He was the first Philly native to break out nationally and internationally at the beginning of the rock and roll era. His number one hit Butterfly knocked Elvis from the top of the charts and sold over three million copies worldwide. He was the first artist on the Cameo-Parkway Record label to have hits, bankrolling the company, this enabling it to launch the careers of a dozen successful artists. He was the first solo American rock and roll star to bring the music to the British concert stage. Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Graham Nash and Ray Davies are among his biggest musical admirers. The late George Harrison called his guitar technique brilliant. He continues to be a great musical ambassador for Philadelphia, performing the roots of rock and roll all over the world.
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