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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to the summer of 1985 in Philadelphia, when the city was rocked—in almost every sense of the word—by two unprecedented events: Mayor W. Wilson Goode’s May 13 decision to bomb the headquarters of MOVE, a controversial Philadelphia-based radical communal organization, and the July 13 Live Aid concert, where international rock royalty convened in Philly to raise money for victims of the Ethiopian famine. 

Separated by just two months and eight miles, these events would showcase both the best and the worst of the so-called City of Brotherly Love: One would raise millions of dollars for famine victims in Africa, while the other would lead to the death of 11 members of MOVE, including five children, who had all taken the last name of their leader, John Africa. The bombing led to a fire that was allowed to burn for hours, resulting in the destruction of a middle-class African American neighborhood. Those wounds remain raw more than 35 years later.

Created by Chris Morrow, produced by Kevin Hart and Charlamagne tha God’s SBH Productions, and narrated by Hart, a Philadelphia native, Summer of '85 marks the first attempt to connect these two events and detail the incredible irony (and tragedy) of Philadelphia hosting a benefit for Africa the same summer it bombed a thriving African American neighborhood. Featuring candid interviews with participants such as Bob Geldof, Patti LaBelle, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Mike Africa Jr., the series explores the complex history that resulted in these outlier events paired by proximity and a combustible mix of ego, altruism, prejudice, utopian dreams, and human frailty.

©2022 SBH Productions, LLC (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC

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About the Executive Producer and Narrator: Kevin Hart

Emmy & Grammy nominated Kevin Hart was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he launched his career as a comedian during an amateur night at a local comedy club. Over the years Hart has become Hollywood’s box office powerhouse, opening ten films at number one at the box office and grossing more than in $4.23 billion global revenue. Hart has also become a successful Entrepreneur; he is Chairman of HARTBEAT; a global, multi-platform media company creating entertainment at the intersection of comedy and culture with a mission to keep the world laughing together. The next generation media company unites Hartbeat Productions’ best-in-class TV & film production capabilities with Laugh Out Loud’s expansive distribution network, along with its marketing, sales, experiential, branded content, digital and social capabilities. Hart is also the Founder of HartBeat Ventures. Together, these companies play an integral role part in building Hart’s eco-system for extraordinary growth and creativity. Hart continues to develop, star, and produce feature films, television, and podcasts via HARTBEAT for his various partners which include Netflix, Peacock, Sirius XM and Audible. Hart is currently touring nationally with his eighth hour of stand-up material; the tour is titled The Reality Check Tour. In 2020 Hart released his seventh hour long stand-up special, Zero Fu**ks Given, which quickly became Netflix's biggest stand-up special of 2020 and earned him a Grammy nomination for "Best Comedy Album". Hart also earned Emmy nominations for Die Hart, for "Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series" along with an Emmy nomination for his Docu-series, Don’t F**k This Up. Kevin is a New York Times Best Selling author twice over and his first Audible original, The Decision, was nominated for an Audie award for "Best Original Audiobook in 2021." Kevin is a founding partner in two companies: the premium tequila brand Gran Coramino, and plant based quick serve restaurant Hart House. Kevin’s brand partnerships include Gran Coramino, Hart House, Fabletics Men, Chase J.P Morgan, Hydrow, NutraBolt, Brüush, Tommy John and Therabody.
About the Executive Producer: Charlamagne Tha God
Lenard "Charlamagne Tha God" McKelvey is a multimedia mogul, Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and best-selling author. One of the most potent, influential, and authoritative thought leaders in modern culture, he co-hosts the hottest radio show in the US, The Breakfast Club, heard by over 4.5 million listeners daily, as well as hosts Tha God’s Honest Truth, a late-night show on Comedy Central co-created with Stephen Colbert. With nearly two decades at the pulse of culture in TV and radio, Charlamagne has extended the magnitude of his burgeoning media empire with several landmark partnerships including The Black Effect Podcast Network, a historic 50-50 joint venture with iHeartMedia, the world’s number one commercial podcast publisher; SBH Productions, the audio production company created for a global multi-year, multi-project development, production, and audio licensing partnership with renowned comedian, actor, and writer Kevin Hart; and Black Privilege Publishing, a partnership that aligns with his mission to bring potent, culturally relevant content to the marketplace from emerging and renowned Black voices around the world. Additionally, Charlamagne is the author of The New York Times bestseller Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It and the globally embraced Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. With a deep passion for mental health, especially in the Black community, Charlamagne founded the Mental Wealth Alliance (MWA), his forward-thinking foundation created to destigmatize, accelerate, and center state-of-the-art mental health outreach and care across the U.S. while building an unprecedented long-term system of generational support for Black communities.

About the Creator

Chris Morrow is a New York Times best-selling author and critically acclaimed podcaster. Morrow is the co-creator and an editor on Gimlet’s award winning scripted Hip-Hop series Mogul. In 2013 he co-founded The Loud Speakers Network with the late Reggie "Combat Jack" Osse, home to shows like The Read, Brilliant Idiots, and The Combat Jack Show. In addition to his groundbreaking work in podcasting, Morrow has also co-authored six New York Times best sellers, including Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Black Privilege and Shook Ones with Charlamange Tha God, Do You! Happy Vegan and Success Through Stillness with Russell Simmons and Manology with Rev Run and Tyrese.

About the Producer

As the Head of Production for SBH, Nicole Shelton oversees an exciting slate of original scripted programs. Shelton is a Grammy nominated and Audie award-winning director and producer, and prior to her current position she worked with an impressive array of A-List talent on their audio projects including Lupita Nyong’o's Sulwe, Matthew McConaughey's Greenlights, Tiffany Haddish's The Last Black Unicorn, and Laurence Fishburne on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. With over 20 years of experience in entertainment ranging from live music to special event programming, her past clients include Vh1, MTV Networks, TNT, Food Network, and NBA Entertainment. Shelton loves the work she does and would like to see more opportunities for people of color and women in the audio space.

About the Producer

Tara Thomas is an Emmy-nominated producer and director of TV and Audio Documentaries and Nonfiction programming. She was the co-creator of the PBS Emmy-nominated documentary series Curious, and a producer on these acclaimed series: Nature, Slavery and the Making of America, Secrets of the Dead, African American Lives, Dual Survival, and Parts Unknown. Tara also directs actors and authors narrating audiobooks and is a certified sommelier who does side gigs in the wine business.

About the Post Production Producer

Award-winning producer-editor-creator Abhita Austin is an indisputable talent who has innovatively mastered both the creative and the technical aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. As an alumna of New York University’s Music Technology program, Abhita began her career in the late '90s developing her music and audio production skills while working with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliot, Common and R&B legend Roy Ayers.
In 2009, Abhita expanded her creative vision and opened Hidden Chapel Studios, a post-production facility in the heart of Long Island, NY dedicated to amplifying original voices and telling untold stories. After a decade, Hidden Chapel Studios continues to provide a range of creative, technical, and logistical media services for artists, experts, and companies such as Warner Music Group, Simon & Schuster, Carnegie Hall, The Apollo, American Express, Serato, and Clinique. In addition, Abhita’s work has been featured in films designated as official selections at the Urbanworld and Sundance film festivals.

  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Summer of '85

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Informative and Inspiring

Kevin Hart delivering the message of the the “Summer of 85” makes total sense. Bravo to K. Hart and Charlemagne for taking on this story. Can’t wait to show the world the next steps.

5 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend

Now THIS is a story that needed to be talked about. I have family from Philadelphia and I recall what they went through that year. Very good story!

3 people found this helpful

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AMAZING!! LISTEN NOW!!

I listened to it over 2 days. I couldn't put it down. It was amazing. I am one of many who had never heard about the MOVE bombings. The research and thought put into this work is worth every minute. They did a masterful job of including all sides of the story. And it just wasn't one story!! The other stories were skillfully woven in. Every voice made a meaningful contribution to the narrative. And the narration?! I can listen to Kevin Hart read the instruction to IKEA furniture!! He just made it all come together. I will be telling everyone I know to listen to this very important, and ignored moment of American history.

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ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY EXCELLENT!

BestAufibleEver and i have listened to several hundred books. Factual, well balanced, fabulous guest speakers / I lived thru MOVE and remember it well! devastating chapter in Phils. history still unfolding as the community is ‘revitalized’ once again. The inability to compromise and communicate cost lives and more than 61 innocent families - the neighbors- their entire homes and all they had worked for. broken promises all around. KEVIN HART is a fabulous, masterful, compassionate story teller. his other audible books are fabulous also. he is an icon! i will listen again to this powerful and well documented true story, barbara capozzi

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Serial-esque

Not just white devils. I would’ve hated the MOVE people, but it was odd when it seemed more people cared about their belongings than those kids. This is a story of bad leadership. Live Aid was a cool story. I know more about ancient history than modern history. It was a cool look back for someone born just after this happened and NEVER heard of it. It makes you question humanity.

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Incredible narrative about Black solidarity and liberation!

This is one of the most incredible new podcasts connecting narratives about Black life and liberation movements across the world.

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Interesting Listen

This is an interesting listen and worth the purchase. I would recommend this to anyone,

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Crazy how I didn't know of this story

First in foremost, give it up to Chris Morrow for putting the story together and Kevin Hart for narrationing, he's no Morgan Freeman, but him telling this story was captivating.

as a Philadelphia native but only 29 years old it's crazy how this story wasn't bought up at end block parties or family gathering when the older folks talked about "back in my day" ok Boomer 😒😅. but man, this is insane now this happened in my backyard. i drive Lyft in the city and always wonder why the house on that area looked the way they did.

anywho this was a great listen. much appreciated. highy recommend. blah blah support K Hart and CThaGod #BlackOwned

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Incredibly well produced, gripping true stories

This is such a quick paced, gripping, and immersive telling of the 1985 MOVE Bombing and that summer's Live Aid concert. True crime fans will love this, as will history buffs.

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This is so educational

I felt like I was THERE! OMG very POWERFUL and well put together! So important.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen Thomas
  • 08-02-22

A story that I hadn’t heard about

A compelling documentary about an abomination that was covered up by the authorities . Sadly little changes. A story that was told and presented brilliantly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-22

Great listen.

Compelling, the story was one I knew a lot about with live aid, but the story about Philadelphia and the atrocities that happened there was all new to me, sad to think there are people who would do such a thing.
Loved the narration from Kevin Hart.

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  • Gemma Lye
  • 08-17-22

Excellent

Wonderfully written, researched and performed. A tragic and important part of history I never knew about.

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  • Book Addict
  • 08-16-22

Learnt new things

Wasn’t aware of MOVE or what happened in the background to Live Aid. Was a child when it occurred. Really interesting series and well narrated by Kevin. Was good to hear from different perspectives. Make sure you have a tissue or two handy.

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