Milwaukee music legend Harvey Scales will be honored for his stellar career as a song writer, singer and musician during a neighborhood appreciation day block party Saturday, August 31.
Scales will receive an award for artistic achievement from Mayor Tom Barrett and a state proclamation from State Sen. Lena Taylor. The block party, which will be held on 20th Street between Hampton Avenue and Fairmount from noon until 6 p.m., will promote pride, safety and celebrate the beginning of another school year.
“Our goal is to make our community (Milwaukee’s Black community) a better and safer place for families, seniors, children and businesses,” says Pastor Charline Britt, one of the event organizers.
Britt is calling on the community to donate school supplies, meat for grilling, prizes for games and competitions, as well as a stage and sound system. “Sponsors will be included on all event advertisements and kept informed on the progress of our project, Britt stressed.”
Active in the music industry locally and nationally since the 1960s, Scales has composed songs for groups such as The Dells, The Dramatics and The O’Jays. He is particularly notable for co-writing the hit songs, “Love-Itis” and “Disco Lady,” a song made famous by R&B legend Johnnie Taylor.
In Milwaukee, before he broke onto the national scene as a songwriter, Scales was known as “Twistin’ Harvey.” In 1961, he and his longtime friend, the late Albert Vance, formed the group, Harvey Scales and The Seven Sounds, which released several singles. At the block party, many friends and musicians will be honoring Scales with tributes in words and song.
Wendell J. Harris of the Cream City Blues Foundation, one of the event organizers, will announce the launch of The Harvey Scales Fund, which is aimed at helping retired musicians and entertainers in need of assistance or who have medical needs.
Old Landmark Deliverance Outreach Ministry and Geon Lead Safe Company are also primary organizers.
“We’re excited to see folks coming together for something so positive,” said event co-planner Joan Hollingsworth, who noted there is still time for more people to get involved. “The kids need school supplies to fill these backpacks and more raffle prizes would be appreciated too.”
The event has already garnered the support of many community organizations and promises to be a neighborhood win. Citizen involvement is always important for such events like this and the neighborhood is demonstrating their commitment in creating a fun day for all.
There will be many activities for people of all ages; but perhaps one of the most exciting will be that Buffalo Soldiers will provide horseback rides for children, five free haircuts will be given.
For more information on a great family event that will be honoring a Milwaukee legend those interested can contact Pastor Charline Britt at 414- 364-0855; or Joan Hollingsworth at 414-446-2305. Spaces and sponsorships are still available.