Gene Shay | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
The Gene Shay Birthday Bash will celebrate the Philly folk icon’s life with stories and songs
The folk community will honor the life and legacy of legendary Philadelphia folk DJ Gene Shay, who passed away last April, with a livestream show this weekend. That Guy Was Fun, The Gene Shay Birthday Bash will stream live on Facebook this Saturday, March 6 at 3 p.m. EST.
Throughout his storied career, Gene Shay discovered dozens of Folk, Blues and Americana stars and co-founded The Philadelphia Folk Festival. He hosted the Folk Show on WXPN from 1995 to 2015.
Organized by Jefferson Berry, the event will be MC-ed by current XPN Folk Show host Ian Zolitor and will feature stories and performances by artists who knew Shay well. The lineup includes Tom Rush, Susan Werner, Ben Arnold, Kim and Reggie Harris, Michael Braunfeld, John Francis O’Mara, Kicking Down Doors, LisaBeth Weber, and Jefferson Berry & the Urban Acoustic Coalition.
“When I saw Gene’s birthday come up on the calendar, I thought we should do something. For all the people we’ve lost during the pandemic, none of us have gotten any closure,” Berry said. “But thinking about Gene’s passing, one can be sad for just so long. So many good times. So many good stories.”
Grants in Shay’s name will be awarded to folk artists in need through Philly Music Fest’s microgrant program. Donations can be made in here.