The induction of these R&B legends signifies a renewed commitment by the Philadelphia Music Alliance (PMA), in harmony with the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI), to shed new light on the City's cultural legacy and incredible contribution to the world of music – past, present and future. This agenda to recognize more local music greats is part of the community based, not-for-profit organization's overall mission to encourage the creation, celebration and historical preservation of Philadelphia music.
Spearheading that commitment is pioneering record producer and songwriter and newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Kenny Gamble, co-architect of the world-renown Sound of Philadelphia. One of the original task force Philadelphians to establish the PMA and a current member of its executive committee, Gamble's philanthropic leadership role in revitalizing the city's music scene extends to expanding the vision of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation through its 2005 relocation to the City of Brotherly Love, one of the nation's oldest and most prolific music capitals.
"The Walk of Fame represents the diversity of talent that was in Philadelphia and that is in Philadelphia," says Gamble. "From Mario Lanza to Chubby Checker to the Stylistics, the diversity is unbelievable. Frankie Beverly and the members of Maze were born and raised in Philadelphia, and it's a tribute to have them immortalized on the Walk of Fame. Philadelphia has one of the greatest musical heritages of any city – from Pearl Bailey to John Coltrane to Marian Anderson, and continuing with artists like the Hooters, Will Smith, Amos Lee, Santogold, and the Roots. It's essential that we continue to recognize the legacy of that musical diversity."
Combining a Philadelphia soul sound with a strong appreciation of Marvin Gaye, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly is a distinctive R&B group with a charismatic leader that has been packing houses in major concert facilities around the world since releasing their self-titled debut album 30 years ago. Beverly's smooth, distinct voice is instantly recognizable, and Maze's laid-back, bass driven musical arrangements differ from most other soul acts, with a signature sound provided in part by original members McKinley "Bug" Williams and Roame Lowry, especially vivid on the 1981 classic "Live in New Orleans." Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly has placed 28 singles and 13 albums on the Billboard R&B charts.