Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. announced, during a press conference at the University Heights Bridge on Thursday, June 12, that Grandmaster Caz, Adam Rodriguez, the Rock Steady Crew, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Larry Chance and The Earls will enjoy an Orchard Beach reception on Saturday, June 21, before their official induction ceremony the following day at the corner of Grand Concourse and E. 161 Street.
“I congratulate the new members of the Walk of Fame and celebrate their contributions to the borough,” Carrion said during the press conference to officially kick off Bronx Week, a series of events celebrating the borough’s culture, community and business.
The event culminates in the $300-a-plate Bronx Ball and following day induction ceremonies honoring the Bronx’ best.
Grandmaster Caz, also known as Curtis Brown, is one of the Top 10 greatest Hip Hop Emcees of all time. As D.J. Casanova Fly, he battled other Bronx D.J.’s and earned the title “Grandmaster” in 1976 after performing a lightning fast turntable exhibition.
In 1979, Caz became captain and head writer for The Cold Crush Brothers and wrote the lyrics to The Sugar-Hill Gang’s smash hit “Rapper’s Delight.”
Actor Adam Rodriguez’s career began with a stint on the Cosby Show at age 10, and took off years later when being cast in a recurring role in NYPD Blue. He also worked with Jennifer Lopez in her “If You Had My Love” video. Both celebrity icons hail from the Castle Hill section of the Bronx.
The Rock Steady Crew is a group of Hip Hop pioneers who are known worldwide. First forming in 1977 under the leadership of the Bronx’ Jimmy D and Jojo, in 1992, the dance group, which has seen several talented rappers over the years, got a standing ovation after a performance at the Kennedy Center Honors where President George Bush was in attendance.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology in 1980 with her radio program Sexually Speaking. Dr. Ruth, as she’s commonly known, has authored more than 25 books on human sexuality and was named “Mother of the Year” by the National Mother’s Day Committee.
In 1957, Larry Chance started the doo-wop group that would eventually become known as The Earls. Larry and company placed many hit songs on the charts in the early 1960’s, including “Life is But a Dream,” “Never I Believe” and the classic “Remember Then.” Chance continues to create music as a recording artist and sound engineer today.
“They are an example and inspiration for our future actors, doctors and musicians,” said Carrion. “Thanks to people like them we can keep adding names along Grand Concourse.”