For the first time ever, Delaware County residents will get to hear the classic songs made famous by The Stylistics performed live by the original lead singer of the Grammy-nominated group.

Russell Thompkins, Jr. and the New Stylistics will headline the Spirit of Summer Festival on Saturday, Aug. 15th at Conway Park on Hook Road in Sharon Hill. The 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. event will feature live Bingo games, Zumba, activities for kids and families, music, food, health screenings and presentations and much more.

Russell Thompkins, Jr. and “The New Stylistics” will perform at the Summer of Spirit Festival.

Russell Thompkins, Jr. and “The New Stylistics” will perform at the Summer of Spirit Festival.

The event is presented by The Spirit newspaper and hosted by Darby Township with invitations to, and involvement by, the dozen or so municipalities that makeup Southeastern Delaware County.

Spirit Publisher Paul A. Bennett said, “Many other areas of the county all have annual signature events. It’s our hope that this becomes the annual signature event for this part of the county and everybody’s invited.”

Thompkins, a Philadelphia native and Mt. Airy resident, said he and the original group have traveled all over the world signing their classic string of hits that include You Are Everything, Betcha By Golly Wow, Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart and People Make the World Go ‘Round, but “we never played anywhere in Delaware County,” he told The Spirit on a visit to the paper’s Collingdale offices last week.

Now singing as Russell Thompkins, Jr. and the New Stylistics, the group is not a cover band.

It has Thompkins as its lead singer and one other original member from the old group. Additionally, the group has Kenny Thompson as its musical director and many of its background musicians were longtime group members. Thompson, also a Philadelphian, and a former member of the Thompson Brothers band, has been with Thompkins doing Stylistics music for more than 30 years.

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