The Roots mural is located in the footprint of the legendary Pep’s.
Philly’s jazz legacy spans the generations from bebop to hip-hop. In an interview with the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History project, NEA Jazz Master and Philly native Percy Heath said:
Anyhow, they [hip-hop artists] take little pieces of some things that were written in the bebop era, post-bebop era, and they make little licks out of it and they use it. That’s good that some people, they listen to hip-hop. So, hip-hop is like bebop was back then, revolutionary movement. This business of rapping, I used to do that in the schoolyard when I was twelve years old.
One of the finest R&B vocal groups of the ’50s, Lee Andrews & the Hearts specialized in smooth ballads and were influenced by similar vocal acts like the Moonglows, the Orioles, the Drifters, the 5 Royales, the Five Keys, the Midnighters, and the Ravens, while lead vocalist Lee Andrews’ influences were mostly solo artists like Bing Crosby, Frankie Laine, Frank Sinatra, and especially Nat King Cole. These two key influences — a harmonizing four-part vocal base with a strong but tender tenor voice leading the way — was the foundation of the Hearts’ hard-to-beat sound.