June 10, 2013 |
'Gamble-Huff-Bell Music. " The first two names listed on the sign above the doorway at the Philadelphia International Records offices at 309 S. Broad St. are those most closely associated with the sophisticated soul music that became universally known as "The Sound of Philadelphia" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But there were more than two major players writing the Philadelphia chapter in the great American soul-music history books. Along with Philadelphia International Records owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, there was also Thom Bell, the producer, arranger, and songwriter known for the delectably sweet music he made with the Delfonics and the Stylistics.
February 13, 1986 |
The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame should be here because of the "Philly Sound" and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and Dick Clark and "Bandstand" and Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell and Teddy Pendergrass and the Blue Notes and Fabian and Frankie Avalon and Dee Dee Sharp and Kal Rudman and Mike Douglas and steaks and pretzels and hoagies and when they're through with that stuff, they can come to Patti LaBelle's house for fried chicken.
June 11, 1997 |
Hundreds of spectators seated inside a concert hall at the Convention Center one night last week swayed to the music and lip-synched the words to a Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' hit being performed on stage: If you don't know me by now, you will never, never, never know me. Oooooouuu. That just may be Bernie Wilson's greatest fear. As Harold Melvin's Blue Notes stepped and sang the legendary 1970s-era "If You Don't Know Me By Now," a band of protesters demonstrated on the street on behalf of three men who say they immortalized the ballad.
July 4, 2003 |
Safa Alston threw her head back, took a big gulp of air, and belted out a sultry, soulful "thank you," stretching out the vowels as if her vocal cords were made of Silly Putty, after she won the It's a Wrap singing contest last night. Dressed in a red tank top and a white-and-black polka-dot skirt with a tulle lining peeking out from under it, the 20-year-old Mount Airy resident tearfully accepted the prize, which includes a chance to record with Philadelphia International Records.
December 28, 2010 |
Bernard Wilson, 64, who helped define the Sound of Philadelphia as a longtime member of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died Sunday. Mr. Wilson, a North Philadelphia native, was part of the classic lineup during the early and mid-1970s that was responsible for such hits as "If You Don't Know Me by Now," "The Love I Lost," "Don't Leave Me This Way," and "Bad Luck. " He was the flashiest member, recalled Lloyd Parks, at 61 the last surviving member of the group that rose to fame under the legendary producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.
July 1, 2008 |
Kenny Gamble and Patti LaBelle have collaborated on "I Am an American," a patriotic recording that will be played during the Welcome America! celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Friday. Gamble, the cofounder of Philadelphia International Records who recently was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his partner Leon Huff, produced the adaptation of the song that was originally conceived by Father Divine, founder of the International Peace Mission Movement.
April 22, 2003
KENNY GAMBLE is just like every other South Philly guy who ever sold a mainline mansion to move back into his old rowhouse block and invest $5 million and the rest of his life recreating the nurturing neighborhood he grew up in. Okay, so there's only one guy like that. But one may be enough. Because what started as a dream grew into a vision then an obsession and now a comprehensive plan. Universal Companies, the amalgam of enterprises Gamble runs from an office near his boyhood home, is intimately involved in every aspect of the commercial and civic life of his old neighborhood.
March 25, 1997 |
Harold Melvin, the singer who led the R&B group the Blue Notes and fostered the talent of Teddy Pendergrass, died yesterday morning at his Chestnut Hill home. Mr. Melvin, 57, was surrounded by a large contingent of family and friends, said a daughter, Trudy. "I'm glad he is at peace," she said. "But I'm sorry that he's not here with us anymore. " Mr. Melvin had been ill since suffering a stroke in July. Bedridden and unable to speak, he was hospitalized from October until February, when his family asked that he be allowed to return home.
August 17, 1993 |
There's nothing like your own brass plaque on Broad Street to get a guy all misty about Philly. Well, in Daryl Hall's case, technically it's half a plaque - he shares the Philadelphia Music Alliance award (which you can walk past between Pine and Walnut streets) with longtime partner John Oates. But it hasn't even been five months yet, so who could blame him for writing a love song about the City of Brotherly Love? (Well, Hall didn't actually write the song by himself either - he shares the credit with Peter Lord, Jeff Smith and Alan Gorrie - but we're sure the idea was all his.)
October 7, 1987 |
Nowadays, the name Richard Barrett doesn't mean all that much to pop music followers. But back in the 1950s, in the golden era of street-corner "doo-wop" harmony groups, Philadelphian Richard Barrett was thought to be a genuine starmaker - a singer, songwriter and producer with the "best ears" in the business. In partnership with Rama Records' George Goldner, Barrett is credited with finding the Chantels, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Isley Brothers and most importantly to doo-wop history, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.