Thursday, November 27, 2008

Audio Geek: Get on the Love Train...


Two of my favorite composer/producers, crafters of the Philly sound (The O'Jays, Billy Paul, Patti Labelle, Phyllis Hyman, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees, T.S.O.P., Soul Survivors, The Trammps, Stylistics, etc.) creators of the classic "Soul Train" theme, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are true originals. They couldn't be contained by Barry Gordy's Motown (though they politely demur on the question of that short-lived association), and founded their own label, Philadelphia International Records, to allow the development of their more expansive sound. The name says it all, produce the music locally, disseminate the love globally.

As Gamble says, "Philadelphia International was about spreading love." Gamble and Huff have a new box set coming out called Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia which includes work from both before and during the Philadelphia International era.

Check out the November 26, 2008 NPR interview of Gamble and Huff with Fresh Air's Terri Gross. (above the contemporary Gamble and Huff, below, the "legendary duo" back in the day)


Endnote:
• "The Sound of Philadelphia: Heard Around the World" CNN profile from November 20, 2008
• Gamble and Huff, 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees profile.
• Profile of Gamble and Huff from ThatPhillySound.com
BrotherMen, a "performance-based documentary" featuring "five African American men who through their art transmit the historic, political and cultural realities of the African American experience." Includes profiles of Gamble & Huff, documentary photographer Chester Higgins, Jr, musician/songwriter Pops Staples (The Staple Singers), and choreographer/performer David Roussève.

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