on the boards of the National Museum of African American-Music in Nashville, her Alma mater, Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication, and the Philadelphia chapter of the Recording Academy. A frequent commentator on the highly acclaimed TV One music series, Unsung, she was co-executive producer of the NAACP Image Award-winning episode on Teddy Pendergrass. After five decades on the airwaves in Philadelphia, D.C. and New York, she was nominated in 2022 for the Radio Hall of Fame.
Bill Jolly is a three-time Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, musical director and keyboardist and an inductee in the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame. In addition to working alongside Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, and Grover Washington, Jr.–all permanent residents at Laurel Hill West–he has also worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jill Scott, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, and Patti LaBelle, to name a few, and has performed for five United States Presidents. He has composed music for HBO, MTV, NBC, ABC, CBS and many others, scored the music for Don’t Make Me Over, the 2023 film on the life of Dionne Warwick, and conducted and directed the orchestra for the Sony/PBS/Live Nation special Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia. He was the last Musical Director and songwriting partner with Teddy Pendergrass, directed the film From Teddy with Love, and was featured in TV One’s Unsung episode on Teddy Pendergrass. Bill Jolly is the recipient of the Living Legend Award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Max Ochester opened Brewerytown Beats vinyl record shop in 2015 in North Philadelphia. Almost immediately he started to work with Jamie/Guyden records reissuing early Philadelphia soul–Honey & The Bees, The Ambassadors, and lesser known Philadelphia groups. After five releases under the guidance of J/G he started the Brewerytown Records label, releasing The Thompson’s LP then branching out from Philly soul to local Jazz super-group Sounds Of Liberation, as well as a handful of other singles. In 2022, Ochester co-founded the Philadelphia Sound Preservation Project, which aims to promote and preserve Philadelphia’s music history through advocacy and programming. In the past two years, he has managed to keep the store afloat while focusing efforts in getting into the studio to record new music with artists from the depths of the Philly soul scene. His latest project is with Philadelphia singer Ronald Aikens called Ron & The Hip Tones, with two original tunes to be released spring 2023.
This event will take place in the Conservatory at Laurel Hill West. For accurate directions to the main entrance, please use 340 Belmont Avenue in GPS. From the main entrance, the Conservatory is a 3-minute drive into the cemetery. Information on directions, parking, and visiting guidelines are linked here to better plan your visit.