Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Local choirs vie to sing with the Rolling Stones

WGMK's John DeBella is on a mission to get the Philadelphia Boys Choir to sing with the Rolling Stones.

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET what you want, but WMGK's John DeBella thinks he knows what the Philadelphia Boys Choir needs.

The mustachioed morning-radio host thinks the Rolling Stones should invite the Philadelphia Boys Choir onstage when they play the Wells Fargo Center on June 18 and 21. (Tickets are still available for the "50 and Counting" tour at

The Philadelphia Boys Choir is "an untapped gem in this city. It's crazy we have this world-class choir that people don't know exists," DeBella told me, adding he ran it by Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell when he visited his show. "For many Stones tours, I've thought this was a good idea. But then I found out they were using choirs in others cities."

Last weekend, the Stones invited Henderson, Nev.'s Green Valley High School choir to sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" with them at their recent Vegas show. Katy Perry, by the way, also joined the Stones onstage for that show.

Jeffrey R. Smith, the musical director of the Philadelphia Boys Choir (which counts CBS 3's Ukee Washington as a famous alum), said that the boys are free and would love to perform.

But DeBella's boys may have some competition in their search to sing with the Stones.

The Philadelphia Boys Choir has performed with famous folks, including Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Williams, Teddy Pendergrass and Brian McKnight, but it's not the only choir that wants in. The Keystone State Boychoir is also seeking the coveted spot.

"Like the Stones, we're rock stars and have performed all over the world, but we've done one thing the Stones haven't: We're the only performers in the world to have ever sung in Antarctica," said Steven Fisher, co-founder and associate music director, referencing their December 2009 trip. "If they give us the gig, we might even try to help them book a gig in Antarctica."

A rep from the Wells Fargo Center said: "We have received several inquiries from choirs throughout the greater Philadelphia region expressing interest in lending their voices to the performances. We have advised the tour director, who will make the decision."

The sporting life

* I hear the Eagles' new coach, Chip Kelly, who rocked yesterday's practice with a pop-music soundtrack including Nikki Minaj, Nas and AC/DC, is calling Old City home. Brent Celek's new American eatery, Prime Stache, is in the same 'hood. The Eagles wouldn't comment on exactly where Kelly's new digs are located.

* Former Sixers coach Larry Brown, competitive figure skater (and wife of TV host Michael) Ellen Barkann, pitcher Bob Brooks, basketball player Fred Cohen, tennis player Josh Cohen, football coach Ron Cohen, golfer Bonnie Kay, radioman Marc Rayfield and Pillar of Achievement honoree Jed Margolis will be inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on Monday.

Ray Didinger will join buddy Big Daddy Graham for Graham's performance of "Last Call," a one-man show about his father, at 8 p.m. June 8 at the Society Hill Playhouse. Call 215-923-0210 for more info. Didinger will grill Graham with a Q&A after the show.

* Tennis great Billie Jean King will be in town tomorrow to dedicate new tennis courts in Hunting Park through the Fairmount Park Conservancy. She helped fund the new efforts. "It is our hope these courts will offer children a chance to be active, and to become champions on the court and in life," King said. Ryan Howard donated to help refurbish the baseball fields, while Michael Vick and Ron Jaworski donated for the football field.


John Bucci, the man behind John's Roast Pork, wants you to get $5 off one of his delish sandwiches. How? Just register to be a bone-marrow donor, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8 at the South Philly steak spot (14 E. Snyder Ave.). Bucci, who is in remission from leukemia, wants 500 donors and to raise $50,000. He's especially looking for minorities to donate to fill a great need. There will also be a live DJ and auction, including signed memorabilia from the Flyers, Jamie Moyer and even a signed "Ghostbusters" poster.

'Swan' song

Nick Offerman, who plays the great Ron Swanson on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," will play the Tower Theater on Sept. 3, courtesy of WMMR's Preston and Steve. Tix go on sale Friday.

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN