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Frankie Avalon Supports Mural Redo

Monday, June 15, 2015

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PHILADELPHIA--A beloved piece of public art honoring several South Philadelphia musical legends will get a $5,000 makeover assist from one of them: former teen idol Frankie Avalon.

The South Philly Musicians mural, painted in 2005 by Peter Pagast and Brad Carney, depicts seven South Philadelphia native musicians and public figures who found fame in the 1950s and '60s.

Officials say the current mural at 9th and Wharton Streets is a state of deterioration. There is also a four-story development planned next door that will block views of the artwork, officials note.

Philly mural
Photos: Mural Arts Program

South Philly Musicians, painted in 2005 by Peter Pagast and Brad Carney, depicts seven South Philadelphia natives who found fame in the 1950s and '60s.

Therefore, a plan to redo and re-envision the mural is in the works, according to a spokeswoman for the city’s Mural Arts Program.

The replacement project will cost an estimated $80,000, according to Jane Golden, founder and chief of the Mural Arts Program.

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Avalon is one of the musicians depicted in the mural, along with Jerry Blavat (a local disc-jockey), Eddie Fisher, Chubby Checker, Al Martino, Fabian Forte and Bobby Rydell.

Frankie Avalon
Publicity photo for Beach Party (1963) via Wikimedia Commons

Frankie Avalon, now 74, is an American actor and singer who grew up in South Philadelphia.

The new mural will be painted in the same neighborhood, as it is where the legends grew up.

Blavat has also committed $5,000 to the effort and has said he would help raise additional funding for the project, according to

Artist Selected, Additions Planned

Officials have started to develop a plan with members of the South Philadelphia community, including some of the musicians and their family.


The artwork was created as a part of a "Sounds of Philadelphia" mural series.

An artist has already been chosen for the new mural: David McShane, a portrait specialist, reports.

McShane’s work includes a recent mural, City of Champions, depicting some of the iconic local athletes, according to the Mural Arts Program's blog.

Moreover, two additional faces will be added to the mural: Philly-born rocker Charlie Gracie and actor James Darren.

The city wants to unveil the completed replacement mural in fall 2016.

The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is the largest public art program in the country. The program engages in 50-100 public art projects each year.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Artists; Color; Color + Design; Design; Government; Murals; North America

Comment from Fred Marschall, (6/15/2015, 8:57 AM)


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