AMBRIDGE, Pennsylvania (AP) – Skyliners, Vogues, Bobby Vinton, Perry Como.
Jaggerz, Granatis, Lou Christie, BE Taylor.
The Marcels, Henry Mancini, Norm Nardini, Etta Cox, Donnie Iris … the list goes on.
If these musicians wrote or sang songs that were important to you, head to the Performing Arts Legend Museum, due to open in Ambridge on July 2nd.
The Performing Arts Legends Museum (PALM) is located in a historic 220 year old brick house two blocks from the Old Economy Village and is a treasure trove of musical artifacts from many of the most famous and influential music artists in our region.
From gold records to a banana yellow stage costume to an arsenal of not-so-gently used guitars, the walls and exhibition areas of the PALM tell a story of musicians from western Pennsylvania who excited us, cheered us up, and made us stay away from our bedtime. Located at the intersection of 15th and Merchant Streets in the historic district of Ambridge, PALM is educational and a step back in time for visitors.
A stage outfit worn by Turtle Creek’s The Vogues brings together Elvis Presley memorabilia and a vintage drum kit in one room at the Performing Arts Legend Museum in Ambridge.
“You can see the influence of so many local artists on our private lives and relive their glory days,” said PALM founder Elbie Yaworsky. “Almost 300 artifacts, gold records, signed photos, 45s, LPs and CDs framed and signed. You can feel the influence of this region on the development of the performing arts. “
Yaworsky says he and his wife Denise invested over $ 250,000 in the complex, which also includes artist-in-residence accommodation on the second floor and an attached garage that has been converted into a modern performance studio that doubles as a rehearsal room serves for Yaworsky’s band Hot Metal Horns.
Yaworsky says he’s “super excited” about the PALM’s debut, although the final details remain, including the main air conditioning replacement, which went down last week.
For months, Yaworsky and his team designed the decades-long themed but versatile museum rooms.
“We could rearrange each wall by getting new artifacts,” he said.
The 1950s room includes items such as Elvis Presley’s yearbook, Perry Como’s gold records for “Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom”) and “Round and Round”, and an authentic 1950s diner booth straight out the television “Happy Days”, with a tabletop jukebox.
The 1950s room at the Performing Arts Legend Museum in Ambridge.
In the 1960s room there are instruments, outfits and autographed photos of Pittsburgh jazz and blues aces such as Walt Harper, Harold Betters, Joe Negri and Chizmo Charles as well as a stage jacket from The Vogues (“5 O’Clock World”).
A drum enthusiast, Yaworsky shows off a drum kit collection that includes a 1950s set and a 1983 Black 9-Ply Maple Pearl GLX 6-piece drum kit valued at over $ 20,000.
Most of the artifacts on the walls belong to Gene Rees of Center Township, the museum’s manager. Rees was the architect of Nick’s Fat City on Pittsburgh’s South Side, a popular Art Deco-style nightclub that was the hottest showpiece club for Pittsburgh’s mainstream rock acts in the 1990s. Items from Donnie Iris, The Clarks, and other Pittsburgh musical luminaries graced Nick’s walls, and Rees ended up buying many of the memorabilia.
“After all the work we’ve put into The PALM, it would be a huge understatement to say we’re excited to finally be ready to open,” said Rees. “One of the most important things that always amazes me is to find out how big the national influence of local musicians was. An effect that I bet very few locals know about. “
He cites examples such as Mars Scarazzo from Ambridge, who drums in Vegas for Frank Sinatra, and Papa John Creach from Beaver Falls, who played in Jefferson Airplane, “and numerous others whose stories, awards and musical influence are finally on display.”
Crescent Township’s Lou Christie, famous for the rising hit “Lightnin ‘Strikes,” can be seen at the Performing Arts Legend Museum in Ambridge, where he has his family.
While the museum represents all of western Pennsylvania, there is a noticeable Beaver Valley flair that can be seen in items from bands like Madhouse, the 1980s rockers who filled the local clubs and featured on the first WDVE-FM compilation Album released. A framed copy of this album will be displayed alongside a framed description of the band and the stage jacket by Madhouse’s Dave Cipriani, curator and board chairman of The PALM.
A madhouse jacket and signed guitars and drums are part of the collection at the Performing Arts Legend Museum.
Collectibles from non-local music legends like Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and Queen round off the museum’s exhibits.
The PALM will follow the Old Economy Village opening hours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The exception is that we are open until 8 a.m. on the first Friday of the month,” said Yaworsky. “We’ll be closed when the Old Economy is closed.”
Admission is $ 5 for adults; $ 4 for seniors and students ages 12 to 18; Veterans and active military are free.
Hand-signed guitars, drums and more are part of the Performing Arts Legend Museum in Ambridge.
From the Rees collection, the PALM displays:
Framed stage costumes by Chuck Blasko from The Vogues (“My Special Angel”), Mark Koch from The Marcels (“Blue Moon”) and Jimmy Beaumont from The Skyliners (“Since I Don’t Have You”).
Framed “Platinum” plates by The Silhouettes (1958 Billboard No. 1 “Get A Job”), The Marcels, The Del-Vikings (“Come Go With Me”), Perry Como.
Harold Betters framed autographed trombone and the album “Live At The Encore”.
Framed autographed photos of Darryl & Don Ellis, Johnny Angel & The Halos, Kenny Blake, Chismo Charles, Unwound, Ike McCoy Band, Roger Humphries, Walt Harper, Lucy Van Sickle and Phil Harris.
Gary Baloma autographed beret.
Autographed album covers by The Vogues, Eric Leeds, Novo Combo, The Parker Bros., East Coast Offering, Al Dowe & Etta Cox
1980s tour t-shirt of the rock band ATS
Sleeping Giants CD release party poster.
Framed drumsticks hand signed by Roger Humphries, Spider Rondinelli.
Hand-signed bass drum heads by Dharma Sons and Wade.
Autographed saxophones by Glen Quarrie, Robbie Klein, Kenny Blake, Johnny “Smooth” Saber.
Hand signed accordion by Frankie Capri.
Autographed acoustic guitars by Joe Negri, Dave & Shari, Billy Dean, DC Fitzgerald, Gypsy Wind and Anne Feeny.
Hand-signed electric guitars by Mike Sallows (with Van Halen paintwork), McKeg Lawson Band, Whiskey High, Buzz Poets, Tony Janflone, Norm Nardini, Shadoz, Force Field, Gas House and Room To Move.