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Photo courtesy of Bill Popp
Bill Popp (center) with his band, Bill Popp and The Tapes.

Bill Popp’s life changed in November 1986 when his 73-year-old father died of a heart attack in the College Point home they shared for all of his life. 

His father, George L. Popp, known to many as “Daddy Tapes,” was an inspiration and the name of Popp’s band, The Tapes, since 1981, when they played their first show at Gerde’s Folk City in Manhattan. Instead of retiring and moving to Florida, as he had dreamed, George remained in New York so Popp could live inexpensively at home and rehearse with his band for free in their basement. 

A young Bill Popp with his father, George L. Popp, known to many as “Daddy Tapes” (Photo courtesy of Bill Popp)

Since his father’s death, Popp has organized a benefit party every year donating attendees’ admission dollars to the American Heart Association in hopes of helping others avoid the heart disease that killed his father. 

This year, Popp is happy to announce that the 34th Annual Daddy Tapes benefit for The American Heart Association will be held on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at The Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston in Manhattan. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door or guests can give any dollar amount.

The first benefit was held on Daddy Tapes’ birthday, March 10, 1987 at music club CBGB in Manhattan. 

“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,” Popp said. “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.”

CBGB hosted the benefit each year until 1992. From 1993 to 2012, the benefit was held at Kenny’s Castaways, The R Bar in 2013 and 2014, The Delancey in 2015 and The Bowery Electric in 2016. As of 2017, The Parkside Lounge became its new home. 

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.

The Daddy Tapes Benefit has become a local institution that has raised thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association.

This year’s performances in listed order include:

Anne Husick Sang backing vocals for Ronnie Spector & Joey Ramone, and Wilson Pickett also a former member of The Tapes

Reel Celtic – a traditional Irish music trio from the heart of Brooklyn.

Hampus Svard – His sound evolved from his once folk roots to his now broad electro-pop-rock sound, occasionally flirting with new wave and post punk.

The Hipp Pipps – Straight ahead all original Rock’n’Roll with a hepped up twist by 3 of NYC’s most beloved all the time indie scene players. If Chuck Berry, The Ramones, Eddie Cochran and Little Richard get you movin’ and groovin’, then prepare to love this band

Alan Lee And The Whiskey Bumps – Alan Lee & Whiskey Bumps combines classic country-style songwriting with a fast paced New York City sensibility. Welcome to our “Honky Tonk Circus“!

DonBlackKCAT And Friends  – A New York City Rock and Roll outfit that stays true to it’s 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 Merill 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.

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