Photos: Patti LaBelle, and Friends Kick Off The Summer of Essence of Entertainment at the Dell

Mother nature didn’t stop The Dell Music Center
from putting on a show Thursday night to kick off their summer series
called the Essence of Entertainment.

The talent lined up for the evening
were all Philadelphian’s including saxophonist Pamela Williams, who opened the
show (and began her career 20 years ago as part of
Patti LaBelle’s back
up band), trombonist Jeff Bradshaw and friends  featuring Najee and Kenny Lattimore, and
Patti LaBelle. Right after Williams’ set the
skies opened and the rain came down and the show was delayed. An hour
later Patty Jackson, WDAS and hostess for the Dell Center’s summer
season, took to the stage to say Jeff Bradshaw was gracious enough to
reschedule his show until August 6th, and gave his time to Patti.

Councilwomen Cindy Bass, Pamela Williams, Patti LaBelle, Me’lissa Morgan, Commissioner Susan Slawson, Philadelphia parks and recreation and guest. 

Saxophonist Pamela Williams, PattyJackson (WDAS) and Patti LaBelle (Legend)
Patty Jackson and Jeff Bradshaw in the “green room” at the Dell Music Center.

 After the rain patron’s made their way back into the area.
 Patti Jackson brings out Kenny Latimore to say a few words. This was the 2nd time I shot at the Dell and didn’t realize the best shots were from the front as the talent was not side lit, oh well next time. I hung out on the side cause I knew I wanted to stand to see the show and didn’t want to block anyone.
In the begining I did shoot from the front, and cause Ms Patti entering the stage, being careful not to slip on the stage after the rain storm. There on the right is her long time bodyguard Efrem Holmes, who I met last year while Mike and I attended the Cher concert with Garrett Snider, and Patti LaBelle.

then took to the stage in a flowing white ostrich feather robe
and performed for nearly two hours, discarding the robe and revealing a slinky, sexy silver
cocktail dress. She performed many of her old songs, as well as doing a few
covers including Sam Smiths “Stay With Me”, which turned into a sing a
long with the audience. 
 Pamela Williams plays on “Right Kinda Lover” with Patti Labelle
During Patti’s concert she always brings guys up on stage with her to sing and dance. I loved this obvious long time fan, he has a vintage 1980s Patti shirt on. He was also a really great singer and Patti enjoyed him, as well as the other guys who were just off to the right.
I love how in this clip at the White House Patti says this song was sung 40 years ago with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx who were part of her band called LaBelle. 
Nona went on to a solo career and sings one of my fav songs from the ’80s “Keep it Confidential”
 This was my 11th time seeing Patti, and she sang so many of my favorite songs. “Somebody Loves You, Baby,” and my all time favorite “If Only You Knew.” She also performed a very emotional “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” which was a big hit on her 1985 album “Patti” but original sung by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
I’d like to thank my high school friend Jeff Shaw for turning me onto Patti LaBelle in the 80s.


Patti sang her signature song “Over the Rainbow”, popularized by Judy Garland, but definitely sung more times by Patti than any other singer. Here’s Patti at Live Aid in Philadelphia 30 years ago today singing her signature song, you’ll love her ‘do which she sported for a bout a year during with several of her songs from the soundtrack “Beverly Hills Cop” were charting.
The Dell Music performance on Thursday night was flawless, and inspirational
as you’d never guess that the legendary songstress was 71 years young.
She told the audience I’m going to stay up here til they drag me off,
even as it started to sprinkle again. But then someone did say she had
to get off as they were nearing a midnight concert venue curfew.