January 31, 2012 |
A BIG BLAST of Philly's past, a couple of high-profile duds and more buzz-worthy album releases from the "four corners of the earth" grab our ears this week. A LANDMARK DATE: In just its first year out of the gate, backed by the music giant CBS, Philadelphia International Records had already scored a handful of hit singles, including Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "I Miss You," the O'Jays' "Backstabbers" and Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones. " But most of the men and women toiling at CBS's "Black Rock" HQ in New York and at the music giant's 21 branch offices hadn't really connected with these talents.
September 11, 2010 |
A South Philadelphia ironworker who admitted setting fire to the Center City studio of music legends Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff while in a drunken stupor was sentenced Friday to 1 1/2 to 10 years in prison. Christopher Cimini, 28, apologized and told Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson that he had no memory of breaking into Philadelphia International Records at Broad and Spruce Streets or of why he set the building ablaze. The fire caused $3.5 million in damage, destroying the studios where Gamble and Huff created "the Sound of Philadelphia" and recorded such artists as Patti LaBelle and Teddy Pendergrass.
September 13, 2011 |
FORMER Gamble and Huff recording artist Archie Bell, of Archie Bell and the Drells, claims that Philadelphia International Records is tightening up on his royalties and keeping everything outta sight. In a lawsuit filed recently in Texas federal court, Bell, a Houston resident, claims that he was "induced" into signing a contract with Gamble and Huff years ago. Bell doesn't detail how he was "induced," but he claims that after signing, the record company didn't give him all the royalties he was owed, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by Courthouse News Service.
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.
April 3, 2013 |
WHAT A DIFFERENCE one song can make. Nobody knows that better than Billy Paul, the veteran Philadelphia jazz and R&B song stylist whose career soared to the stars in the early '70s with "Me and Mrs. Jones," his brilliantly nuanced portrayal from the cheatin' side of town. In "Am I Black Enough for You" - the brutally honest documentary about the man born Paul Williams and his wife, Blanche Williams - record mogul Clive Davis nails that superhit as "one of the most important performances and singles" of the hit-laden Philadelphia International Records catalog.
March 16, 2012 |
Who was that sweet lady passing out the Watchtower at 30th Street Station? And who would dare not take a copy from so earnest and charming a devotee of the faith? It was a devotion to the Jehovah's Witnesses that on many days led Ruby Gamble to hike from Stenton Avenue to City Hall with other witnesses, buttonholing passers-by and delivering their message of hope. Then she'd track down possible converts at the train station and other venues that might offer up interested people - or at least the curious.
February 22, 2010 |
The Sound of Philadelphia was one of alarm yesterday when a fire, which broke out at Philadelphia International Records, was later determined by officials to be "suspicious. " "It's a shocker that someone might want to do this purposefully," said Chuck Gamble, executive vice president of Philadelphia International Records. "Especially given what the Sound of Philadelphia means not only to people in this city, but around the world. " Fire broke out at 7:28 a.m. in the building on Broad and Spruce streets - where legends such as Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass and Michael Jackson have recorded.
September 8, 2012 |
Carl Gamble, 65, of East Mount Airy, brother of famed Philadelphia music producer Kenny Gamble, died Sunday, Aug. 26, at his home after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Gamble worked as head of security for his brother's label, Philadelphia International Records, and wrote several songs, including "We All Got a Mission" and "False Faces" for the singer Billy Paul. Known as "Beans," Mr. Gamble was described by his family as a great teller of jokes and stories. "He was my brother, my friend, and he will really be missed," said Kenny Gamble, founder of Universal Cos., a community activist organization.
August 21, 1998 |
The Phyllis Hyman recording that was released right after she killed herself June 30, 1995, was filled with anguish, hurt and pain. Some say it reflected her mind-set. Titled "I Refuse to be Lonely," the disc contained some affirmations of love, but they were overwhelmed by sad songs, tunes of dark desperation and self-doubt. Then there was her appearance on the CD's jacket cover. Overly thick eyeliner circled her big, beautiful eyes. I guess she was trying to give a semblance of sultriness, looking at us from under that big hat. But she failed, looking more empty than sexy.
January 17, 2008 |
Who's backstabbing who? Last week, the O'Jays, the R&B group whose 1970s signature hits included "For the Love of Money," "Back Stabbers," and "I Love Music," sued Philadelphia International Records and its owners, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, accusing them of theft, larceny and misappropriation of royalties. Yesterday, Gamble and Huff said that they're the ones who are, in effect, being stabbed in the back. In a statement released by their public relations firm, Gamble and Huff responded to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, in which O'Jays founders Eddie Levert Sr. and Walter Williams claim that the record company failed to comply with a 2006 court-ordered agreement to pay them royalties.