Category Archives: Philadelphia Soul

CULT CLASSIC: THE MANHATTANS-THERE’S NO ME WITHOUT YOU.

Cult Classic: The Manhattans-There’s No Me Without You. Like so many other soul groups, success took time to come The Manhattans’ way.  The Manhattans had already released seven albums before making a commercial breakthrough with 1976s The Manhattans. It was certified gold, and 1977s It Feels So Good and 1980s After Midnight repeated the feat. However, …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE IMPRESSIONS-ABOUT TIME.

Cult Classic: The Impressions-About Time. For any group, losing their lead singer can derail their fortunes. In some cases, this can prove fatal. It’s a body blow that the group never recovers from. Especially when the lead singer happens to have written many of the group’s biggest hits. This was the case with The Impressions. …

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READY OR NOT-THOM BELL’S PHILLY SOUL ARRANGEMENTS AND PRODUCTIONS 1965-1978.

Ready Or Not-Thom Bell’s Philly Soul Arrangements & Productions 1965-1978. Label: Kent Soul. Format: CD. In the late-sixties and seventies Thom Bell was one of the architects of Philly Soul, and worked with everyone from The Delfonics, The Stylistics and The Spinners to M.F.S.B., The O’Jays, Three Degrees and New York City. Artists came from …

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CULT CLASSIC: M.F.S.B.-UNIVERSAL LOVE.

Cult Classic: M.F.S.B.-Universal Love. Unlike Motown, countless books haven’t been written about Philadelphia International Records. That’s a missed opportunity, as there are many stories waiting to be told. Until now, only parts of the Philadelphia International Records’ story has been told. Many of those who played an important part in the rise and rise of Philadelphia International Records, haven’t had …

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SOUL VOICES-60S BIG BALLADS.

Soul Voices-60s Big Ballads. Label: Kent Soul. For many soul afficianados, the sixties was a golden age with labels like Stax, Atco, Goldwax and Motown releasing some of their best and most successful singles. Five decades later, and some of these singles are now regarded as classics and are favourites of radio DJs.  Sadly, many other …

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CULT CLASSIC: EL TURRONERO-NEW HONDO.

Cult Classic: El Turronero-New Hondo. All to often, music that was way ahead of its time failed to find the audience it deserves. It’s only much later when the music is reevaluated by a new generation of record buyers who realise and recognise the importance of the music. That has been the case time after …

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YESTERDAY HAS GONE-THE SONGS OF TEDDY RANDAZZO.

Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo. Label: Ace Records. The name Teddy Randazzo means different things to different people.  To some, he’s the singer who had Billboard 100 hits with 1958s Little Serenade, 1960s The Way Of A Clown and Big Wide World in 1963. He featured in  rock revues alongside Chuck Berry and …

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AMERICAN TUNES-SONGS BY PAUL SIMON.

American Tunes-Songs By Paul Simon. Label: Ace Records. Ace Record’s critically acclaimed and commercially successful Songwriter Series is one of their  longest-running compilation series. It’s featured songs by such luminaries as Burt Bacharach, Harry Nilsson, Dan Penn, Serge Gainsbourg and Tony Hatch. There’s also been compilations featuring the music of some of the greatest songwriting …

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TANI DISCO RUMBA AND FLAMENCO BOOGIE 1976-1979.

Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979. Label: Pharaway Sounds. Ever since the birth of rock ’n’ roll in the fifties, American music has influenced musicians, producers and songwriters in different parts of the world. When they heard the latest new music coming out of America, they’ve often incorporated elements of it into the music …

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EL TURRONERO-NEW HONDO.

El Turronero-New Hondo. Label: Pharaway Sounds.  All to often, music that was way ahead of its time failed to find the audience it deserves. It’s only much later when the music is reevaluated by a new generation of record buyers who realise and recognise the importance of the music. That has been the case time …

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NOTHING BUT A HOUSE PARTY: THE BIRTH OF THE PHILLY SOUND 1967-71.

Nothing But A House Party: The Birth Of The Philly Sound 1967-71. Kent Soul. During the seventies, Philadelphia rose to become America’s soul capital. This began in 1971, when Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff founded Philadelphia International Records, which became home to some of the finest purveyors of the Philly Sound, including Harold Melvin and …

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THE BETTYE SWANN STORY.

THE BETTYE SWANN STORY. The Bettye Swann story is a case of what might might have been. She could’ve and should’ve been one of the biggest names in sou music. That looked like being the case when Bettye Swann released her debut single Don’t Wait To Long in 1964. Three years later, in 1967, Betty Swann was …

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SOME KINDA MAGIC-THE SONGS OF JERRY ROSS.

SOME KINDA MAGIC-THE SONGS OF JERRY ROSS. Growing up in Philadelphia, Jerry Ross dreamt of becoming a trumpeter and singer. While this dreams never came quite true, Jerry went on to live the dream musically. Jerry Ross became a hugely successful songwriter and producer. He also worked in A&R and owned his own record companies. Jerry …

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THE O’JAYS SHIP AHOY-VINYL EDITION.

THE O’JAYS SHIP AHOY-VINYL EDITION. In August 1972, when The O’Jays’ released Back Stabbers, little did they realize how important an album it would become. Back Stabbers was certified gold, and fourteen years after The O’Jays were formed, were on their way to becoming one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups in …

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BETTYE SWANN-THE VERY BEST OF BETTYE SWANN.

BETTYE SWANN-THE VERY BEST OF BETTYE SWANN. The Bettye Swann story was a case of what might might have been. She could’ve and should’ve been one of the biggest names in sou music. That looked like being the case. Bettye Swann released her debut single Don’t Wait To Long in 1964. Three years later, Betty Swann …

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THE LONDON AMERICAN LABEL YEAR BY YEAR 1966.

THE LONDON AMERICAN LABEL YEAR BY YEAR 1966. For a generation of British teenagers who embarked upon a lifelong love affair with music during the fifties and sixties, the London American Recordings will forever have a place in their heart. London American Recordings was the label that introduced a British music lovers to American pop, …

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M.F.S.B.-UNIVERSAL LOVE.

M.F.S.B.-UNIVERSAL LOVE. Unlike Motown, books haven’t been written about Philadelphia International Records. That’s a missed opportunity, as there are many stories waiting to be told. Until now, only parts of the Philadelphia International Records’ story has been told. Many of those who played an important part in the rise and rise of Philadelphia International Records, haven’t had their story told. That’s …

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THE MANHATTANS-THERE’S NO ME WITHOUT YOU.

THE MANHATTANS-THERE’S NO ME WITHOUT YOU. Like so many other groups, success took time to come The Manhattans’ way.  Indeed, The Manhattans released seven albums before making a commercial breakthrough with 1976s The Manhattans. It was certified gold, and 1977s It Feels So Good and 1980s After Midnight repeated the feat. However, before their 1976 …

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THE O’JAYS SHIP AHOY.

THE O’JAYS SHIP AHOY. In August 1972, when The O’Jays’ released Back Stabbers, little did they realize how important an album it would become. Back Stabbers was certified gold, and fourteen years after The O’Jays were formed, were on their way to becoming one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups in the …

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THE BEST FIFTEEN BOX SETS OF 2014.

THE BEST FIFTEEN BOX SETS OF 2014. As anyone with a penchant for box sets knows, that box shapes come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the CDs or vinyl comes in a basic box, other times, the box set is luxurious and lovingly compiled. Examples of both feature in my list of the fifteen …

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