Anyone driving down North Broad can't help but see Philadelphia's unique version of Harlem's Apollo Theater. Starting in the late '50's The Uptown Theater with its mural of WDAS legendary DJ Georgie Woods was the once the home of artists like the young Stevie Wonder and the Jackson Five.  Philadelphia Tribune Entertainment editor Kimberly Roberts has written a book about the theater's heyday entitled “Joy Ride! The Stars and Stories of Philly’s Famous Uptown Theater” (Xlibris Corporation, $29.99)

Roberts was around 10 years old when she and her friends would pull together the three dollars that paid for bus fair, a ticket and candy and soda.  She combines her early memories with interviews with many of the key players and performers who are part of the Uptown Legacy.
There have been efforts over the years to bring back the Uptown but until that happens - check out “Joy Ride! The Stars and Stories of Philly’s Famous Uptown Theater” - an entertaining, sometime scandalous recounting of one of Philadelphia’s great musical institutions.  Kimberly Roberts will be at a book signing Thursday, May 30, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, 738 South Broad Street (at Fitzwater Street). The book can also be ordered online at, and  Also check out my interview with Ms. Roberts here