The Gene Shay Celebration Recap

On March 1st, 2015, we packed the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia to the gills in celebration of “the dean of folk radio” Gene Shay’s 80th birthday (and his recent retirement from radio). Thanks to the amazing line-up of performers: Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Silk City, Kim and Reggie Harris, SONiA, Julie Gold, John Flynn, and Full Frontal Folk … plus our special surprise guests Tom Rush, David Bromberg, Tony Trischka, Christine Lavin and Don White … with additional instrumental support from Jay Ansill, Saul Broudy and Kenny Ulansey … all led by our genial host, World Cafe’s David Dye.

It seemed like everyone wanted to show a little love for the man who has tickled our ears and supported artists, venues and audiences in the Philadelphia area who love folk music for more than 50 years. We all love Gene, and it was a true honor to be able to show him how we feel! (Almost a dozen fellow DJs, from as far away as Chicago, joined us for the event … a true testament to Gene’s influence, and the respect his peers have for him!)

Special thanks, of course, to all the volunteers and production staff who braved the sleet and snow hazards to ensure the show was a great success, including Terry Mutchler and the Mt. Top Productions crew; Pat Gourley & Richard Slavon; David Baskin, Roland Kushner and the rest of the SO! Board; … AND, of course, our event sponsors, Martin Guitar, Weaver’s Way Co-op, The Night Kitchen and WXPN.

Here is a sampling of photos from the event, by the great Jayne Toohey! Click on any image to start a slide show of the full photos.

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