Bob Pantano, longtime radio personality and ‘Mr. Saturday Night,’ is being inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Walk of Fame
Music Alliance’s Walk of Fame along the Avenue of the Arts.
By LINDSEY NOLEN
With more than 100 bronze commemorative plaques, the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Music Walk of Fame has been showcasing area musicians and music professionals “who have made a significant contribution to the world of music” since 1987. This year, as part of its 20th induction class South Philly native, Bob Pantano, made the cut.
As for Pantano, a WOGL air personality who rose to stardom as the Delaware Valley’ No. 1-rated Saturday night radio host, being recognized by the Philadelphia Music Alliance is a dream come true. Having grown up at 7th and Federal streets, Pantano never imagined he would amount to this level of broadcast success, but credits years of hard work as his determining factor.
“[My career] has been a lifetime journey since I graduated from Bishop Neumann High School and then went on to Temple University to major in radio, TV and film. That’s how it all started,” Pantano said. “I first got on the radio in 1971 in Camden at WCAN, but my first professional radio job wasn’t until 1977 when I was on 98.1.”
Although it took years for his dream to become a professional reality, Pantano persevered and today is honored to be recognized for his work and contributions to the music industry. While he’s also been recognized in the Temple University Hall of Fame, for him, the Music Walk of Fame is another one of the highest awards and best honors he could have ever dreamed of receiving.
“I’m so honored to be able to be in the sidewalk of the City of Philadelphia,” Pantano said. “It’s hard to believe, but I’ve got to thank all the people who have been dancing in the clubs and listening to me on the radio over the years. They’ve made me what I am.”
In addition to being the renowned host of the Saturday Night Dance Party, Pantano explains he really was just a kid from South Philly and he’ll never forget his roots. As for other South Philly kids who love and have a passion for broadcasting or music, just as he did decades ago, Pantano stresses the key to success is to never give up and to keep going and pushing forward.
“If you want to be successful work hard, but if you want to be №1, work twice as hard and never give up,” Pantano, whose favorite Philly pastime is enjoying all the great food this section of the city has to offer, said. “I never gave up my dream in the 70’s.”
For a full list of Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Music Walk of Fame inductees, visit: philadelphiamusicalliance.org/walk-of-fame.php.
A word from other inductees:
Although having grown up a little further west at 58th and Washington streets, singer, author, actress and entrepreneur, Patti LaBelle was also a 2017 Music Walk of Fame inductee. She explained that, to her, it is a wonderful blessing to be recognized in this way by her hometown, and that she finds it humbling and extremely honoring.
“I love Philadelphia and the people here so this feels very, very good,” LaBelle said. “I’m excited to be able to celebrate with my fellow inductees.”
Having taken her career from singing to many ventures across a variety of industries, including the penning of her new cookbook, “Desserts LaBelle,” she advises the key to success is to believe in oneself and never give up. She also recommends never letting anyone state the limits of what one can or cannot do.
Another 2017 inductee was Sister Sledge, a music group which gained popularity in the 1970s, and which was comprised of sisters, Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge. Best known for their song, “We Are Family,” the sisters from Southwest Philadelphia remain a staple of the disco era.
“It feels amazing [to be inducted into the Walk of Fame] because this is our hometown,” Kathy Sledge, the youngest of the sisters, said. “To be honored in Philadelphia is really