Mayor Kenney Ducks Cataldi Question About The Roots and July 4th

He does reveal that the Parkway concert will celebrate Gamble & Huff.


Philly’s July 4th celebration will feature an homage to the “Philadelphia Sound” of legendary producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a radio interview today. But he ducked questions about whether the Roots — who have headlined and curated the celebration recent years — will have any involvement.

“Sometimes groups do things, entertainers do things every year and sometimes they want a break” Kenney said, speaking on Angelo Cataldi’s morning show on 94 WIP. “We have to talk to them and see what they want to do. They have families, they have a holiday too, maybe they want to celebrate the holiday with their family. So we’re working it through.”

The Roots haven’t publicly stated their preference for involvement in this year’s festival, which takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. When it became public they might not have a role this year, drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson tweeted Billy Penn’s story on the matter, along with a cryptic comment: “#goodluckwiththat.”

Kenney said the lineup for the celebration is still unknown. But he said the plan is to honor Gamble and Huff, songwriter-producers who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“That was something I wanted to do,” Kenney said. “They have a great, great book of works, great songs, about 80 of the songs they did were hits. We’re going to do an homage to them as Philadelphians.”

No word on when the lineup will be announced.