Reporter George Anastasia has been covering the Philadelphia mob scene for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 15 years. Hell discuss the recent trial of reputed mob boss Joseph 'Skinny Joey' Merlino and his associates, which just wrapped up last week. The jury acquitted Merlino and his associates of the serious charges of murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking, but convicted them of racketeering. During the 15 week trial, 90 witnesses took the stand and 943 evidentiary exhibits were introduced.
Producer, composer and arranger Thom Bell was one of the prime originators of the Sound of Philadelphia, creating hits with the Delfonics such as "La La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." Bell was born in Jamaica and moved to Philadelphia at age 5. He planned to become a classical conductor, but in his early 20s, he was signed by Cameo Records to create a Philadelphia version of Motown.
Ed Ward takes a look at Philadelphia's long and complex history of black pop music. Specifically, he looks at small labels like Arctic, where several famous artists got their start -- and which has just released a set of CDs covering all 60 of its single releases.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Martha Woodall details her ongoing investigation into Philadelphia's charter school system, where 19 of the 74 charter schools operating in the city are under investigation for fraud, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.