*Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” iconic album isn’t the only Black music entity celebrating its 50th anniversary. No sir, buddy. The names Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are also iconic and this year they are celebrating the founding of their label 50 years ago as well.
The music that Gamble and Huff masterminded at Philadelphia International Records, beginning in 1971, is legendary. Fifty years later, Gamble and Huff can bask in the fact that while the music was created and recorded in Philadelphia, the Sound of Philadelphia became the music heard worldwide.
The artists signed to the legendary label are too many to name. However, the shortlist includes “The O’Jays,” “Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes,” “Patti LaBelle,” Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, “The Intruders,” and dozens and dozens of others.
To commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Philadelphia International Records, both Deluxe CD and LP Box sets will be released this year. During Black Music Month in June, there will be a focus on the recordings of the women of Philadelphia International, including Phyllis Hyman, “The Jones Girls,” and “Three Degrees.”
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For people who loved the Sound of Philadelphia and want to re-discover the magic – or for some who want to discover for the first time the legendary music created by Gamble and Huff, over the coming weeks and months, there will be four lushly packaged, limited-edition eight-CD boxes slated for release.
The first boxset of multiple songs is “Get on the Soul Train,” followed by “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” “Love is the Message,” and “I Love Music.” In addition, the music club “Vinyl Me, Please,” is set to release an eight-record set, titled “Anthology: The Story of Philadelphia International.” And there’s more in store to celebrate Philadelphia International Records’ 50th anniversary.
“The goal of the 50th-anniversary campaign is to let people know that Gamble and Huff were behind the music,” said Chuck Gamble, Kenny Gamble’s nephew, who manages the duo and is an executive with their publishing company, Warner Chappell Music. “And we want to then show people the sound that specially came out of Philadelphia, and how it was created.”