Access To Rock

MGK Philly 500: Memorial Day Weekend

Our biggest music weekend of the year is here. The MGK Philly 500 returns for Memorial Day Weekend.

MGK Philly 500

The MGK “at work network” decides the entire order of the countdown. The list is in the hands of the passionate and knowledgeable MGK listeners who vote on our website. 

Vote for your favorites before your opportunity ends on Wednesday, May 24. You’ll even be automatically entered for a chance to win $500.

Two days later, the festivities start. Join Matt Cord at 1pm to hear the songs that just missed the cut for the Philly 500 in 2023. 

Andre Gardner will begin the countdown at 2pm on Friday, May 26.

It’s tough to think of a better feeling of freedom than a ride with the windows down in the beautiful weather with the best Rock & Roll songs of all time leading you into the first weekend of summer.

Liven up your holiday barbecue or a trip to the beach by asking your smart speaker to “Play 102.9 MGK” to enjoy the Philly 500 through the countdown all the way to NUMBER 1, named on Monday evening.

Who’s #1?

The all-time greats will rise to the top of the list. The top spot could go to classic rock stalwarts like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, or the Who once again.

Bruce Springsteen rocked the city of Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center in March, and he will return to do it again at Citizens Bank Park in August. Will “Born to Run” or “Thunder Road” get an extra boost with so many listeners excited to see the Boss?

Will Peter Frampton make another surprise rise with “Do You Feel Like We Do” in the first spot?

“Stairway to Heaven” has been called the greatest Rock & Roll song in history plenty of times before, but it’s up to our listeners to decide if the iconic Led Zeppelin classic should reclaim the top spot for the MGK Philly 500. 

Take a look at our past 15 winners before you decide who should top the list in 2023.

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  • "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd (2009)

    Roger Waters got the inspiration for “Comfortably Numb” while trying to handle a stomach bug before a show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

    He received a shot to deal with the pain, and one of the greatest songs in the history of Rock & Roll grew from his pain management. 

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin

  • The "Stairway To Heaven" Dynasty (2010-2013)

    It’s probably the song you think of first when you hear about classic rock.

    Robert Plant’s voice is more than likely ingrained in your head from the timeless classic that’s persisted since 1971 after the release of Led Zeppelin IV.

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How everything still turns to gold
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last
    When all are one and one is all, yeah
    To be a rock and not to roll

  • "A Day In The Life" by the Beatles (2014)

    There’s so many classics from the Beatles for our listeners to choose from. Some might say that “Let It Be” is the best they had to offer.

    Others might make a case for “Here Comes The Sun” or “Come Together.” There’s a reason why 25 Beatles songs made the list in 2022.

    However, the simple melody of “A Day in the Life” finished in the top spot for the first of two times in 2014.

    I read the news today, oh boy
    About a lucky man who made the grade
    And though the news was rather sad
    Well, I just had to laugh

  • "Hotel California" by the Eagles (2015)

    Don Henley wrote some of the most mysterious lyrics fans of Rock & Roll will ever hear for “Hotel California” in 1976.

    Regardless of the interpretation, the lyrics make the Eagles’ biggest hit even more alluring.

    Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
    She got the Mercedes Benz
    She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
    That she calls friends

  • "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles (2016)

    John Lennon spoke about the inspiration for “A Day in the Life” in 1981 in All We Are Saying.

    “I was reading the paper one day and noticed two stories. One was about the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash. On the next page was a story about four thousand potholes in the streets of Blackburn, Lancashire, that needed to be filled. Paul’s contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song, ‘I’d love to turn you on,’ that he’d had floating around in his head and couldn’t use. I thought it was a damn good piece of work.” -John Lennon

  • "Stairway To Heaven" by Led Zeppelin (2017)

    “Stairway to Heaven” made a comeback four years later.

    It’s tough to deny the greatness of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

    And a new day will dawn
    For those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter

  • "Hey Jude" by the Beatles (2018)

    It’s no surprise that the listeners voted to hear Paul McCartney sing the recognizable refrain.

    Na-na-na-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey, Jude

  • "Who Are You" by the Who (2019)

    The Who landed 10 songs on the list in 2022, including favorites “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” towards the top of the list.

    However, it was “Who Are You” that took the top spot just four years ago. 

    I woke up in a Soho doorway
    A policeman knew my name
    He said, “You can go sleep at home tonight
    If you can get up and walk away”

  • "Hey Jude" by the Beatles (2020)

    It always makes Andre Gardner happy when the Beatles get some extra love.

    Check out his weekly podcast, The Beatles Minute, for the best nuggets on Paul, John, George, and Ringo.

  • "Do You Feel Like We Do" by Peter Frampton (2021)

    The MGK “at work network” spoke with a surprising preference for a song that hadn’t always finished towards the top of Philly 500 list in previous years.

    Peter Frampton, however, had the perfect sendoff in the city of Philadelphia at the Met in July 2019. His reputation locally helped “Do You Feel Like We Do” gain the top spot in 2021.

    Woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand
    Whose wine, what wine, where the hell did I dine?
    Must have been a dream. I don’t believe where I’ve been
    Come on – let’s do it again

  • "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd (2022)

    It’s the quintessential Lynyrd Skynyrd song, and it’s stunning that it took so long for it to land in the top spot of the Philly 500.

    Enjoy “Free Bird” and other classics when Lynyrd Skynyrd performs with ZZ Top at MGK Big Gig on September 17 at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden.

    But if I stay here with you, girl
    Things just couldn’t be the same
    ‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
    And this bird you cannot change