Stephen Eppy Epstein

Grammy Award winning songwriter Linda Creed was born today (December 6, 1948) in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.

Creed was a 20-year-old French Jew and an aspiring poet/songwriter who got the bug to be in the industry after seeing Smokey Robinson & The Miracles perform on Dick Clark’s Philadelphia-based show, American Bandstand.

Death12 May 2006
BurialTrevose, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA
PlotSection DD, Lot 41, Grave 1
Memorial ID181960375

Linda Creed got involved in the Philly Soul scene after she met Thom Bell in 1969 through Randy Cain, a member of Philadelphia soul group, The Delfonics.

She immediately hit it off with Bell, who was the third member of the Gamble & Huff publishing company Mighty Three Music.

Linda Creed’s first song was published in 1970, after she linked Gamble, Huff & Thom Bell for Dusty Springfield’s song “(I Wanna Be A) Free Girl.”.

Despite working with mostly black musicians, Creed was welcomed by all at Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International’s offices.

“We never saw her as a real live girl, a female that could be in love and cry,” Thom Bell said.

  • “She was just as rough as any of us.
  • No one even called her ‘Linda’ around us.
  • That didn’t even sound right!
  • She was just Creed. She’d been around us so long that no paid any attention to her.”. Creed’s husband, Stephen “Eppy” Epstein saw things different. In the book A House on Fire: The Rise of and Fall of Philadelphia Soul, Epstein said there were rumors that Creed and Thom Bell were having an affair, until their success together proved they were simply partners.

The roots of Eppy’s rock n’ roll legacy

Slow beginnings give way to musical discoveries

(It’s important to note that Epstein dabbled in the music industry, most notably as the manager for Philly drug gang/rap group The R.A.M.

In 1971, the famous Thom Bell-Linda Creed songwriting team kicked off with The Stylistics’ “Stop, Look, Listen.”. If you listen closely, you can hear Linda Creed singing background vocals with Thom Bell and Barbara Ingram on the Stylistics’ track “You Are Everything.”.

With Thom Bell or other song writers, Linda Creed penned a number of soul classics including “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “Stop Look and Listen,” “Ghetto Child” and “Living Just A Little,” by The Spinners.

Tragically, Creed died on April 10, 1986 at the age of 37, after a ten-year battle with breast cancer.

Her song about breast cancer, “The Greatest Love of All,” was originally recorded by Georgia Benson and turned into a #1 smash by Whitney Houston the same month she passed in 1986. In addition to her songs, Linda Creed’s legacy is carried on through the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation.
Federal authorities, who have seized the cash, are not saying much about the case. But the sketchy details and the cast of characters sound like a story line from The Friends of Eddie Coyle, a classic movie about low-level wiseguys in the Boston underworld, or the sequel to The Town, the Ben Affleck movie based on a group of Charlestown bank robbers.
A six-page forfeiture complaint filed in federal court in New York in February includes the allegation that the money was part of a drug deal and the assertion that Coyman was working for 180 Entertainment Inc., a Philadelphia-based company whose business address is a house in the Northeast. Records indicate that the house, in the 200 block of Parkview Drive, is owned by Anthony S. Fedele Jr., described by law enforcement sources as an associate of mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino.
The next big thing in music — in person and on the air

In a telephone interview after last week's hearing, DiLibero said the cash was being returned to an entertainment promoter in North Carolina who was helping Burke finance a concert in Boston.

When the concert deal fell through, Burke wanted to return the money.

DiLibero declined to identify the North Carolina businessman but said the man would be filing an affidavit supporting Burke's claim.

Burke, like Coyman, is from Charlestown just north of Boston.

Like Coyman, he also has a criminal history, having served nearly 20 years on bank-robbery and drug charges.

Released from prison in 2010, he was recently sent back to jail on a parole-violation charge.

"He's a stand-up guy who was trying to return the money," the lawyer said, adding that Burke did not trust or understand the more sophisticated systems for transferring cash.

Instead, he chose a courier, which is what he would have done 20 years ago.

"Guys who've been away that long don't trust anybody," he said.

"This guy didn't know what a cellphone was when he came out."

To date, the story has played out this way:. Coyman boarded a train in Boston on Aug.

A few hours later he stepped onto the platform in New York's Pennsylvania Station, where he collapsed.

Efforts to revive him failed.

He had suffered a massive heart attack.

In an attempt to identify him, authorities looked in the backpack he was carrying and found "two plastic bags filled with a large amount of United States currency bundled with rubber bands," according to the government's forfeiture claim.

The cash totaled $179,980.

Coyman was also carrying a black briefcase.

Later, drug-sniffing dogs "alerted" to both the backpack and the briefcase, "indicating the presence of narcotics," according to the complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.


Three decades on, ‘Eppy’ Epstein reopens his iconic Long Island venue My Father’s Place, where some of the world’s most famous bands got their start

Court documents provide few other details, but the incident is now part of an ongoing DEA investigation.

In their court papers, federal authorities said that Coyman's son William, who lives in California, was contacted by investigators and said he had no claim to the money.

Cover photo and vital information

The younger Coyman said a friend of his father's told him his father was working for 180 Entertainment and was on his way to Philadelphia to deliver $180,000 in cash.


Investigators point out, however, that Amtrak records indicated that Coyman had purchased a ticket from Boston to New York, not Philadelphia.

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Last week when asked about the source of the cash, Fedele offered the same explanation as DiLibero; the money was originally part of a deal to set up a concert. When the concert deal fell through, Fedele said, Burke decided to send the money back.


Fedele said he believes Coyman was supposed to meet with a representative of the North Carolina concert promoter in New York City.

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Why cash rather than a wire transfer or check?

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That, said Fedele, is just one of the quirks of the "concert and club business." "People deal in cash," he said, comparing it to politics and street money.

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Fedele said he got his start in the entertainment business through the late Stephen "Eppy" Epstein, a well-known Philadelphia music producer and longtime Merlino friend.


He said he met Merlino through Epstein and stayed in contact after Merlino was jailed on racketeering charges in 1999.

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The 180 Entertainment company was set up to develop movie deals, he said.

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From prison, Merlino suggested Burke's history as a bank robber as a possibility.

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Merlino and Burke were fellow inmates at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Burke agreed to provide his life rights to the company in exchange for a deal that made him a partner, Fedele said.

The concert promotion was something that Burke undertook using 180 Entertainment, he said.

The company is also trying to secure the life rights to the story of a former member of the Junior Black Mafia in Philadelphia and of a Croatian nationalist Burke met in prison with Merlino.

Fedele said that he has not spoken with Merlino in a few months but that he sees him on occasion when he is in Florida.

Merlino, who was released from prison last year, is living in a posh condo in Boca Raton and according to Fedele is now focused on developing and opening a restaurant in the area.

One of the cars Merlino is driving in Florida, a late-model Sonata, belongs to Fedele's mother.

"Joey said he needed a car, and my mother, who lives in Florida, wasn't using hers, so I told him he could drive it," Fedele said.

A movie on Merlino's life no longer seems possible, he added.

"Joey heard John Gotti Jr.

was getting $3 million, which wasn't true, but Joey wanted $4 million," Fedele said.

"That's not going to happen." NEW YORK — The record studio wasn’t available that night in 1973, so the owner of music bar My Father’s Place, Michael “Eppy” Epstein, decided to broadcast his regular live weekly radio concert directly from his Long Island venue — a technological feat at the time.

The broadcast was to be the second performance at My Father’s Place for a young musician eliciting comparisons to a young Bob Dylan: Bruce Springsteen.

This was two years before “Born To Run” informed the world of The Boss’ musical genius.

According to Epstein, Springsteen was a bit anxious leading up to the broadcast.

They smoked a joint backstage before The Boss went out for WLIR’s first live broadcast from My Father’s Place.

Springsteen looked out at the tiny crowd.

“Well, here we are, on the radio,” he said to begin the broadcast.

“Damn, radio’s a nervous business.”.

Springsteen paused to gather himself for a moment.

“We were playing at Max’s Kansas City a few weeks ago. And some cat asked what Asbury Park [New Jersey] is really like… So I played them this song,” he said.

Bruce Springsteen and Suki Lahav, on stage together in Philadelphia in this 1974 illustrative image.

(photo credit: YouTube screenshot). Springsteen opened with “Fourth of July, Asbury Park” — months before its release — for a few dozen audience members and countless others on the FM airwaves.

The nerves eased away, and Springsteen delivered an epic hour-long performance.

“It was clear he was the future of rock n’ roll right there,” said Epstein.

“What they were doing was so different.”. My Father’s Place, a divey Long Island night club advertising “IRISH COFFEE,” was the unlikely venue that helped launch stars such as Springsteen, Billy Joel and The Ramones.

During its heyday in the ’70s and ’80s, music fans lined up outside My Father’s Place and young part-owner Epstein was living every Jewish kid’s dream. Innovative business partnerships thought up by Epstein — such as live radio broadcasts — turned My Father’s Place into a staple of the populous suburban enclave.

In time, the venue was written into the pages of rock history for its role in exposing emerging genres such as reggae, punk and new wave before they were all over American radio waves.

My Father’s Place, in Roslyn, New York.

(Steve Rosenfeld). During his lifetime of musical exploits, Epstein says he has been privileged to have his “ass straightened out” by Bob Marley on “politics, ethics and how to be a human,” and learned what the Deep South was really like from Macon, Georgia’s legendary Duane Allman.

But first, he laughs, he was just another “spoiled Jewish kid from Rockville Center.”.

This June, 30 years after the original My Father’s Place closed, the 71-year-old bandana-brandishing hippie reopened his club.

He still works tooth and nail to find and promote the next big thing in music: No cover bands, no crappy music — it’s a set of principles he preaches to the next generation of promoters and performers alike.

My Father’s Place, now reimagined as a supper club with world-class cuisine in a converted ballroom at The Roslyn Hotel, still hosts a lot of the musical acts and fans that frequented the old place a few blocks away.

But whether or not the venue that helped make Billy Joel and countless other household names will recapture its glory days, its first incarnation helped launch legends.

Hall and Oates at My Father’s Place. (Steve Rosenfeld). Epstein was born into a family of Jewish hustlers with a history of snubbing their noses at authorities.
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