RIP Vince Montana, Jr. (member of MFSB and founder of the Salsoul Orchestra)

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vincemontana According to a message on his Facebook page, the legendary Vince Montana, Jr. passed away today. Born in South Philadelphia, we was 85 years old. Montana was a producer, arranger, writer, vibraphonist, and percussionist. He was one of the founding members of MFSB, the studio band that played on hundreds of The Sound of Philadelphia recordings, the founder and conductor of the Salsoul Orchestra, the Montana Orchestra and Goody Goody. Montana also expanded his musical language to include house music working with the likes of Masters At Work, Dimitri From Paris, David Morales, and the Pet Shop Boys.

According to this interview on Disco Music.com by Bernard Lopez, during the Fifties Montana performed in jazz clubs around Philadelphia, did studio work at Cameo-Parkway Records in the Sixties and was followed by a year long stint in the band on the Mike Douglas television show. After leaving the television show he reconnected with Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff from their previous days at the Cameo-Parkway label. Gamble & Huff went on to form Philadelphia International Records and the birth of MFSB, in which Montana played an integral part. Montana left behind an impressive discography filled with some of the most influential songs ever recorded.

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3 Responses to “RIP Vince Montana, Jr. (member of MFSB and founder of the Salsoul Orchestra)”

  1. Joey Madonia

    It is with great sadness that I received today, news of the passing of Vince Montana Jr.
    I am one of the many who holds close to my heart, the Philly Sound. The Philly Sound started with me as far back as 1970, (Pre Disco Era). The Philly Sound is, in my opinion,
    The leader & founder of what is call Dance Music. No other, has accomplished what Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff of Philly International Records has accomplished, also known as MFSB. Vince Montana (Mr. Vibes) was made known to us as the Vibe player in the Philly International studio group MFSB; he performed on many other record projects before leaving MFSB. Vince left the group MFSB & formed the group called The Sal Soul Orchestra, where he also had many of the MFSB musicians join him on most of all his productions. What a fantastic legacy he left for us, his music will live forever in dance music history. There’s not one DJ in the world who plays classic club music that can avoid playing something by Vince Montana Jr. He was a genius. Loved by so many.
    A friend of mine once said about The Sal Soul Orchestra, “Their music was the Mozart of Dance”. Thank you Vince for the awesome collection you left behind, may God welcome you into Paradise, I love you with all my heart.

    DJ Joey Madonia Sr. 4/14/2013

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  2. Paul Mick

    RIP Vince Montana Jr had also produced a timeless circa 1980 indie pub rock/power pop 45 by The Plyers, “I’ll Be A Slut For You” b/w “My Kinda Girl” (Strike Out Records). With a limited run of a few hundred records that were marketed primarily through club gigs & at Somerton Beverage sold as ‘The Plyers Package’ in a brown paper bag with a 4X6′ black bumper sticker w/white lettering & possibly a similar black 3′ lapel button. Written, sung, co-arranged by the author, Andy Boyle (rhythm guitar), Joel Hornikel (lead guitar), Larry Fornacci (bass), Mike Gruber (drums). This song had been my second dance at my 1st wedding at the Buck Hotel in Feasterville, PA, dj’d by Janet Malmrose my co-worker @ 89.3 WCSD FM. The delightful gender switch in the first person by the narrator had sometimes referred to as the answer song to Upeer Darby PA’s Todd Rundgren’s “Slut” (1972) – final track on side 4 of “Something/Anything” – the Plyers the B-side had a propulsive drum intro w/two part stereo separated vocals on the title hook. While an anomaly & a footnote in Mr. Montana Jr’s oeuvre & catalog of rhythmic dance floor R&B music this single recording meant the world to more than a few metro Philly rock & roll fans. Although it’s unlikely that Vince Montana Jr’s name on the credits resonated outside of hard core music his assistance in providing our local far NE Philly/Bucks County PA talent with vindication by a solid broadcast quality studio production that any fan could slap on their own home turntable, cue-up & play to their heart’s delight – an overdue thank you to the late, great Vince Montana Jr, condolences to the family & inner circle of friends.

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  3. Paul Mick

    RIP Vince Montana Jr had also produced a timeless circa 1980 indie pub rock/power pop 45 by The Plyers, “I’ll Be A Slut For You” b/w “My Kinda Girl” (Strike Out Records). Recorded I believe in a NJ studio with a limited run of a few hundred records that were marketed primarily through club gigs & at Somerton Beverage sold as ‘The Plyers Package’ in a brown paper bag with a 4X6′ black bumper sticker w/white lettering including a similar black 3′ lapel button. Written, sung, co-arranged by the author, Andy Boyle (rhythm guitar), Tony Vegas (lead guitar), Larry Fornacci (bass), Mike Gruber (drums). This song had been the second dance at my 1st wedding hosted by the Buck Hotel in Feasterville, PA, dj’d by Janet Malmrose a co-worker @ 89.3 WCSD FM. The delightfully humorous gender switch in the first person by the narrator delivered with supposed faux urgency had sometimes referred to as the answer song to Upper Darby PA’s Todd Rundgren’s “Slut” (1972) – final track on the cobbled together side 4 of “Something/Anything”. The Plyers 45 B-side had a propulsive drum intro w/two part stereo separated vocals on the title hook’s refrain. While an anomaly & a footnote in Mr. Montana Jr’s oeuvre & catalog of rhythmic dance floor R&B music this single recording meant the world to more than a few metro Philly rock & roll fans. Although it’s unlikely that Vince Montana Jr’s name on the credits resonated outside of hard core music head audience his assistance in providing our local far NE Philly/Bucks County PA talent with vindication by a solid broadcast quality studio production that any fan could slap on their own home turntable, cue-up & play to their heart’s delight – here’s a too long overdue thank you to the late, great Vince Montana Jr, condolences to the family & inner circle of friends.

    Reply

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