Online Nightmare

Attending school online has taught me the importance of self-motivation and timeliness. Throughout this year it has been very difficult for me to keep myself motivated to do homework or even attend some classes since it felt like there was minimal reason to complete my tasks. Another reason for this was a lack of a changing environment. Normally, I associate different spaces with different activities/mindsets. For example, when I walk into math class my brain prepares itself to learn math. The same thing applies to each of my classes. This also affected my homework as the different settings helped me to remember to do work later that day, by mentally running through where I had been earlier.

One thing I’m looking forward to is getting to go to class, meet new people, have genuine conversations with them. I miss talking to people about random topics that come up in class and being able to walk towards your next class debating the subject of the day’s lesson. This is something that is impossible to recreate in a Zoom based education system and something I dearly miss from my freshman(/1st half of sophomore) year. I have made so many good friends like this and it had made my life in class so much better. I’d be able to ask someone what was due or for notes if I wasn’t paying the best attention that day.

I absolutely detest online schooling, but I have become much more capable in scheduling. Whether it’s my class schedule or how I allocate the rest of my day, I find I am less persuaded to deviate from a plan I made if I know it will make my life more difficult. I also find that virtual schooling has made me more reliant on making food at home. While it was nice to grab a pizza or hot dog on campus, it is definitely a good thing that I go out to the grocery store and make my own food daily.

Midterm Post

Research Question: Who/What made the Philadelphia Soul music scene come to life and how has the city paid homage to this wonderful aspect of its musical lineage?

Description: For this project I’d like to create an Instagram Account that focuses on the landmarks and markers that the city still has as recognition to the Soul scene. There will be pictures (that I would take) of famous buildings (i.e. Uptown Theater, the sight of PIR’s HQ, various recording “houses”) and describe the significance in the description. Quotes can also be added in the pictures or they can also be their own post if they are significant enough. I’d also like to put popular Soul songs the background of these posts(pictures and quotes) to help build out the aesthetic of the account and give the reader/viewer a more personable feel rather then them feeling detached. These were people and songs that have feeling behind them and not just cold stone buildings and words.

Format: Instagram Infographic Gallery

Secondary Sources:

  • Jackson, John A. A House on Fire: the Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005.
    • This source focuses on the broader picture of the Philadelphia Soul music scene. It takes a look into the major labels and bands that helped to popularize the genre and what factors lead to its eventual downfall. The book covers the entirety of the time span of the Soul music scene and will be a valuable insight into how everything worked behind the scene.
  • Rosin, James. Philadelphia: City of Music. Philadelphia, PA: Camino Books, 2006.
    • This source not only covers the Soul movement, but takes a look at the broader music scene as a whole. It talks about how the major labels that produced Soul helped lead a musical surge in the city, bringing in artists to record like Elton John and David Bowie. This musical foundation set the stage for artists like the Roots, Boys II Men, Hall & Oates, and Will Smith and enabled them to break through into mainstream culture.
  • Roberts, Kimberly C., and Kenny Gamble. Joy Ride!: the Stars and Stories of Philly’s Famous Uptown Theater. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris, 2013.
    • This book will help me focus on an often seen, but rarely talked about feature of northern Philly. The Uptown Theater used to be a hub for soul music on north Broad. It would attract stars from across the country to play at the venue and is an important historical landmark in the success of the genre.

Primary Sources:

  • Edelstein, Andrew. 1981. “SOUL: SOUL MUSIC NEVER DIED, BUT IT’S STILL COMING BACK BIG.” Chicago Tribune (1963-1996), Sep 20, 1-e12.
  • (Other national newspapers)
    • This is a newspaper article that talks about the national impact that Soul and Motown had on the national music scene of the 70’s. It talks about the general feeling around the musical genre and its dying off. This particular writer believed that Soul would come back strong nationally (as we know this isn’t the case) and how some people still listened to the music after it had peaked. They talk about rising artists that have a similar style to Soul and I may use it to build a through-line to today’s mainstream music
  • Willis, Thomas. “Youth Music on Their Terms.” Music Educators Journal 56, no. 9 (1970): 56-59. Accessed April 14, 2021. doi:10.2307/3392815.
  • (Other articles from this journal around this time)
    • This is the Music Educators Journal, which talks to music teachers about current topics and revolutions in the music world. The article that I have pulled talks about the lack of ‘youth’ music in this time (May 1970) and how there was no defined gap between the generations in music. More surprisingly (and more relevant to my topic), the article talks about the race divide in music. “The correlation between race and musical preference was high”. It talks about how Blacks knew the newest blues, while being unaware of the Top 40. It briefly talks about a teen Philly ghetto group that played a mix of hard rock and soul that drew in a large crowd. This is how the youth started to make its own music with a lack of clear “teeny-bops” being produced by major labels. The youth of Philadelphia really helped to make Philly Soul unique and mainstream. I would love to highlight these connections and the contrast of Philly’s scene with other youth groups across the country.
    • This journal also has reviews that might be useful to see how people first reacted to popular hits of the genre in the educational space.

Memories of Abnormality

My pandemic memory is last summer’s shore trip with my friends. As the pandemic appeared to wind down towards the end of the 2019-2020 school year my roommates and I had decided that we would like to take a break from our day to day life. We had talked about going camping for a weekend in the summer, but camping meant very different things to each of us. To some it meant driving 4 hours one way to get a view of the stars in a tent on the ground. To others it was a glorified log cabin Airbnb in the woods complete with running water. To me it sounded like a prime opportunity to take my friends down the jersey shore.
My family has owned a trailer in Cape May Courthouse, NJ since I was a little kid. I wanted to share the joy that I had always experienced as a kid with my friends and so we set up a weekend getaway. I loaded up my dad’s convertible and drove down 309 to the city. I picked up one of my friends and we headed off, top down, Queen blaring out of the stereo. The others had piled into a car and were well on their way by then. My car happened to arrive first and by a good margin (they probably didn’t know the way as well). We quickly went to the grocery store and then we all checked in. The first thing we did was hop back into the car and traveled to Sunset Beach, the home of the best sunsets in the state. We checked out the gift shops and then came back home for some board games and a campfire.
The next day we got up bright and early (around 10) to go to the famous Wildwood beaches. The two drivers for the trip dropped everyone off with the gear and went to the free parking. We spent ages at the beach building castles, digging holes, sunbathing, eating our sandwiches, and wrestling each other in the waves. We quickly showered and returned to walk the boardwalk (wearing masks) and taking pictures underneath the Wildwood sign. After most of our group’s legs had become worn out we drove out to dinner on the bay. It was a cute little restaurant, near where the boats parked, that had amazing views and food. We decided to work off our dinner playing mini-golf on a 2 story course.
The next day we quickly decided our thirst for mini-golf had not been quenched and returned to play at a different course. The day was scorching and the course was brutal. The only escape was the “cave” with a waterfall overhead. We grabbed ice cream at a local shop after tallying the score. We packed up out bags and followed each other up the highways to the city. There we stopped at our apartment, said our goodbyes and parted ways.

Sourcing the Soul

“Now’s the time to appreciate Philly soul great Thom Bell, one of ‘The Mighty Three’ alongside Gamble and Huff.” Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia, PA], July 11, 2020, NA. Gale General OneFile (accessed February 22, 2021).

  • Scope
    • This source takes a look at the songwritters of the Philly Soul genre, the often forgot about 3rd writer(Bell), and contributions to the musical scene
  • Argument
    • This source argues that there should be a third titan/creative force behind the Philadelphia soul music movement. Most people only talk about Gamble and Huff in regards to the formation and creative drive behind the genre, but Bell deserves just as much.
  • Significance
    • This sheds light on a little talked about figure, who played a large roll in the formation and success of the genre. This is important because it’s giving credit and a voice to someone who deserves more attention for the work that he did.
  • Evidence
    • The article lists many of Bell’s accomplishments, both inside and outside of Philly. He helped write songs alongside Gamble and Huff, orchestrated strings, and co-owned the building that Philadelphia International operated out of. He had the change to work with Aretha Franklin and helped make several groups into successes.

Philly Soul

For the final i’d like to focus on Philadelphia Soul (not the sports team) and it’s impact on the city and the nation. I would need to know a couple fundamental things to truly study this musical movement.

  • What was the social and political landscape that helped to fuel this creative outlet?
    • both locally and nationally
  • Why isn’t the Philly music scene as prominent anymore?
    • Essentially, where did it go?
  • Who were the people responsible for Philly Soul’s success?
    • Both artists and people behind the scenes
  • Why was Motown more dominant?
  • Are there currently any markers, sites, memorials, or museums in the city that pay homage to this facet of the city’s history?

(Sorry for the late post. I apparently forgot my days)

Thoughts on the Final

  1. Topic Ideas

A) Black Music in Philadelphia (specifically Motown, Jazz, and Rock around the 30’s-60’s)

B) The Lenne-Lenape and the interactions they had with Penn/the settlers of Philly

2. Explaination

Music has always been a huge part of my life and I wanted to know more about the stories behind these works of art. I “discovered” Motown music a couple years ago and was hooked. Later, while on a day-trip into the city I started to see signs denoting the importance that Philly played in the 30’s – 70’s music scene. There’s even a mural to Grover Washington Jr. outside of the Broad St. 7-11 on Temple’s campus. North Philly has had a storied history with music and I would love to discover parts of that.

I’ve been told the history of the Lenne-Lenape (Lenape) since childhood. They have played a large role in this area of the US. My personal story, where I was primarily taught about them, was through Boy Scouts/Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is a sub-branch of the BSA, and has a tradition of focusing on Native American stories.

My Map of Philly

This is MY map of Philadelphia. I came across this design in a small shop, Philadelphia Independents, in Old City while I was exploring the area on my bike. This art really spoke to me as this described my city as I saw it. Every morning I wake up to this beautiful skyline outside of my house, each building and statue tells a different story and I feel a connection to most of them.

Over all the different trips I take City Hall is in the center, with Willy Penn standing resolutely. He appears as a guardian over the city and there are few places where you can’t see him. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are some of my first trips and memories of the city that I have. Love Park the site of many dates and the Christmas Village I go to yearly. The Rocky Statue, Washington of his horse, and the river remind me of more recent times, when I was finally able to go to the art museum and the SRT. Liberty One is one of my favorite places in the city, with an amazing little mall to spend time in relaxing and the most magnificent views of the city. And Fairmount Park and the cemetery seems to surround the city, as that is the first thing I see when heading in. This is my city. This is my home.

Artwork by

Bio Blog Post

Eddie Weinberger. He/Him.

Junior. Computer Science.

I went to school and participated in sports up until high school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In high school I involved myself with marching band as well as a part time job to keep myself occupied. Any time that was not occupied by school or work was spent playing video games and I gained an appreciation for computers and technology in general. I completed my 12-year journey in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle in my senior year. I then graduated and decided that Temple University was the best fit for my future career goals and focus my studies on computers.

History, to me, is simply the study of great events that shaped the world that we currently reside in and the great people and stories that helped to manufacture those events.