Every year in honor of his late father, George L. Popp, who died from a heart attack, Bill Popp continues to keep his memory alive by hosting an annual music benefit to donate funds to the American Heart Association.
This year, the 33rd annual “Daddy Tapes” Benefit for The American Heart Association will be held on Sunday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. at The Parkside Lounge located at 317 East Houston St. in Manhattan. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door or guests can give what they can.
Popp, a College Point musician, who has been leading his band Bill Popp & The Tapes since 1981, held the first benefit on his late father’s birthday, March 10, 1987, at club CBGB.
“My goal at the time was for the benefit to become an annual event that would raise money through live music and help those suffering from heart disease,” said Popp, founder of the event and Daddy Tapes. “My father was my closest friend and the biggest supporter of my music career. After his death, I wanted to keep his spirit alive, so, by doing a benefit in his memory and donating the money to the American Heart Association, I’ve done just that.”
George, aka Daddy Tapes, was the backbone of Popp’s band, The Tapes. Instead of retiring and moving to Florida, as he had dreamed, George remained in New York, working as a night watchman, until one day, he suddenly died from a heart attack on Nov. 1, 1986, at the age of 73.
Popp’s father remained in New York so Popp could live inexpensively at home and rehearse with his band for free in their basement.
Today, Bill Popp and The Tapes enjoy a 38-year history and counting, and Daddy Tapes legacy still lives on with each band rehearsal in the basement of the house he kept for his son, where Popp still lives today.
The Daddy Tapes Benefit has become a local institution that has raised thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association, says Popp.
However, Popp never expected that the money he had raised for the American Heart Association would wind up helping him, after preparing for the benefit’s 20th anniversary in 2006.
Popp had to postpone the two-day event to undergo open heart surgery, where they performed a quadruple bypass, he said.
Today, Popp is looking forward to the upcoming benefit that will include a variety of performances from artists.
Throughout the years, the acts have been as diverse as rock legends Danny Kalb (founder of the Blues Project) to punk cabaret singer Nellie McKay.
This year’s performances (in order) include the following:
REEL CELTIC – a traditional Irish music trio from the heart of Brooklyn.
STILLHOUSE WIDOWS – Americana music with beautifully blended harmonies.
ANNE HUSICK – Sang backing vocals for Ronnie Spector, Joey Ramone, and Wilson Pickett, also a former member of The Tapes.
URBAN BLUENNEA – A dynamic New York rock group, fueled by a team that has written, recorded and performed together since 1969. Exciting music that is aided and abetted by great chemistry and relationships that have lasted years.
COSMONAUT RADIO – An upbeat blend of funk, modern rock and old school R&B. A sound that is fresh, familiar and inventive, weaving a tight melodic groove with subtle rhythmic complexities.
DonBlackKCAT AND FRIENDS – A New York City rock ‘n’ roll outfit that stays true to its roots … Original love songs full of noise, regrets, piss, vinegar and sweet candy, all with a big beat!
BILL POPP AND THE TAPES the Boston Phoenix tagged Bill “the downtown Elton John” and Bill will be the Master of Ceremonies.
ALAN MERRILL TRIO – The first westerner to achieve pop star status in Japan. He was the lead singer and songwriter of the first and original 1975 version of “I Love Rock n Roll” with his band, The Arrows.