Philly Remembers The King of Pop

"I’m still in shock when I first heard I started out crying, I love, I love Michael Jackson," said one fan

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Friday, Jun 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:23 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Life and Times: Michael Jackson

A young Michael Jackson sits in the car of Philly barber Robert "Woody" Woodard. The pop star and his brothers came into the Wynnefield barber shop for a cut in the 1970s before a concert.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Philly Barber Remembers Jackson's Special Haircut

Michael needed a haircut and his brother needed a shape up -- it was a day one Philadelphia barber will never forget.

Fans and Friends React to Jackson's Death

Philadelphia had a special link to the King of Pop and it wasn't just with the fans. Michael Jackson actually recorded two records here.
More Photos and Videos

The sudden death of Michael Jackson has sent shock waves not only across the world, but also right here in the City of Brotherly Love.

Young fans rushed into the FYE store along the Avenue of the Arts in Center City to snatch up the old-fashioned CDs of the unequivocal King of Pop.

"I wanted to get them before the masses got a hold of them and within maybe 10 minutes of hearing the news we got here and they were almost sold out," said Malisa Amato.

For some fans, Jackson wasn't just a musical legend, he was family.

"I was just devastated," said Lionita Leach. "He’s like a family member…I’m just devastated that he’s gone. And I feel so sorry for his family."

Jackson had a special link to Philadelphia. He recorded two albums at the famous Philadelphia International Records as part of "The Jacksons." Jackson and two of his brothers joined the label after leaving Motown Records in the 1970s.

Producer Chuck Gamble, son of label co-founder Kenny Gamble, remembered him as a "kind person."

"He wanted to go out and play basketball with us who were here, but he couldn’t do because of the security…he had to go in the studio and perform," Gamble reminisced to NBC10's Kristen Welker.

The Philly radio airwaves are also paying tribute to the singer. Take a spin of the dial and you're sure to hear one of Jackson's signature songs.

At 100.3 The Beat and sister station 107.9 WRNB, listeners are calling in to share their thoughts and emotions.

"The listeners are calling in and we're crying together…trying to keep each other strong," 100.3 The Beat disc jockey Kendra G told NBC10's Denise Nakano.

The stations, as well as many others, are honoring the legend with a 24-hour non-stop tribute.

Even Philadelphia politicians are talking about Jackson's influence on their lives.

"There's an excitement in that music and he will be missed as the innovator in music that he was," Nutter said.

Over at Woodard's Barber Shop, owner Robert "Woody" Woodard said the news "makes you feel so sad."

Woody will never forget the day Jackson walked into his Wynnefield shop looking for a haircut. The pop star was in town with his brothers for a concert at The Spectrum.

"He walks in the door, everybody's mouths wide open…nobody could believe it," Woodard told NBC10's Byron Scott.

The barber was even able to pose for two photos with the Jacksons as Michael sat behind the wheel of Woody's classic 1947 Cadillac. Those pictures remain prominently fixed to the wall of the aged shop.

"I have not accepted Michael Jackson's death. I hate that people said, 'Well he's dead,' but I have not," said Woodard. "I am too busy thinking about all the life and all the direction and where he was going, how much more he had to do."

Jackson last performed in Philadelphia in 1984 at the now extinct JFK Stadium in South Philadelphia, but he will be forever remembered in the hearts of all Philadelphians -- both young and old.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
FlyeredUp: Win 2 Tickets to Flyers Playoff Game
Win two tickets to the first... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out