Music Legends to be honored at Phillies African American Heritage Celebration

WHAT:     Music legends Evelyn "Champagne" King, Bunny Sigler, Dexter Wansel and the Futures will take to the field to perform during the 10th annual Phillies African American Heritage Celebration presented by The Sound of Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. After their performances, the legends will be honored with the Phillies Gamble Huff Community Partnership Award.

Additional entertainment features dancing by The African Dance and Drum Class from Universal Institute Charter School, ODUNDE365, both on the field and at the First Base and Right Field entrance gates.

The event is held in partnership with Philadelphia International Records and in honor of Black Music Month, and also pays tribute to music pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legends Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, founders of Philadelphia International Records. Festivities take place before that evening's game against the New York Mets.

CELEBRATION HIGHLIGHTS

WHEN:   Friday, June 21, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

ON-FIELD PERFORMANCES & AWARD PRESENTATIONS Hosted by Patty Jackson of WDAS 105.3 FM. Performers include:

  • Evelyn "Champagne" King: Legend has it that Evelyn "Champagne" King was discovered while subbing for her sister as a cleaning woman at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios. She grew to have a career that spanned over 10 albums, and became one of the few disco stars who successfully weathered the decline of disco to have more hits through the 1980's. With hits like "I'm In Love" "Love Come Down" and "Shame," not only did she manage to survive as a star into the 1980's, she is still recording and touring frequently today.
  • Bunny Sigler: As a four-time Grammy award winning and nominated, international multi-platinum artist, Walter "Bunny" Sigler is a legend. He was the force behind some of the greatest hits from the 1960s and 1970s, including Patti LaBelle's "Somebody Loves You Baby," The Whispers' "Bingo," Jackie Moore's "Sweet Charlie Babe," and The O'Jays' "Sunshine," and was instrumental in creating the "Philly Sound" in the early 1970s, doing extensive work with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Still an avid writer, producer, and performer, Bunny recently released, and supported with a countrywide tour, the full-length gospel album, The Lord's Prayer.
  • Dexter Wansel: Known to some as the Philly keyboardist who released a number of successful albums in the '70s, including most notablyLife on Mars and Voyager. Dexter met Gamble and Huff while performing as a member of the group Yellow Sunshine and later signed on as keyboardist for MFSB, cementing his ties with G&H's Philadelphia International Records. He began his climb within the organization as his luscious arrangements and strong production led to increasingly important projects, including albums by the Jacksons, Lou Rawls, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass and MFSB. He also penned numerous classic Soul songs ranging from "Nights Over Egypt" for the Jones Girls to the haunting "Hurry Up This Way Again" for the Stylistics. Dexter's early love of advanced technology and the fusion of rock, soul, dance and jazz led to a number of interesting pieces that has drawn for him a worldwide loyal following that continues to grow.
  • The Futures: One of Philadelphia's finest groups of the 70's,The Futures was made up of Frank Washington, Kenneth Crew, James King, John King, and Harry McGilberry. They signed with Gamble and Huff in 1978 and had such hits as "Part Time Party Time Man," "Ain't No Time for Nothing," and "Mr. Bojangles." Philadelphia International released two albums by The Futures:Past Present & The Futures and Greetings of Peace.

Past Phillies Gamble & Huff Community Partnership Award recipients include: The Trammps, The Jones Girls, Chubby Checker, Jerry Butler, Dee Dee Sharp, Kevin Eubanks, Billy Paul, the Delfonics, the Soul Survivors, Teddy Pendergrass, Jerry Blavat, Boyz II Men, Patti LaBelle and D.J. "Jazzy Jeff" Townes.

 For a full line-up of events, please visit www.phillies.com/themenights

WHERE:    Field, Citizens Bank Park

Interviews available with music legends following the on-field performances in the media room.

MEDIA:   To request credentials to attend the pre-game event, please email Deanna Sabec at dsabec@phillies.com.