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In his teens and twenties, singer-songwriter Ron Aikens was a promising voice out of South Philadelphia. He had earned a spot in United Image, a Soul music group that eventually signed to Stax/Volt Records and was making waves. However, fate anchored Aikens' dreams just as things were taking off. "Right around that time that record was playing on the air and everything, I got snatched," he says. More than 50 years later, Ron Aikens is still affected by the turn of events that landed him behind bars for much of the 1970s. The subject conjures palpable emotions for the singer in his pauses and silence. At Graterford, Ron eventually joined Power Of Attorney—a storied Polydor Records-backed band with ties to James Brown, Shep Gordon, and Stan Vincent. In this chapter, Ron appeared on television, met celebrities, shared stages with Stevie Wonder, and lived out some glory as he and his band-mates became a touring sensation all while incarcerated—even though the band consisted of 4 lifers. Upon his prison release, the talent made several attempts to rebuild his dream. However, bad timing and bad business dealings ultimately left him hapless and hopeless. Forty years ago, Ron hung up his microphone and accepted a long-time janitorial position at Philly's City Hall. A man moved on with life as the music business moved on without a talented artist. "I had nowhere to hide" declares Aikens, "so I had to just leave it all behind."

Please visit the 

Philadelphia Sound Preservation Project

To promote and preserve the diverse and culturally rich music history of Philadelphia, PA through advocacy, creative programming, exhibitions, and performances that highlight the artists, engineers, historic sites, musicians, and songwriters that have contributed to Philadelphia’s monumental influence on music.

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Located in Brewerytown, Philadelphia

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