It got me thinking about the music industry in PA and its storied history. I began researching, scouring articles to find out what artists are originally from our great state. I looked into everyone from Billie Holiday (Philly) to Mac Miller (Pittsburgh).
Since the results of my findings were vast, I decided to give you my top 5 all time artists from Pennsylvania.
5) Boyz II Men
It’s memories of middle school dances anytime “Motown Philly” comes on or late nights at my favorite watering hole singing along the words to “Poison”, the Philadelphia based vocal group were founded by New Edition member Michael Bivins and their debut album “Cooleyhighharmony” was released 1991.
4) Trent Reznor
The legendary Nine Inch Nails founder/producer/vocalist hails from New Castle, PA and studied Computer Technology at Allegheny College before going on to well, pretty much do everything possible in music, film, and even video games. I have been fortunate enough to see Nine Inch Nails twice in concert and was absolutely in awe of the command Reznor brings to the stage. Check out my favorite NIN album “Hesitation Marks”
One of my favorite punk-rock bands of all time from Philadelphia continues to tour since they first started all the way back in 1983. Vocalist Rodney Anonymous and guitar player Joe Jack Talcum have created some of the most well known and legendary songs in the punk category. The Dead Milkmen is one of those bands where even if you think you haven’t heard any of their songs, you probably have but didn’t realize it.
This seems almost too easy for me. Poison was my first concert ever. I barely even remember it I was so young (my mom was and still is, rad). I assure you I can sing every lyric and as a young guitar player aspired to play even half as well as C.C. DeVille (not from PA). One of the biggest (glam) metal bands of all time there probably isn’t much about them us locals don’t already know or haven’t heard before. They are touring this year with their original line up, so why not just take a moment to revisit one of their classic — and my favorite — albums.
1). The Roots
While I feel like I have been giving Philadelphia a lot of love, there is just no denying The Roots. The legendary crew is led by arguably one of the greatest hip-hop MCs of all time, Black Thought. Formed by Black Thought and Questlove in 1987 when attending the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. If you haven’t listened to the 1999 release, “Things Fall Apart,” in its entirety I want you to pour yourself a drink, pop those earbuds in and travel in time as the legendary Roots crew “violates ya speakers!”
That is my personal top 5 list, and if you know me or have read anything from me is very reflective of my style (minus the obvious omission of my often mentioned and favorite metal band).