Tag Archives: Sweethearts of Sigma

THE DETROIT SPINNERS-HAPPINESS IS BEING WITH THE SPINNERS.

THE DETROIT SPINNERS-HAPPINESS IS BEING WITH THE SPINNERS. Ever since The Detroit Spinners had signed to Atlantic Records, their fortunes had been transformed. Their 1967 debut album, The Original Spinners, released on Motown, had failed to chart. Three years later, now signed to V.I.P. Records, their 1970 sophomore album 2nd Two Around, saw their fortunes …

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THE RITCHIE FAMILY-BRAZIL.

THE RITCHIE FAMILY-BRAZIL. In the seventies, Philadelphia was a musical hotbed, with the City of Brotherly Love giving the world some of the greatest groups of the decade. Everyone remembers artists like Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass and Barbara Mason, plus groups like The O’Jays, The Three Degrees, M.F.S.B, The Trammps and Harold Melvin and The …

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LOVE COMMITTEE-LAW AND ORDER.

LOVE COMMITTEE-LAW AND ORDER. Gold Mind Records was subsidiary of Salsoul Records, run by legendary Philadelphia guitarist, songwriter, arranger and producer, Norman Harris. Norman was responsible for running the label, discovering the talent and with some of his Philly friends, writing, recording and producing these acts. Loleatta Holloway, First Choice and Double Exposure are just …

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TEDDY PENDERGRASS-THIS ONE’S FOR YOU.

TEDDY PENDERGRASS-THIS ONE’S FOR YOU. Ever since Teddy Pendergrass left Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, the success he’d enjoyed with his former group kept on coming. By 1981, Teddy had released five albums since his solo career started in 1977. From his 1977 debut album Teddy Pendergrass was certified platinum, Teddy cemented his reputation …

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BILLY PAUL-GOT MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT.

BILLY PAUL-GOT MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT. Three years before Billy Billy Paul released Got My Head On Straight in 1975, he’d released his fourth album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul. Not only had 360 Degrees of Billy Paul made Billy Paul a worldwide star, but had played its part in launching Philadelphia International Records as …

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HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUE NOTES-TO BE TRUE.

HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUE NOTES-TO BE TRUE. Between 1972 and 1975, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes released a quartet of albums that saw one of the most successful artists in the history of Philly Soul. During that period, commercial success and critical acclaim were constant companions for Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes. …

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MCFADDEN AND WHITEHEAD-MCFADDEN AND WHITEHEAD.

MCFADDEN AND WHITEHEAD-MCFADDEN AND WHITEHEAD. Anyone familiar with the history of Philly Soul, will realize that some of the best music was written or produced by musical partnerships. Obviously the best known is Gamble and Huff, but there are many more. The Baker, Harris, Young rhythm section were also a successful production partnership, while Norman …

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JOHN DAVIS MONSTER ORCHESTRA-NIGHT AND DAY.

JOHN DAVIS MONSTER ORCHESTRA-NIGHT AND DAY. One of the phenomenon’s of the disco era, was the arrival of the disco orchestra. Obviously, the best known and without doubt, best, and most successful was The Salsoul Orchestra. They played their part in making Salsoul Records disco’s most successful and classic label. Other record companies, having seen …

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BILLY PAUL-WAR OF THE GODS.

BILLY PAUL-WAR OF THE GODS. A year after the release of Billy Paul’s most commercially successful album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul in 1972, an album that featured the Grammy Award winning number one single Me and Mrs Jones, Billy released his follow-up album War of the Gods. By this time, Philadelphia International Records had …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOVE SENSATION.

  LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOVE SENSATION. There’s a certain symmetry that in return for Loleatta Holloway adding a vocal on what became one of Dan Hartman’s biggest hit singless, Relight My Fire, that Dan returned this favor by writing one of Loleatta’s most successful singles, Love Sensation. This story starts back in 1979, when Dan Hartman was …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY.

LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY. When Loleatta Holloway came to record her fifth album, and third for Gold Mind Records Loleatta Holloway, she encountered a very different company. Gone was Norman Harris who’d previously run Gold Mind and who’d been at Loleatta’s side every step of the way, during her Gold Mind career. Norman Harris wasn’t the …

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BAKER, HARRIS, YOUNG-B-H-Y.

BAKER, HARRIS, YOUNG-B-H-Y. By 1979 Ron Baker, Norman Harris and Earl Young were still the hardest working and most in-demand rhythm section in music. They were currently part of The Salsoul Orchestra and accompanying artists like the undisputed Queen of Disco Loleatta Holloway, First Choice and Double Exposure. They’d done everything, from writing, arranging and …

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THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD.

THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD. For Salsoul Records and The Salsoul Orchestra, Up The Yellow Brick Road would prove to be the end of an era.  Up The Yellow Brick Road proved to be last Salsoul Orchestra arranged, produced and featuring the sound of vibes virtuoso Vince Montana Jr. It also proved to …

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DOUBLE EXPOSURE-TEN PERCENT.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE-TEN PERCENT. December 11th 1975 is a significant date in the history Salsoul Records. It was the date that Double Exposure started recording their debut album Ten Percent, which would become their most successful album, and one of Salsoul’s biggest selling albums. Ten Percent which will be released on 17th September 2012 by BBR …

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THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA.

THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA-THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA. Sometimes, fate plays an important part in the success of an artist, album or in the case of Saloul Records, a record label. This was the case when Ken Cayre met vibes virtuoso Vince Montana Jr. Ken Cayre wanted to import the Philly Sound to his nascent record label, Salsoul, …

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THE SALSOUL STRINGS-HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE.

THE SALSOUL STRINGS-HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE. Recently, I’ve been reviewing many of Salsoul Records’ releases, and during these reviews, explaining how Salsoul Records started to change around 1978. This change came about when several of Salsoul’s key personnel started to leave the label or play less of a role in the label’s releases. This …

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M.F.S.B.-THE GAMBLE AND HUFF ORCHESTRA.

M.F.S.B.-THE GAMBLE AND HUFF ORCHESTRA. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been charting the rise of Salsoul Records and then the changes in personnel that ensued from 1978 onwards. The story of Salsoul Records wouldn’t have happened without Philadelphia International Records and Gamble and Huff. M.F.S.B. were Philadelphia International Records legendary house-band, and in 1975 …

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DOUBLE EXPOSURE-FOURPLAY.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE-FOURPLAY. Before changing their name to Double Exposure, the Philadelphia quartet of James Williams, Joseph Harris, Charles Whittington and Leonard “Butch” Davis were known as United Image. The group had formed back in the sixties, whilst the four members of United Image were still in high school. Through their lifelong friendship with legendary Philadelphia …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-QUEEN OF THE NIGHT.

LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-QUEEN OF THE NIGHT. Having signed Loleatta Holloway to Gold Mind Records in 1976, Loleatta’s producer and mentor Norman Harris set about giving Loleatta a makeover. He started transforming the Southern Soul singer in the a disco diva on her debut album Loleatta. After her Sasloul debut Loleatta was released, Loleatta Holloway’s makeover to …

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DEXTER WANSEL-VOYAGER.

DEXTER WANSEL-VOYAGER. For any label, losing many members of their house-band, plus some of their best songwriters, arrangers and producers could’ve proved fatal. This is what happened at Philadelphia International Records in 1975. Many of M.F.S.B. were locked in a dispute with Gamble and Huff over money. When the dispute couldn’t be resolved many of …

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