By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Celebrities and other volunteers were out this morning along the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street), giving some extra shine to the bronze metal plaques embedded in the sidewalks honoring those from Philadelphia who made it big in the entertainment industry.
About 30 members of the Friends of the Avenue of the Arts, armed with metal polish and toothbrushes, used elbow grease to shine all 221 plaques along the city’s “Walk of Fame.” The markers honor members of the Philadelphia area music and arts community who have made outstanding achievements.
Chubby Checker has a plaque, and he stopped by today.
So did Jerry Ross, who has a plaque for his work as record producer, songwriter, and musicologist.
“Our biggest copyright… Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff and I wrote ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,’ for the Supremes and the Temptations,” he recalled. “Number one all over the world. When you sit down and write a song, you hope that you are writing something that is going to be successful,” he added. “But to think that it’s going to become number one is unbelievable.”
Also on hand today was drummer Earl Young, who has the most plaques of anyone (four), because of his achievements in several disciplines. He was the founder and leader of The Trammps, and had hits including “Disco Inferno.” He was also co-owner of Golden Fleece Records.
“I’m so grateful, because when I leave here they’ll still be walking all over me,” Young said with a laugh. “I didn’t do too much polishing in my suit,” he admitted, “but I did kind of dry it off and wipe it off.”
Frankie Avalon, Patti LaBelle, Joan Jett, Will Smith, Daryl Hall, and John Oates are among the other inductees in the Philadelphia Walk of Fame.