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WXPN’s Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul project presents “one of the most influential gospel groups of all time” at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AUGUST 8, 2018): A free, all-ages concert featuring gospel music legends the Dixie Hummingbirds will take place Wednesday, August 29 as part of Philadelphia public radio station WXPN’s multi-platform Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul project. Performance location is World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia), where doors will open at 7 PM for the 8 PM performance. Admission is free with RSVP.

The Dixie Hummingbirds

Among the longest-lived and most successful groups of their era, the Dixie Hummingbirds are world renowned for their imaginative arrangements, progressive harmonies, and all-around versatility. Their influence has spread not only over the world of spiritual music, but also inspired secular artists ranging from Jackie Wilson to Bobby "Blue" Bland to the Temptations.

The Dixie Hummingbirds group was formed in 1928 by James B. Davis in Greenville, South Carolina. Their recording debut was in 1939 on Decca, and their singles include "Soon Will Be Done with the Troubles of This World," "Little Wooden Church," and "Joshua Journeyed to Jericho." In 1942 the group relocated to Philadelphia, where Davis bought a house at 23rd and Girard Avenue, and used it as a rehearsal space. In 2017, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia commemorated the the rich heritage of the Dixie Hummingbirds with a historical marker dedicated there.

“A celebration of gospel music would be incomplete without The Dixie Hummingbirds,” said Bruce Warren, WXPN Assistant General Manager for Programming and Co-Executive Producer of the Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul project. “It’s extra special that such an important and significant part of gospel history has been based in Philadelphia for so many years, and we’re incredibly honored they will be performing a special concert for our Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul project.”

Many know the Dixie Hummingbirds’ melodious voices from when they backed up Paul Simon on his 1973 hit "Love Me Like a Rock," and their own version of the song that later won them a GRAMMYⓇ award. They were the subjects of the critically-acclaimed 1995 film directed by Ashley James, We Love You Like a Rock. In 2000, they were ceremoniously deemed a "national treasure" by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. One of their uniforms and GRAMMY award is on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Through live performances, a radio documentary series, and a media-rich website, Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul explores the history of gospel and its influence on secular popular music. Gospel’s stylistic elements have long been fused into secular popular musical genres, such as rock and roll, R&B, soul, and hip-hop. All events are free and suitable for all ages. The project is supported with a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and will extend through early 2019.

To RSVP for this free concert, visit http://xpngospelroots.org/dixie-hummingbirds-rsvp/

For more information about Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul, visit http://xpngospelroots.org/.

More about commercial-free, member-supported WXPN can be found at http://xpn.org.

# # # About WXPN WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported, public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio’s most popular program of popular music, syndicated by NPR, and the Peabody Award-winning Kids Corner. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9 FM, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, Northeastern PA and Northwestern NJ at 91.9 FM, and the world via online streaming at www.XPN.org. The WXPN app brings all of WXPN to any mobile device. WXPN produces XPoNential Radio on XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD, also available online.

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