Council passes resolution to support, promote Philadelphia music industry

Philadelphia City Hall
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — City Council gave the city’s music industry a boost last week by unanimously passing a resolution to adopt the recommendations of its Music Industry Task Force.

Philadelphia has produced legendary musicians and producers — Marian Anderson, Mario Lanza, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Jazmine Sullivan, Boyz II Men, Hall and Oates, Will Smith — but the recording artist known as Donn T says the city has fallen behind.

“But I believe we can do better — we should do better,” she said.

Donn T is part of a music dynasty. Her brother is The Roots drummer and front man Questlove. Her father was doo-wop singer Lee Andrews, and her grandfather was a member of the gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds. So she knows the city’s potential.

Speaking in Council chambers last week, she said adopting the task force recommendations could unlock that potential, “to help grow our music community and the creative landscape, here, for the betterment of the city of Philadelphia.”

The task force of musicians, producers, lawyers and booking agents was formed in 2017 to study how Philadelphia could support musicians to drive its creative economy.

The recommendations include:
—Establishing a music office or commission similar to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.
—Funding efforts to grow the music economy.
—Marketing and promoting the city’s music scene.
—Developing a campaign for fair compensation of working musicians.
—Creating a museum of Philadelphia music history at the site of the celebrated Sigma Sound Studios (212 North 12th Street).

“There’s no exaggeration in just how much talent we have in this city and what it would mean to give them the platform that they need,” said Councilmember David Oh, who introduced the resolution.

Music historian Jack McCarthy has envisioned making Philly a destination city for music, like Austin and Nashville.

“We have all the ingredients to do that here in Philadelphia,” he told Council last week. “We just don’t have all the infrastructure.”

Council’s approval is nonbinding. There’s still a long way to go toward carrying out the recommendations, said Oh, but not following through would be a missed opportunity.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio