The Golden Strip
"My best memory of my time in North Philly... the camaraderie with the musicians." - Don Gardner
Mr. Donald Gardner, a singer, songwriter, and drummer who performed in the bustling clubs of North Philly throughout the '50s and '60s was a part of what was known as the "Jazz Era" in North Philadelphia. Gardner was one of many nationally famous musicians from Philly at the time, with his single "Need Your Lovin'" rising to number 4 on the R&B Billboard Charts in 1962.
"There was the Musical Lounge, the Pearl Theater, the Uptown Theater, the Pyramid Club, the Clef Club..." -Don Gardner
"The City of Philadelphia and the Cleff Club recognize me as a living legend, a legend of jazz"
We also got the amazing opportunity to speak with former North Philadelphian and internationally recognized jazz musician Mr. Cullen C. Knight. Knight too performed on the Golden Strip of jazz on Columbia Ave. soaring higher to premier venues such as Broadway and Carnegie Hall alongside fellow legends such as Grover Washington Jr. and Stevie Wonder.
When asked about what it was like as a Philadelphia jazz musician, Knight remarked...
"It was a thing to be doing. Philly was like a mecca, a capital for jazz."
Today, we asked North Philadelphians their best memories of the neighborhood
"The day I saw Martin Luther King Jr. march through the streets." -Resident
"When John F. Kennedy came through town" -Weekly visitor at the Senior Rec Center
"The day I saw President Barack Obama give a speech in the neighborhood" -North Philadelphian