Jack McCarthy is a certified archivist and longtime Philadelphia area archival/historical consultant. He is currently directing a project for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania focusing on the archival collections of the Philadelphia region’s many small historical institutions. He recently concluded work as consulting archivist and researcher for the audio documentary Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio and as consulting archivist for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2012-2013 Leopold Stokowski centennial celebration. Jack has a master’s degree in music history from West Chester University and is particularly interested in the history of Philadelphia music. He is also involved in Northeast Philadelphia history. He is Co-founder of the Northeast Philadelphia History Network and serves as Director of the Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame.
Music City on Chestnut Street was the spot for aspiring jazz musicians in the 1950s. Famous players like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Stan Getz would often take time out from gigging in town to give impromptu performances and technical sessions to young instrumentalists at the popular music store. Philadelphia music historian Jack McCarthy lights up another smoking chapter from the city's robust jazz era > more
Long before One Liberty Place leveled the area with sky-high apartments and upscale shopping, Ranstead Street used to belong to Billy Krechmer. His little jazz club burned with Swing and Dixieland brass for over 28 years. Music historian and archivist Jack McCarthy has the skinny on this long-lost gem > more
Quaker influence kept the volume turned way down on early Philadelphia's musical output. The consecration of Old Swedes' Church in July 1700 changed that, and as Jack McCarthy writes, that first documented musical performance included an unlikely participant: Kelpius and his Mystics of the Wissahickon > more
A show at the Society Hill Playhouse and a series of weekly happy hours at the Gershwin Y bring Dizzy Gillespie back into the spotlight. Jack McCarthy profiles Dizzy's years in Philadelphia and the Downbeat club that laid the foundations for his stardom > more
Fifty years ago, Philadelphia was at the heart of the American pop music scene. And then, almost overnight, it wasn't. Local music historian Jack McCarthy brings us the story > more