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Gospel singers Dixie Hummingbirds honored with marker

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia is honoring longtime local gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds with a historical marker.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney unveiled a plaque Tuesday in front of founder John B Davis’ former home.

Davis established the Dixie Hummingbirds in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina. After several moves, the group settled in Philadelphia.

The Hummingbirds received national acclaim in 1973 as backup singers on Paul Simon’s hit “Love Me Like A Rock.” They also produced their own version, which won a Grammy for best soul gospel performance.

Tuesday’s ceremony highlighted the Hummingbirds’ groundbreaking hard-gospel stylings, which influenced musical performers including James Brown, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder.

Among former members is the late Beachy Thompson, a vocalist and grandfather to The Roots’ drummer and DJ Questlove.

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