Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House renovations moving forward with Live Nation

Photo via AOS Architects

In November of 2016 it was reported that the historic Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House was being developed to be a music venue, office space and a restaurant. Today, Curbed Philly reports that the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s architectural committee “unanimously approved plans to install multiple 1930s-era LED signs on the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad,” and that Live Nation has “signed onto the project.” Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Big Boys” by Chuck Berry

CHUCK album cover | Courtesy of Dualtone Records

Last week, the world lost a rock and roll legend: Chuck Berry passed away at at his home in Missouri at age 90. In October, 2016, it was announced that Berry was going to release his first new album in 38 years. The announcement came on his 90th birthday. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Ain’t Got It Like That” by Earl St. Clair

Earl St. Clair | photo by Ryan Jay | courtesy of the artist

Meet singer, songwriter and producer Earl St. Clair. Originally from Cleveland, he was born Earl Johnson II, spent most of his childhood in Alabama, getting his start as a producer for rappers Rick Ross and Machine Gun Kelly, and collaborating with electronic music superstar David Guetta. On his own, St. Clair is steeped in gritty soul and R&B. Continue reading →


Watch Chuck Berry jam with John Lennon on the Mike Douglas show in 1972

Chuck Berry and John Lennon on the Mike Douglas show in 1972

Yesterday we were saddened to hear the news that rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry passed away. Today, we bring you a local memory of him, in video form.

In February, 1972, John Lennon and Yoko One were invited to guest host the Mike Douglas Show in Philadelphia for a week, and they brought on Berry as  a guest. Douglas was an afternoon television talk show host; at the time, he taped in Philly at the KYW studios at 1619 Walnut Street. Lennon, with Ono and their band, backed Berry for two songs, “Memphis, Tennessee,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and sat for an interview with Douglas together.

“If you had tried to try and give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry,” Lennon said in his intro to the legend.

Seated in the audience at this performance was XPN midday host Helen Leicht, who worked in the production department at KYW TV at the time — you can see her clapping along to “Johnny B. Goode” beginning at the 10:48 mark. Continue reading →


Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry, dead at 90

Chuck Berry

The legendary Chuck Berry has died. The 90 year old rock and roller, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, defined rock and roll with songs like “Johnny B Goode,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music,” “Maybelline,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and dozens of more classics. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Demon In Profile” by The Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Chris Cuffaro | Courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Last week, The Afghan Whigs announced they are releasing a new album, In Spades.

The first song from the record, “Demon In Profile,” is classic Whigs. It’s big, bold, rocking and soulful, with a horn section whose sound is “inspired by the lush productions of R&B genius Norman Whitfield for The Temptations and Undisputed Truth” according to the band’s bio. Continue reading →


XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Santiago” by Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band | Photo by Danny Clinch

Preservation Hall Jazz Band return with a new album, So It Is, on April 21st.

Pres Hall have become internationally acclaimed for their live performances and recordings. Now led by current creative director Ben Jaffe, whose parents founded Preservation Hall in 1961, the band associated with it has been going strong since 1963. Jaffe also is the Chairman of the Board of the Preservation Hall Foundation, the charitable non-profit connected to the legendary New Orleans club that serves a mission to “pretty otect, preserve and perpetuate New Orleans jazz music and culture.” Continue reading →